Celent Says

Why the Customer Experience Matters

Catherine Stagg-Macey
Insurance Experts' Forum, December 13, 2012

At Celent, we have the opportunity to sit through several dozen demos a year of core systems. And in most demos, I find myself having sympathy for the ultimate end-user. The first thing that pops into my head is not how powerful the system is (and they often are), but how grateful I am not to be an underwriting assistant (or claims adjuster or CSR) that would have to learn how to navigate this application in front of me.

The industry spends much time poking fun at the green screens from the previous century (ok, of this year in some insurers, you know who you are!). But the navigation and thought for the user experience has progressed little from those days. In the worst cases, it seems that the green screen has simply been re-coded in .NET along with easy access to specific screens through magic keys like F7.

A Harvard Business Review blog highlighted some interesting facts about Android and iOS. Whilst Android outsells Apple phones, Apple iOS users conduct more e-business than their Android colleagues. So what is that about? The blog goes onto explain that it is the manner in which Apple devices support customer engagement that result in these same users doing more e-commerce.

The fact that the face of core systems is misaligned with what might work best for the user is in my mind related to how we as an industry frame, discuss and talk about customers. Susan Scott makes some great points on how we talk about customer centricity instead of customer connectivity. She points out certain tells of organisations that get this wrong. Do you recognise any of these? They include relying on software to build relationships, using language that turns the customer off, and use of the term “customer facing” (If we don’t all care deeply about the customer of our business, then what are we doing?)

Most insurer websites can be found wanting, as can the internal systems that staff use when they interact with these customers. For being such a smart industry, the link between customer engagement and user experience appears to be stuck in a blind spot.

Inspired by companies that do get it right, I believe we should set a higher bar on the expectations. This is more than aesthetics. And let’s not forget the real skill in getting really engaging customers through technology. Let’s not leave it up to the smart geeks who’s real skills are the wiring of the system.

This blog has been reprinted with permission from Celent.

Catherine Stagg-Macey is a senior analyst in Celent's insurance practice, and can be reached at cstagg-macey@celent.com.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Catherine using the “Add Your Comments” box below.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

Too Much Manual Effort is a Show Stopper

Examining the administrative burden of doing business in the E&S market.

The Efficiency CIO vs the Agility CIO

There is a role for both types of CIO, each organization has different priorities whether they’re an insurer, intermediary, vendor, start-up, etc.

Becoming a 24/7 Insurer

Insurers should be in the business of making life safer and better for consumers all the time.

Putting Your Investments Where Your Transformation Is: Part 2: Optimizing Your IT Investments Portfolio

Sam Medina continues a 3-part series on Transforming the IT Investment Budget in order to fund new programs and initiatives without the necessity of additional capital expense.

The Mobile Side of Digital: From OK to Great

What are the mobile leaders, including Allstate, Progressive, State Farm and Geico, doing to go from standard to strong?

Using the Data Deluge to Empower Consumers

Insurers can learn from the use of activity tracking in other fields to help their customers make better decisions.

Advertisement

Advertisement