While participating in a panel discussion on e-Signatures and customer experiences for carriers at yesterday’s ACORD / LOMA Conference is Las Vegas, I started receiving alerts from a major airline. Apparently they thought that I might appreciate an upgrade to First Class seating on the red-eye back to the east coast later in the week. After my presentation wrapped up, I confirmed that their suspicions were correct. First class sounds great … and I suddenly find myself thinking about booking my next trip with them. Apparently, I am susceptible to good customer experiences!
This all reminded me that I shortly need to begin my annual search for next year’s auto / home owners insurance carrier. I dread the effort, but I’ve learned that there are economic consequences to missing the chance to do this. Actually, for 20+ years I was a loyal customer of one carrier. Sadly, one day, I discovered that they hadn’t considered sharing savings opportunities with me. A “flip” to a new carrier resulted in a reduction in the annual premium of $1,200 for comparable coverage. Why hadn’t they bothered to try and keep me as a happy, loyal, customer? With a little bit of care they could have retained and delighted me with periodic news of an “upgrade” to my coverages. Instead, I learned that this is a part of my financial life that requires a high level of personal involvement in order to achieve an appropriate value proposition.
With the advent of modern analytical capabilities, it should be within the reach of carriers to provide an engaging and high-value customer experience that can both delight and retain customers. There was a time when Amazon-like offers of “smart people like you might be interested in this” seemed remarkable. Today they seem not only routine but may well be part of customers starting expectation for relationships they anticipate keeping. In an era of easy access to market information, carriers need to upgrade their customer care capabilities or risk losing some of their best, and potentially most profitable clients.