Omni channel is inevitable for the insurance industry. Legacy challenges and budget constraints make it difficult for insurers to view Omni Channel as a vital strategic initiative. However, Omni Channel may well prove to be the trump card for creating a more engaging experience with your customers.
An Omni Channel Strategy Can Elevate Your Game Plan
Omni Channel refers to the ways prospective customers research and engage through a multitude of channels ranging from traditional brick and mortar, independent agents, online, mobile and social among other avenues. An Omni Channel strategy recognizes the profound changes in the traditional customer purchasing journey and responds by developing a seamless customer engagement experience across channels.
A successful Omni Channel strategy covers more than just channels. And, those who focus solely on channels typically end up creating redundancy and subsequent integration problems. A successful Omni Channel strategy provides a unified gateway to drive more sales while simultaneously improving customer satisfaction.
Steps to an Omni channel Strategy
Constantly changing customer preferences and engagement methods make it difficult for insurers to tackle a cohesive Omni Channel strategy – there are just too many moving parts. The good news is insurers are not late to the game. Here is a framework to think about:
Step 1: Assess. Insurers should begin by assessing their digital maturity across business proesses (strengths in mobile, web portal marketing and fulfillment) and identify their blind spots & bottlenecks on the ground. It’s a good idea to take a cue from service industries such as banking, retail and aviation that are already adopting digital channels. The specific may be different, but the conceptual framework is largely similar.
Step 2: Define. The next step is to define and build an overall digital strategy, governance structure and appoint an owner who will drive the needed changes across the company. The governance structure also will define the best practices, metrics and guiding principles to be adopted as the roadmap is kicked off.
Step 3: Segment. Next, identify and prioritize customer segments and build tailored value propositions (products, services or both) that leverage the Omni Channel ecosystem for each customer segment. This step includes simplifying processes, organizational structure, channels and systems for each customer segment. It is best to start with one business process or area at a time (marketing, sales, purchase, distribution, claims, payment, etc.) and build Omni channel ecosystems around it before venturing into other areas. Phased execution is a must.
Step 4: Align. Next, align the customer segments with the overall strategy. Insurers must also realign ongoing projects to fit in with the overall strategy. The goal for the Omni Channel engagement ecosystem is to deliver the same value and consistent experience across all channels
Step 5 & 6: Measure and Improve. Finally, it’s vital to understand customers and their needs and preferences. To do that, companies must invest in data analytic systems that track customer behavior across channels and modify their strategy around the information and insights they produce. The metrics and guiding principles defined as part of the governance structure play a key role here.
Omni Channel trends offer a great opportunity for insurance companies to innovate by putting customers at the forefront and building products and engagement models around them. Omni Channel focus is a must to stay competitive and profitable in today’s digital world. Want to learn more?