Who is in charge of communication strategies?

In most insurance companies, multiple departments including policy services, marketing, compliance, finance, and claims all have a stake in how documents are created and delivered. Each area of the business tends to manage their communications independently and often use different terms and language to describe the same idea, unknowingly creating duplicate communications, or even creating messages that conflict with each other.  Additionally, different departments deliver their communications via different methods (print, email, online, SMS, or social media).

Customers expect consistent, personalized, and tailored communication; in many cases they aren’t getting it.

Communication committees

Many carriers have a governing entity in place for enforcing consistency as it relates to corporate branding; logos, colors, fonts, and style. Some carriers take this a step further to improve their communications by forming committees with key resources from various functional areas to review planned messages to various audiences across the enterprise. These committees work to apply standards to ensure that communications meet the departmental objectives without compromising the overall corporate goals.

Communication committees go beyond brand compliance to consider the objective of each message, its construction and delivery methods, and its relationship to other messages presented by the organization. They may also assure consistency with such items as document management and Customer Communication Management (CCM) technologies, document layout, the efficient use of in-plant or outsourced services, and Omni-channel delivery mechanisms.

Executive sponsorship and consistent governance, without bureaucracy, are critical to the success of such groups.

Enterprise-wide approach to increase effectiveness

By making tools and resources available across the enterprise, the communication committee reduces redundant expenses and allows companies to compile complete customer relationship histories. Insurers can become better at personalizing communications, measuring effectiveness, and directing customers to relevant resources.

Without coordinating cross-divisional communications, companies can miss opportunities, and waste money. There may be risks of regulatory infractions or a public relations embarrassment, and inconsistent content can lead to increased customer service calls or customer churn.

Insurance companies spend millions to build a brand image. When messages coming from various departments and divisions are aligned with the company’s overall business strategy, positive results can be achieved. Putting communication strategies into the hands of a body focused on the overall corporate objectives, rather than just departmental issues, can generate benefits otherwise unobtainable.