Thursday, November 17, 2011

CRM in Insurance: Trends in 2012

In the current challenging economic environment customer relationship management strategies have become very critical for the struggling market. Working through telecom and banking sectors, it has recently hit the shores of the mass body called Insurance. Thankfully, the insecurity brought about by the financial crisis has increased consumer spending on insurance and pension plans.

Insurance CRM solutions primarily enables companies to target their marketing, sales and customer service resources at profitable customers from an existing database of millions of consumers. It can be a critical tool for planning strategies by analyzing the trends reflected through consumer spending. However, this strategy has immense untapped potential in creating long term emotional bonds with its customer base, create competitive advantage and eventually increase their market share in this industry.

The following market trends in the year 2012 pertaining specifically to the insurance industry can be closely studied, and CRM solutions can be applied to each, for higher ROI.

Direct Marketing
CRM solutions objectifies the use of various touch points in order to focus minutely on customer needs. However the most effective way of reaching out to a customer is by letting them know that as an insurance provider you care about their individual needs. Direct marketing, personal selling and one to one feedback channels are the upcoming trends for this industry. Through the database generated through CRM software, it is necessary to study consumers as ‘need pockets’ rather than as bulls-eye target approach. Using SEO search words as criteria for sorting data, it becomes easier for companies to track needs of consumer as per frequency, depth and continuity of certain expectations. This data can then be tailored in order to manicure insurance pitches and service packages that resonate with consumer values. Through digital and traditional direct marketing means, CRM can strengthen the emotional bond customers share with the company.

Multi-Channel Experience
Insurance, as a service industry has always been focusing its budget on increasing service capabilities. The competitive advantage in this industry lies in breaking through spam mail perceptions, relapsed premiums and extensive paper work. Therefore, it thinks minimally on its advertising front. Previously, insurers would invest in single channel mediums such as direct or online or agent portals that would allow the companies to maintain one brand touch point with consumers. This would obviously mean simpler management on behalf of the company. However, today’s consumer is a lot more informed, feels powerful in making informed choices, and is blessed with a variety of options that are just a click away. The entry of digital marketing in the field of insurance, has increased competition and thereby caused clutter.

In such a dynamic market environment, CRM solutions provides company with valuable data and trends to provide consumers plenty information in a multi-media, cross-media format .i.e, it allows companies to stage a multi-face experience through a variety of touch points. Consumer profiling w.r.t insurance needs and their preferred media channels to receive information can be analysed and executed. This leads to higher resonance, positive brand perception as well as creates a deep engaging experience.

SIC-Simplification, Integration and Consolidation of Operational Systems
Insurance CRM solutions have evolved over time, and to stay abreast of competition, companies need to integrate CRM with their core systems. New solutions need to accelerate claims management system, seamlessly handle regular premium collections and help resolve customer complaints rapidly. Using data mining tools to induce cross-selling, event triggering to monitor incoming transaction and using profiling to recognize changes in a customer behavior or profile in real time allows the company to reach or trigger actions and alerts. Through the new age CRM software, these functions can be integrated and consolidated in a single window in order to simplify the process for customer service representatives. With a deep understanding of the complicated yet dynamic life cycle of this service, CRM can allow representatives to prioritize, manage leads and eventually accelerate the conversion rate.

Targeting Emerging Markets
With the digital revolution, a proliferated world has started shrinking. Information and exploration have become a norm and boundaries between nations are evaporating as the global outlook takes the driver’s seat. 3rd world countries and emerging markets within Asia- Pacific, Europe and the Americas are being focused to build revenue for the insurance industry.

In the Asia-Pacific market, demographics and consumer buying patterns are shifting.. Additionally, business growth is accelerating and regional hubs are evolving themselves by attracting attention from the developed global leaders.In case of emerging economies especially the BRIC nations, distribution flexibility and support systems are developing, forcing the industry to effectively gauge critical capital requirements and risk management.The demographics of these economies, especially India, with the largest population in the age group of 25-55 in the world, insurance sector offers a very lucrative opportunity.

Pertaining to these global yet local developments, analytics need to be leveraged to effectively drive growth agenda. Insurance CRM solutions is an obvious answer for solving the hurdle of transitioning to newer, effective growth strategies and regulatory processes.