Customer Experience

Finally Approaching a Single Look at the Customer?

The concept of the single view of the customer has existed for ages. I remember some significant single-view projects of insurers in the early 1990s. Many insurers have continued to strive toward this elusive goal. Now that the client experience is in the forefront in insurers' strategies, you're ready to revisit the only view, aka the 360-degree view of the customer.

Three questions should be addressed: 1) What is single view anyway? 2) How does it connect with the customer experience? 3) What is the state of the profession?

What is really a single view anyway?

Having just one look at the customer means that the insurer and any front-line individual dealing with the client understand the full context from the relationship. This normally includes information such as the customer's your personal data (PII), products currently owned, relationship history and the named agent/producer (if applicable). Ideally, this is summarized for any quick snapshot from the relationship.

Creating just one view is complicated by two main factors. First, the complexness and often siloed natures of IT systems make it difficult to have a common view. The evolution of channel options and technologies makes it a constant challenge to coordinate over the different systems. The 2nd challenge pertains to any company using independent agents, financial advisers, brokers or any other producers. Producer doesn't typically share all the customer information using the insurer. Usually, producer just passes across the minimum information required for underwriting and servicing the customer. Additionally, producer may place insurance coverages for any customer with multiple insurance providers. The producer might have more of a single look at the customer's insurance and financial services products and needs than the insurer has.

How does single view relate to the customer experience?

As challenging as it is, creating as develop a picture of the customer relationship as possible is essential today. Improving the customer experience is definitely an SMA 2021 Imperative along with a top strategic initiative for a lot of companies and a key driver of economic also it strategies. Any touch point, whether human or digital, ought to be informed through the context from the customer relationship. A real estate agent, customer support rep or adjuster should understand the value of the policyholder. While everyone is eligible for fair service that satisfies the contractual obligations, the level of attention and expertise applied might vary for an individual or business having a 20-year background and multiple policies vs. a new customer with only one small policy.

A related question is, “Does the customer possess a single look at the insurer?” Customers don't want to repeat information, experience delays in service, be given incorrect information or find that their favorite mode of interaction is not available or current. This is causing insurers to move toward providing an omni-channel environment, enabling policyholders to interact using whatever devices and channels they want anytime — and making the transactions and interactions transfer across channels in real time. Ultimately, providing a world class customer experience requires the insurer to have a single look at the customer and the other way around.

What may be the state of single view in insurance?

How many insurers have actually achieved this single view? According to SMA research, 35% say they've assembled a single view, but only 8% can present that view instantly towards the individuals interacting with a policyholder. Another 46% don't have single view today but are focusing on it. There are also significant differences based on the size the insurer. More insurers with under $1 billion in premium also have a full single view in real time compared to their counterparts with more than $1 billion. This is likely because the smaller companies’ product and distribution environment is less complicated compared to the larger companies. However, almost all insurers using more than $1 billion are at least focusing on achieving just one view, whereas 30% of the smaller companies have no plans.

Single view and increasing the customer experience are inextricably linked. Business also it strategies and plans must always think about the implications for of these objectives.