Hi Marley, the communications platform, released research to gauge what factors have the most significant positive and negative impacts on insurance policyholder experiences.
Recent data shows that property and casualty (P&C) carrier customer churn rates range from 10 to 16 per cent, and acquiring customers costs nine times more than retaining them. Yet, driving customer satisfaction in claims can be particularly challenging.
“Helping our carrier customers better understand what makes their policyholders happy aligns with our mission of making insurance convenient and lovable,” said Ujjval Patel, Director of Solutions and Consulting at Hi Marley and co-author of the study. “By using our unique dataset from thousands of claims interactions, we’ve pinpointed problem areas and have a powerful tool insurers can use to coach their teams, address issues and ultimately improve customer retention.”
The Hi Marley survey measured policyholders’ satisfaction with their claims experience on a scale of one to five, with 1-star representing low satisfaction/not satisfied customers and 5-star representing high satisfaction/extremely satisfied customers. The study analysed 24,459 anonymised 1-and 5-star claims satisfaction surveys from more than 50 of Hi Marley’s P&C insurance carrier customers to understand the key causes of good and bad customer claims experiences.
The factors most frequently cited for producing the best and worst claim experience fell into four main categories: Timeliness of Service and Resolution; Communication; Process Effectiveness; and Adjuster Attitude and Approach.
Almost 50 per cent of five-star satisfaction ratings mentioned a “positive or empathetic adjuster attitude and handling approach” as the primary reason for their satisfaction. Overwhelmingly, ineffective or sub-optimal communication by the carrier or adjuster drove the bulk of 1-star reviews.
The sentiment analysis results were inverse, demonstrating when certain factors are not present the customer experience erodes. It’s clear customers expect their insurance carriers to offer the similar timeliness and convenience they’ve become accustomed to from other service providers, but with a human element that provides empathy with their experience when needed.
“Since our first carrier went live, we’ve gathered conversational feedback from customer interactions that clearly define what the policyholder is looking for from the moment they initiate a claim through resolution,” said Mark Snyder, Claims Subject Matter Expert at Hi Marley. “It wasn’t until we initiated this comprehensive review of customer satisfaction surveys that we could identify the leading causes of great five-star experiences and the reasons for subpar events that lead to costly churn.”
- What does this mean for carriers? Timeliness of service and resolution. Long wait times and lack of response correlate directly with a negative user experience. The data show that 21 per cent of customers who rated their experience as negative due to timeliness issues also waited longer for adjusters to respond to their claim.
- Communication. While poor communication is the top driver for 1-star reviews, it also plays a hand in all elements of customer satisfaction. Customers want options, including human interaction.
- Process effectiveness. Carriers ought to be combining technology-enabled efficiencies with the ability for humans to be ‘in the loop,’ as there’s no way to replicate human empathy with technology.
- Adjuster attitude and approach. As the top driver for 5-star reviews (46 per cent) and the second most frequently cited factor for 1-star reviews (23 per cent), adjuster attitude and approach have the most significant impact on customer satisfaction. Responsive carriers that serve customers with human empathy and kindness will be the winners in driving world-class policyholder experiences.
“Not only is providing excellent customer service the right thing to do, but there’s also a genuine business impact,” said Robert Bowers, National Claims and Customer Service Leader at Westfield Insurance, a carrier that excels at creating 5-star claims experiences. “We know that when our policyholders are satisfied, we’re more likely to retain them.”