The role of documents in improving customer relationships

Insurance companies can enhance customer engagement by communicating with them as individuals. Most companies possess the tools to generate personalized and finely targeted customer messages and they also have the capability to trigger the generation and delivery of a message, or series of messages, based on an event or a customer action. So what is the problem? Why are most insurance companies failing?

In many carriers, the majority of business documents are still composed of boilerplate, one-size-fits-all text and graphics. Most attempts at targeted communications are really little more than bulk segmentation by high level categorization. The days of generic documents should be over by now. Software companies like Xpertdoc have made it easy to move powerful functionality like personalization and dynamic content into the hands of business units like customer care, claims, underwriting, sales, and marketing. Tools (and resources) are no longer the issue.

With today’s technology, why is client communication still a problem?

The problem is the collection of fragmented document generation systems installed across the enterprise, some of which have been around for decades. Most companies are surprised to find they have dozens of systems generating various documents for them. Adding to the problem, the data necessary to create individual, highly personalized communications is also scattered. The data lives in multiple, unconnected databases and files, in a variety of departments, and in dissimilar formats. The data necessary to compile a comprehensive profile of each customer and their relationship with the carrier may exist, but it’s not easy to use.

Unlike legacy document composition software, modern tools give an organization the ability to access data from wherever it resides. Insurers can replace those old systems, and their limited functionality, with a better way to compose and distribute customer communications. Data identification and normalization, however, is an organizational and managerial challenge. Getting departments and divisions to share data or migrate to centralized data sources is something no document software can do for an insurance company. That usually requires a shift in company culture and those carriers that are doing it are winning in the growth game.

Why change?

The benefits of making such a shift can make a big difference in customer retention and referrals. By using everything they know about each customer a company can create documents which are easier to understand and are truly relevant to a particular customer circumstance. Greater clarity in outbound messaging results in fewer calls to customer service, less frustration, easier decisions and higher response rates. Expenses can be trimmed while customer satisfaction increases at the same time.

Once steps have been taken to integrate customer data from across the enterprise and migrate to a common document generation solution, it is possible to communicate with customers as unique people. This is a big improvement over lumping customers together as indistinct members of large groups with somewhat similar characteristics. Customers who sense their insurer knows and appreciates them are likely to be more loyal and lasting.

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