Customer relationship management solutions for today’s insurance industry are evolving into comprehensive suites that wrap around both transaction systems and business processes with embedded analytics, thus benefiting all parties involved in the business of insurance.
CRM suites for the insurance industry need to create a unified view of the customer across all interactions within the enterprise. These new CRM suites benefit customers with improved service and distribution options, and give agents the ability to compete and add value by customizing their service to individual client needs.
Additionally, these comprehensive systems benefit insurance carriers by improving business processes and, most importantly, by allowing carriers to leverage transactional data into business intelligence.
Finally, the insurance industry has access to real-time information on customer profitability. Software can now help insurers identify and appropriately market to an individual customer based upon the customer’s real time needs, such as their marital status or period of life such as retirement or graduation from college.
Insurance buyers now have more options in purchasing insurance and more ways to interact with their insurance suppliers. Customers can purchase insurance through online sites or exchanges, through agencies or directly through brokers and insurance companies.
More importantly, customers are demanding multiple channels through which to interact with their providers for service: face-to-face contact, telephone, Web, e-mail and mobile devices. Insurers who can’t provide superior customer service are destined to perish.
This new business reality has elevated the role of CRM technologies in combination with analytics into a prominent position in the insurance industry. CRM combined with analytic technologies focuses on managing all interactions that the organization has with its customers, maintaining contact information and customer status in order to leverage the data in a variety of business applications.
CRM products can help insurers serve their customers better by allowing agents or their customers to access any information they need, whenever they need it, via whatever mechanism they choose. The goal is for the customer to have a consistent experience across multiple channels, and for the insurer to have a common view of each customer’s interactions and contact histories.
New CRM technology with server-based integration on open Internet standards supports integration of systems and content, both inside and outside the enterprise. As a result, insurance companies can leverage the knowledge of their customers’ activities and empower employees with the knowledge of that business and ultimately demonstrate a true understanding of their customers and the enterprise. This technology helps agents deliver value-added advice and service to customers and enables agents and insurers to provide better service to clients making claims.
These new CRM technologies offer insurance companies the opportunity to finally attain the profitable customer relationships that they’ve been seeking. In tight economic times, insurers need a solution that will deliver flexibility to understand and model customer and product information. CRM solutions need to give insurers a total picture of their clients in order to deliver a superior customer experience.
In addition, insurers are moving from a focus on optimizing customer relationships to optimizing all enterprise relationshipscustomers, suppliers, employees, and partners through collaborative business processes. To effectively support this trend, CRM solutions are evolving into total stakeholder management solutions (TSM). TSM involves a comprehensive CRM suite that delivers a sell-side architecture representing the convergence of analytical and operational CRM functionality across all channels.
TSM enables universal access for all constituentscustomers, suppliers, employees and partnersas well as the seamless integration of the sell-side architecture with the buy-side architecture for solutions like service procurement and real time access to pricing information.
A key decision point in choosing a CRM product is to find one that balances the needs of the insurance agent with the needs of the carrier. A good CRM product will provide the tools and functionality that allows agents to provide better service, while allowing insurers to access business intelligence, giving them a macro view.