STUDY: Delivering on a Digital Excellence Policy: Study Shows Which Insurers are Winning Customers Over
By Shannon Latta
The life and health insurance sector in the U.S. is worth over $800 billion, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Love it or hate it, insurance is one product Americans must have. Recognizing that consumers have choices, insurers are aspiring to differentiate through digital experience.
Consumers see the best and worst in digital every day and know what a good customer experience looks and feels like. They demand a seamless experience across all channels and touchpoints and want mobile access and personalization. Put simply, consumers want an easy and fluid path to accomplish tasks.
Companies such as PayPal, Netflix, and Amazon understand and deliver on the digital needs of consumers. They provide experiences that people come back to—the experiences that all businesses need to benchmark themselves against as they compete to attract and keep customers.
The same consumer digital expectations hold true for the insurance industry. The results of the latest Digital Experience Index™ (DXI™) by Verint highlights the insurers that are leading the pack in delivering the best online experiences by benchmarking the largest health and property/casualty providers in the U.S. The rankings are based on customer satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS®) calculated from a panel survey of 11,519 consumers fielded in June 2019.
Kaiser Permanente, Molina, and Humana led the health rankings for both CSAT and NPS; for property and casualty, Geico came out on top for satisfaction while USAA took the top spot for NPS.
In many ways the two industries operate in very different environments, as evidenced by the stark difference in aggregate NPS: the benchmark for property and casualty is 26, while health insurance is just 19. It’s not surprising, given that health insurance shopping is mostly out of our hands in the U.S.—many consumers typically take what their employers offer. With auto, home, and life insurance, consumers have more choices -- prodding providers to work harder to earn their business.
Mobile Is King, But Consumers Still Value Human Interaction for Customer Service
The study shows customers have a bias for using mobile devices over desktop in both insurance categories, but especially so in property and casualty. Tasks made almost no difference in channel preference: Only 1 in 10 said what they needed to do on the site influenced whether they used mobile or desktop. Channel satisfaction was nearly identical: with mobile at 75 and desktop at 76.
While the report reveals that mobile is the preferred device for digital interaction for the majority of respondents in both insurance categories, real human interaction is still vitally important as it supports the digital experience. More than one-quarter of all customers in both insurance fields contacted customer service after their site visits, regardless of whether they had accomplished their goal during that digital visit via mobile, app, or desktop/laptop.
For health insurance, those who came to the site to register, manage prescriptions, manage their account, or pay premiums were the visitors most likely to use the contact center. A further breakdown shows 53 percent contacted call centers, 29 percent emailed customer service, and 16 percent used a chat service.
For property and casualty insurance, the results were similar. Those who came to the site for claim-related issues or to find a local agent were the visitors most likely to reach out to a contact center agent. Results of the survey show 59 percent called the contact center, 23 percent emailed customer service, and 16 percent used chat.
The fact that customer service follow-up rates are similar regardless of goal accomplishment suggests that current-day digital interactions on insurance sites are not as rich as some customers require.
Digital Experience Customer Priorities
So what do customers want from health and property/casualty insurance websites and apps and how can providers improve the journey-wide experience for better engagement and bottom-line benefits?
The study shows consumer appetite for personalization, apps, and new tools offers a growing opportunity for insurers.
The DXI measured four key drivers that impact a visitor’s overall satisfaction with their online health insurance experience: navigation, look and feel, site information, and site performance. Navigation is the priority driver for 9 of the 10 individual companies. Site information and site performance rank as the two next most-important drivers.
Comparison tools seem to hold the key to task accomplishment for both health insurance shoppers and customers. Nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated price comparison tools are important to the healthcare insurance decision-making process, regardless of their primary reason for visiting the site. Potential customers who used comparison tools also netted higher satisfaction rates. More than half (54 percent) said they used the plan comparison tool on health insurance sites and rate its importance a 3.9 out of 5.
As insurance companies and medical practices try to modernize and expand access to healthcare, patients say they’re willing to experiment, but the data reveals some hesitation. Nearly half of respondents stated they would be more likely to use a health or wellness app if it resulted in insurance premium discounts or cash incentives. Privacy concerns were an often-cited factor amongst those less likely to use an app.
Property and Casualty Insurance
Underscoring the unique differences of each insurance sector, the survey shows that for 7 out of 10 property and casualty insurers, site performance is a top priority driver. Geico ranked first in navigation, while USAA ranked first in look and feel, site information, and site performance.
The survey reveals that the primary reasons for visiting an insurance site are to pay a bill (42 percent), log in to an existing account (32 percent), and to find a local agent (10 percent). The top three accomplishment rates by task include paying a bill (98 percent), logging in to an existing account (93 percent), and finding a service center for repairs (93 percent).
Property and casualty customers report a nearly 95 percent task-accomplishment rate. Shoppers come to the site mainly to research offerings (53 percent) or request a quote (47 percent) and report a 90 percent task-accomplishment rate. Comparison tools have significant traction and appear to increase task success rates.
In terms of claims, close to three-quarters of respondents have never submitted an auto/motorcycle accident claim using an app. However, nearly 8 out of 10 would consider using an app to manage the claim process in the future, indicating an opportunity for providers to improve availability or user experience of these apps.
Digital Experience Is an Opportunity to Differentiate, Personalize, and Exceed Expectations
Conventional wisdom says insurance customers follow the money. But exceptional digital experiences give people a reason to engage with and commit to a business long-term. The results of the survey show that customers have spoken loud and clear about what constitutes good digital customer experience:
· Thorough site content and helpful tools
· Monitoring apps with clear customer benefits
· Virtual healthcare that feels personal and secure
· A digital claims experience that supports their needs
The bottom line: understanding what customers want from sites and apps can help providers improve the journey-wide experience for better engagement and bottom-line benefits.
Shannon Latta is vice president of marketing and communications for Verint ForeSee, where she is responsible for brand and positioning, content strategy, product marketing, corporate communications and marketing results.