ILC ARTICLE

Higher expectations demand higher service levels


Customer expectations are rising exponentially and meeting them will be the key determining factor in whether businesses comply with Consumer Duty or not.

Research from Consumer Intelligence found that good customer service boils down to two things: speed and efficiency.

Technologies such as AI can help to deliver both, but good outcomes will only be achieved with customer buy-in.

That was the message Catherine Carey, Head of Marketing, Consumer Intelligence, delivered to delegates at ILC’s MGA Claims Conference 2023, which was held in London in September in association with the MGAA.

Expectations rising

She said that customer expectations are rising as premiums and cost-of-living rise; as they pay more, they expect more back. However, with 61% inflation recorded in motor premiums and 29% in home, the bar is being set high.

Catherine said, “Making matters worse, customers feel like they’re stuck with their current insurer. The days of savvy customers being able to shop around for better deals feels like a memory. They are getting their higher renewal premiums and don’t have the relief of being able to get a better deal in the market.”

It’s perhaps not surprising then that complaints have risen to a five-year high, with delays in payouts the number one thing displeasing policyholders; according to a Consumer Intelligence survey of more than 1,000 customers, speed and efficiency and quick settlements were the most important things to customers.

Polarising

Many insurers are putting their faith in AI to resolve this issue, but the same Consumer Intelligence survey suggests technology can be polarising and on its own may not be enough to satisfy customers.

Almost half (46%) of respondents said they didn’t actually know what AI is, and of those who did only 30% said they’d be happy for AI to involved in the claims process. The same percentage were against the use of AI in claims but 40% said they were unsure and could be influenced either way.

What this means, said Catherine, is that insurers can’t rely on AI to meet all their needs. Communication about technology is critical, but even then it will need to be embedded alongside the human element to satisfy customer expectations.

She said, “Customer expectations will continue to rise, and speed and efficiency needs to be the focus for improvement. AI could be the answer, but insurers need to bring customers with them. But if we get this right, it’s not just good for customers, it’s good for business too because there is a strong link between good customer service and profitability.”

ILC’s MGA Claims Conference was supported by Headline Sponsor Claims Consortium Group (CCG); Gold Sponsors: Activate Group, Carpenters Group, EDAM Group, Enterprise, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Pulse, Value Checkers, and Wiser Academy.

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