How to Move to Digital-First Insurance CommunicationsLast updated: August 25, 2020 | 5 min read
In a world transformed by a global pandemic and the need for social distancing, digital communication has become more important than ever. Consumers need clear and instant communication from their insurers, while carriers need to rapidly adapt and reduce employee risk.
While many insurers have already incorporated digital customer communication, many are still sending traditional mail. And some aren’t using digital at all.
Most carriers understand the need to go digital. But building effective digital strategies has proved challenging. Insurers need to overcome issues with legacy technology and processes, complicated and costly software, and rapidly changing needs.
Still, the benefits of moving to digital are clear – improved customer experience, higher operational efficiency, cost savings and minimized compliance risk. So, if you have yet to start your transition to digital insurance communication, here are a few tips to help you move forward.
Create a Strategy
To make an efficient move from print to digital, you need a strategy that is clear and adaptable.
First, develop a well-defined vision for the future. This will align teams around a central goal and help everyone understand the value of digital adoption. A strong vision will create a guide for action and decision making to ensure your organization remains on the right track through your digital journey.
When defining your strategy, ask yourself:
- What are our goals with digital adoption?
- What do customers expect from us?
- What channels are our customers already using?
- What digital channels should we use to reach customers?
- What functional area or product line should go digital first?
- How will we get customers to opt-in for digital communications?
- What technology do we need to transform our communications?
- How long will implementation take?
- How will this impact our teams and processes?
While having a vision is essential, it is equally important to develop a flexible plan. An agile work method can lower risks and create opportunities for higher levels of efficiency and productivity.
You can maintain flexibility throughout your digital adoption by learning about different technologies, finding out what other insurers are doing, assessing your current technology and teams for opportunities, and sharing lessons learned from successful and failed tests and activities.
When you combine adaptability with a clear vision, you empower your teams to be quicker and more decisive while adopting a new digital strategy.
Invest in the Right Technology
As an insurer, you need to focus on two main pieces of software in your technology stack to enable digital insurance communications. These include your core systems (e.g. Policy Administration System) and your customer communications management (CCM) platform.
These technologies work together to provide you with the data and capabilities to design, develop, deliver, and manage personalized omnichannel communications at scale.
Data is a key asset. While many CCM platforms can integrate with legacy systems, you need a core system that can manage digital data (e.g. demographics and preferences) for effective adoption.
Modernizing your CCM software will provide you with a cloud-based suite that empowers your business users to develop templates for responsive delivery to your customers’ preferred channel. A good CCM tool will help you create better experiences, greater efficiency, minimized risk, and more agility.
To find the right CCM platform for your organization, consider the following questions:
- What capabilities do I need?
- Can I integrate this CCM platform with my current technologies?
- What customer support and implementation services do I get?
- Is the company experienced in insurance?
- Can this CCM platform meet my changing needs over time?
- Do I need a cloud-based solution?
- Is this a secure solution?
- What is the pricing model, and what is included?
Get Customer Buy-In
While most customers prefer digital communications, you may have to entice them to opt-in and guide them through the transition. Also, keep in mind that some customers may favor print correspondence or may not have digital capabilities.
To get customers to sign up for digital communications, consider sending out an enhanced email or another digital message alongside your regular print communication. Many insurers even include a QR code that links directly to engaging omnichannel communications. Consider including supplementary digital materials to drive adoption by making it simple for the end-user to access and experience the benefits of digital communications.
Be sure to include relevant and personalized information in your digital message. As customers respond to the improved experience, offer the ability to register for paperless or electronic delivery for all communications.
Focus on Improvement
As you start your journey towards digital adoption, be prepared for potential challenges along the way.
Improving communications programs is an ongoing process, and customers’ demands are ever-changing. Consider starting small by updating your CCM solution for one line of business or one functional area such as claims. This will help you develop benchmarks and study feedback for improvement.
To ensure the steps you are taking to improve your communications are based on real data, you must be willing to seek your customers’ feedback. Develop a tailored survey and ask about your digital experience.
Consider asking the following questions:
- Are you satisfied with the communication experience?
- What pain points are you experiencing, if any?
- How do you rate the response time of our communications?
- What do you like about our communications?
- What would you like to see changed with our customer communications?
Now that you understand the process of moving from print to digital, you’re ready to start considering CCM technology to help you get there. To find the right CCM partner for your organization, download this free checklist of What to Look for When Buying CCM Software.
We’re here for you. To get help with building, delivering, and managing customer communications, reach out to us. You can also visit our Resource Center for more research and information on insurance customer communications.
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