Improving the Customer Experience through Better Billing
This year I’ve written a lot about how important it is for your insurance business to have a billing system that is modern and flexible. There are now more competitors in the market then ever and they are all looking for a competitive edge to attract your customers. Are you looking to stay competitive? I am sure you are...but what have you done about it?
I think it is safe to say that if you do not adopt the technology that supports the needs of your customers and enhances their experience then you are at serious risk of losing those customers. With competition becoming more fierce each year, a natural inclination by carriers and MGAs is to lower price. However, with interest rates and wage inflation on the rise, there is only so far you can shrink your margins – and ultimately, this plan doesn’t create loyal customers.
According to the Accenture Global Customer Satisfaction Report:
"The overall quality of customer service is the primary driver of customer loyalty, not price."
The banking industry offers the perfect example for this statement. Rather than trying to outpace competitors through pricing alone, they provided their customers with valuable conveniences such as mobile deposit capture, emailed statements, and 24/7 online access to historical statements. These benefits greatly enhanced their customer experience while also reducing the bank’s overall operating costs.
When it comes to the insurance industry, billing is the most frequent touch point that a customer has with you and therefore it represents one of the best forums to demonstrate how strong your services are.
Here is what happens when you decide to embrace, adopt and implement better billing solutions.
1. Better Billing Technology allows Faster Response to Customers
Imagine if you could speed up the delivery of precisely what the customer wants and needs at any moment. A 24/7/365 billing portal can give your customers the access to their information whenever they want it. For your customers, this means getting what they want, right now, so that they can get on with their lives. No waiting to speak with a representative during regular business hours to handle a simple issue. After all, customers place a high value on their time and the frustration of having to wait too long is one of the main reasons customers choose to switch companies.
2. Better Billing results in Superior Customer Relationships
Nothing damages a customer relationship more than bad service and poor communication. If customers are able to handle simple tasks online, it frees up more time for your staff to tackle those more complex issues that computers simply can't handle. When your organization makes the time to listen to the customer and solve their problems, you build life long loyalty.
3. Better Billing will lead to Higher Sales Volume
Launching a new insurance product can be a complex undertaking. Once you have created that great product, you need to sell it. Often times, the payment can make the product. If you can meet the customer demand for flexible payments you can lock in the sale of your product. With the right billing option, your product sales won’t be hindered by a billing system that can’t provide your customers with the various payment options they desire. Release your product faster and with greater payment flexibility that meets your customer demand.
4. Better Billing Will Increase Wallet Share
Customers will view your mobile/desktop portal more than any other piece of marketing material, email or web-link you provide to them. Your portals are the perfect venue for you to cross-market your other products. Targeted offers to individual customers via your branded portal will yield more sales.
5. Better Billing Will Reduce Costs
Earlier we discussed how self-directed services are one of the most important advantages to an insurance transaction and among the most highly desired by your customers. Tasks such as account inquiries, change of address, online payments, document retrieval, and account history searches are all things customers expect to be able to do themselves easily. Not only are these self-directed services in line with your customers' expectations but they will reduce your overhead.