Some North American life insurers are miserable about the state of their customer service technology.

Karen Monks and Colleen Risk, analysts at Celent, reveal that misery in a summary of results from a recent Celent survey of the world’s life insurers.

(Related: 11 tips for modernizing your insurance brand)

The analysts do not say how many life insurers responded.

Here’s a look at three highlights from the answers of the North American life insurers that did participate.

1. The level of pride is low.

In the North American region, 7% of the participating life insurers said they were “very happy” with the customer service technology they had.

Not one described its customer service tech as “world class.”

In the rest of the world, 10% of the life insurers described their customer service tech as world class, and none said they were very unhappy.

2. The seams show.

Only 7% of the North American life insurers said they had customer service tech that made it easy to communicate across functions.

Another 14% said they either rely heavily on emailing documents back forth or rely heavily on paper files.

3. The tech needs may crowd out other kinds of customer service spending.

About 72% of the North American life insurers said they expect to see a “significant increase” in their investment in customer service tech in the next three years.

Only 7% of those insurers said they expect overall customer service costs to increase significantly over that same period.

If the survey participants are correct, that could mean that information technology spending might eat up some of the money now spent on salaries, benefits and training for customer service workers.

— Read Celent analyst offers window into future of insurance on ThinkAdvisor.