Why Collaboration is the Key to Success for Insurance Companies

On an average, uncertainties have doubled over a decade for customers in the year 2011. The fear of loss of stability and general anxiety has increased after the economic downturn of 2008. As a result, the number of people opting for insurance such as auto, home, health, life, renters and even travel, have increased manifold. Not only has the insurance industry expanded and proliferated into individual service providers, but the packages have become more competitive and they face challenges in loyal customer retention. In this age of myriad options, insurance companies are looking forward to a holistic strategy for increasing revenues.

The most common solution as propagated by industry gurus for an effective CRM in insurance sector is COLLABORATION. Often quoted, the capacity of this solution is misunderstood and gravely underutilized by most insurance companies. As a business strategy, collaboration is the effective use of the network of agents and intermediaries to increase visibility of sales processes, reduce cycle time and prevent loss of revenue. It involves building a multi-source eco-system to effectively utilize the USP of a specific carrier and add value to another carrier’s offerings. Collaboration helps in reducing competition and accentuating effective use of monitory and human resources.

The auxiliary benefits of this strategy include indirect marketing through advertised options by comparison portals, advisors, corporate alignments, etc. Through the inductive effect of faith and belief that customers have in one carrier, its collaborated carrier feeds off on the popularity of the prior. Ultimately, customers receive a more valuable package, functioning as a one-stop solution to their insurance needs.

The above outlined benefits are extensively communicated and perceived by insurance companies. However, the challenge lies in effectively realizing and executing strategies to attain these benefits as the end result. To begin with, companies need to perform an intensive performance review and dedicate their resources to capitalize on their USP. For e.g. an Auto Insurance USP can be as niche and specific as providing their customers support within 30 seconds, over a phone call or by providing customer claims for insurance through one-stop, one-point contact facilities. This internal analysis requires efficient data management tools to assess previous customer data, relationships and complaints.

The next step requires companies to analyze the above mentioned data and outline the services that could add value to their USP and offer a package deal to their customers. The target audience’s collective needs can be better fulfilled through a customized deal strategy that can also increase the ability of the company to demand a premium price for their insurance. Incorporating other features such as quick access to call centers, instant messaging and expert locations can provide more assurance to customers over other competitors. However, integrating and marketing these features in a one-stop browsing page over web, mobile and smartphone applications are essential to today's digital customers.

Addressing customer needs such as quick and effective support, transparent communication for product details and easy self service system for payments allows companies to develop a growing loyal customer base.

Eventually, the result depends on a high impact CRM in insurance companies that facilitates development of ideas and products. It needs to foster collaborations that support automated end-to-end business processes. Additionally, these real-time collaborations through a CRM solution need to be augmented by responsive support environments that allow customers to take advantage of the available facilities. Collaboration as a tool is ineffective when used as a short term goal. The real benefits of collaboration can be reaped from mutually beneficial relationships that allow each collaborative partner to feed off the brand identity, USP, customer information and market perceptions. A 360 degree view for collaborations provides companies opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell their products through multiple channels. Through the above outlined avenues of accomplishing a successful collaborative venture, insurance companies can leverage their power for easy market penetration, effective utilization of resources and increasing market and revenue share. Conclusively, collaboration is an effective and essential tool for the insurance industry and has immense untapped potential that can increase the bottom line of these companies.