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Explicit vs. Implicit Feedback in Insurance

Today, customers expect a personalized, unique experience.

Millennials not only expect a superior experience but also expect their service provider to know in advance about the kind of treatment they prefer to receive. A critical step in delivering a unique experience is to know what your existing customers think about you and your services.

How do you determine what your customers think on a daily basis when you have tens or hundreds of thousands of customers? And how do you make this information available to your service center or call center agents?

The Movement from Explicit to Implicit Feedback

The traditional approach to understanding what your customers feel and experience has been to ask for their feedback using various methods including:

  • Surveys

  • Net Promoter Score

  • Customer Satisfaction

  • Voice of the Customer

These methods are commonly known as “Explicit Feedback.”

The service provider is explicitly asking the customer – “Let me know what you like, and what you don’t so that we can improve our services.”

These methods have proven to be very useful in the past. However, today they do not remain as effective as they were due to a variety of reasons:

  • The average response rates to such surveys are no more than 8-10%

  • It’s highly unlikely that the customers who responded to the surveys are a good representation of the entire book of customers

  • The customers who responded tend to be the ones who have extreme experience – either very happy or very unhappy. This builds a response bias into the feedback dataset

For insurers, this problem is more severe as compared to other industries like banking and retail because insurers have far fewer touchpoints with their customers. Therefore, there are less opportunities to ask the customers what they need and then have the ability to deliver on those requests.

Insurers should continue to ask for explicit feedback using customer surveys but relying on these surveys alone is not enough in 2019. So how do you develop an accurate understanding of how your customers are feeling on an on-going basis?

Leveraging Implicit Feedback - The Modern Approach

Aureus Analytics | Explicit vs Implicit FeedbackWith today’s advanced technologies at our disposal, a more effective way is for insurance carriers to leverage the internal and external data already at their disposal to understand the exact experience that every single customer is experiencing - without having the ask them about it.

This approach is commonly known as “Implicit Feedback.”

With implicit feedback, you can gain insights into your customer’s journey experience without having to reach out to them via surveys.

This technique has several advantages over Explicit Feedback:

  • You can reduce or eliminate the need to reach out to all the customers for their feedback

  • Any explicit feedback you receive from the customer can be combined with the Implicit feedback to improve the insights

  • There is very little response bias on the overall insights and patterns that are identified

  • This approach will enable insurers to be more proactive in developing their strategies and actions as compared to being reactive and waiting for customers to share their experiences before the carrier can take necessary actions.

  • Proactive actions will lead to significantly improved experience and fewer unhappy customers

Not so long ago, the technology did not exist that would enable insurers to gather implicit feedback from their customers. Today, artificial intelligence technologies not only make it possible to use implicit feedback to determine the sentiment of each customer, they also make this information easy to consume by the service center agent.


We are moving into a generation where consumers expect a very high experience level from their service providers. The only way to achieve this is by being more proactive and less reactive.

Knowing what your customers are experiencing and taking action to improve it is likely to have a direct impact on increased retention and higher lifetime value for the carriers.

Interested in learning how Aureus can help you use event-driven processes to understand your customer's journey? Click on the link below to get more information.

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Anurag Shah
Anurag Shah
Anurag Shah is CEO and co-founder of Aureus Analytics. He was the founding member and CEO for EdVenture prior to joining the leadership team at Omnitech, where he served as the COO and Head of Global Operations. Aureus Analytics is Anurag's second startup venture.

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