4 Key Reasons CRM for Insurance Ensures Higher Profits

Insurance companies are all about the management of risks in ways that mutually benefit the organization as well as their customers. However, insurers traditionally have been known to shy away from bets that are highly risky, allowing them to pay out less than they receive. This gives them the opportunity to enhance profitability by making investments using the amounts received via insurance premiums. The attitude prevailing for the longest time in this industry has been that if the bet is sure and safe, why take unnecessary risks by changing too rapidly or drastically?

Oscillating and highly unpredictable stock market performances across the globe create several difficulties for insurance companies, and forecasts say that the trend is likely to continue. In response to this phenomenon, the typical revenue-churning mechanisms of the insurance industry have not really been performing up to expected standards. As a consequence, a whole lot of pressure is created on insurance organizations to seek out fresh ways to ameliorate revenues and lower operating costs, in order to offset dwindling ROIs.

Enter CRM for insurance
Trust is a vital essential when it comes to money matters. By offering streamlined and professional services coupled with conditions that are attractive as well as mutually beneficial; insurance companies are able to establish long lasting and trusting relationships with their customers. For the most favourable consequences, systems that help lower costs and elevate profits are crucial. A comprehensive and efficacious Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution comes into the scenario, and helps achieve this goal. Also, ‘insurance industry specific’ business requirements are fundamentally the driving force behind a majority of insurance projects where the “power of cloud” has been capitalized upon.

In a broad sense, CRM solutions applied in the insurance industry help bring to fruition the following larger, fundamental objectives:

1. Transforming the sales force
Most often, insurance companies capitalize on new opportunities by modifying and adapting their offerings in accordance with ever-changing needs of growing, evolving markets. To illustrate, the life insurance industry has to constantly handle complex payouts that need to be attended to after one of the policy holder’s demise, as a result of which the industry has developed great expertise in managing the same. However, in order to constantly retool services and products, the industry requires highly flexible sales automation tools, primarily so that their sales force can always stay abreast of every latest offering. CRM solutions help achieve the same.

Holistic view of an Account

2. The mobile way
Today, every facet of business has to be made accessible on smart phones, tablets and the likes. The insurance sector is no different, and every sales person in this industry has to offer products, services and support on mobile devices. Accordingly, insurance firms also need to make their CRM software more ‘mobile’ so as to speak. The driving business logic is simple – to give field agents quick and easy access to complete broker and client information so that they are able to approach customers with the most appropriate and profitable proposals, and crack the best deals. The streamlined tools offered by CRM software are instrumental in ‘going mobile’ in the true sense.

3. Optimization of contact center
Insurance organizations strive to ensure that every single inbound call is resolved by the customer service agent who first receives the call, i.e. FTR (First Time Right). It is no surprise that insurers have therefore been maintaining a tight ‘contact center’ focus for quite some time now. With the added dimension of social media in contemporary businesses, a clear relationship has been proved between business returns and technology investments.

These days, a lot of business is taking place online, in real time, through social channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. By investing in a holistic, modern CRM solution, insurance companies can seamlessly integrate diverse customer data originating from a variety of sources including social media - at the same time, the quantity as well as ‘issue resolving’ quality of calls that agents can handle on a per hour basis witness a boost.

4. Social ‘listening’
Insurance companies can pick up important business cues by scrutinizing customers’ social media profiles and thereafter streamline their offerings more intuitively. Understanding this, several insurers are going all out to adopt social technology rapidly so that they are well equipped to pursue fruitful projects. By closely monitoring social networks to check for favourable mentions, and also attend (in real time) to distraught clients in need of urgent assistance, insurance organizations show that they are actually “listening”. Direct linkages between social platforms and CRM solutions help achieve all of this and more. Some of the other significant benefits of Insurance CRM:

  • A CRM solution provides instant access to all the requisite customer data at just the touch of a button, thereby enabling insurance companies to offer superior and extremely professional services to their clientele at all times.
  • Since every employee is armed with exhaustive and up-to-date information at any given point in time, they are empowered to offer customers the right information as and when required. Customers therefore appreciate the reliable services and stay loyal to the organization.
  • Document management (forms, offers, minutes of meetings, reports, contracts, letters etc.) is made a lot easier with CRM software. By enabling the storage of various kinds of documents in a central database, CRM systems help internal as well as external employees to access any document as per their need and convenience. The speed and ease with which documents can be managed and found, largely elevates workforce efficiency.
  • An insurance CRM solution helps link all departments and subsidiaries to a single knowledge database. Insurance companies comprise of a huge network of branches, field personnel, and numerous independent advisors. All of them need constant access to a centralized information repository that contains comprehensive, complete and updated data.

CRM systems help consolidate and centrally store scattered information, thus allowing subsidiaries and departments to have quick and easy access to the same information at any given time.

Having understood the fundamental advantages of CRM in the overall insurance industry, let us take a look at how CRM software specifically benefit the Life Insurance and P&C Insurance sectors.

Life insurance

  • Speed and real time collaboration: CRM solutions assist in faster resolution of cases and also in increasing underwriting throughout the organization.
  • Driving sales growth: An integrated and all round customer view made possible by a CRM software helps in highlighting crucial sales opportunities among new leads as well as existing clients. 
  • Management of claims and policies: CRM software when utilized in the life insurance segment help in achieving a centralized policy information view. This view which is shared across the various product lines and departments, can then be leveraged to create better marketing strategies and also for trend analysis.
  • Document management: Insurance document management systems that are surfaced in CRM software bring about a seamless experience for insurance personnel.
  • Systematized marketing: With a comprehensive CRM solution in place, an insurance company can create unified, multi-channel marketing campaigns. Simplicity in tracking responses and close rates is also made possible. A standardized customer view helps streamline marketing efforts with a single voice, and targets for ROI enhancements can be easily reached.
  • Multi-system integration: Customized and existing application systems and underwriting policies can be integrated with a single, complete customer view.
  • Performance management: CRM solutions not only help bring about a 360 degree customer profile view, but also an all round agent profile view. The systems create clearer visibility into each interaction – be it phone calls, emails, call reports, tasks, appointments, etc. Further, agency visits throughout the company are simply compiled into a single customer view. All the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which are stored across varying, multiple systems can be easily and wholly integrated enabling dynamic measurement of various aspects – such as performance by line of business, agency segmentation, loss ratio, historical agency data, submissions and premiums year-to-date, net promoter scores and a lot more.

Property & Casualty (P&C) Insurance
The above mentioned advantages outlined for Life Insurance apply to P&C Insurance as well. Apart from this the following additional benefits are also achieveable with CRM success:

  • Consolidated policy holder information: CRM solutions help identify important connections between household members and policy holders. CRM also brings about the requisite integration between sales, marketing and service departments/functions thereby allowing service representatives and agents to access information across various departments, channels, product lines and/or intermediaries at amazing speed.
  • Exclusive business entity models: A good insurance CRM solution helps build exclusive business entity models that bring greater visibility into the connections between policies, agencies, agents, household members and clients. The consolidated customer view helps in efficacious deployment of CRM strategies designed specifically to suit to needs of the insurance industry.

In the insurance industry, CRM solutions bring about prolific transformations from being policy-centric to becoming agent and customer centric organizations. CRM software enable insurance companies to have an all-round customer view and thereby conduct sales, marketing and customer service activities more effectively and efficiently.

Contemporary, forward-looking insurance companies are more than willing to embrace modern CRM technologies and approaches; and revise their existing business practices so that operating costs can be lowered, revenues can be significantly boosted, and absolute customer satisfaction can be achieved. This is because the insurance industry now understands that in order to reap handsome rewards, intelligent management of risks is an imperative. For every industry in general and the insurance industry in particular, not taking timely action to battle with a difficult economy and dynamic market conditions is by far, the biggest of all risks.