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The Importance of Having a Single View of Your Customers in 2019

An interview with Jackie Vergne, Director of Customer Success

While the terms “Customer One View” or “Customer 360” have been around for many years, organizations across all industries continue to struggle to develop a true single view of their customers.

These days, the definition of what exactly constitutes a “Customer One View” continues to evolve including the addition of AI technology. So, what does this mean to insurers, their customers, and prospective customers?

Frank Sentner of Sentwood Consulting sat down with Jackie Vergne, who recently joined Aureus Analytics as the Director of Customer Success, to discuss her experience as an Operations Executive.

The Interview

Frank: Jackie, what exactly does the term “Customer One View” mean to an insurer?

Jackie: From my experience, the term “Customer One View” or “COV” to an insurer means having a single view of the entire customer’s portfolio from the time they came on board, up to present time, including any interactions, conversations, communications, claims, etc. This provides a holistic view of the history of the client.

The insurer now has the ability to view the entire profile so they can understand the varying risks on an individual and business level and make appropriate decisions and recommendations. Having one view makes it easier to engage and provide excellent service both personally and commercially to establish and maintain relationships.    

Frank: What are the key attributes of a true Customer One View (COV)?

Jackie: Most importantly, key attributes of a true COV are the relationships you build with your clients over time. COV provides a complete view of all status requests and the history of all customer interactions from multiple sources in one area, resulting in a seamless process. This leads to great service, better retention, higher conversion rates, additional products, and building a customer journey by making improvements for future customer interactions.

The Importance to Insurers and Policyholders

Frank: Why is having a single view of a customer or policyholder so important for insurers?

Jackie: Having the complete history of all client interactions in one place improves customer service by making it easier to service them. Today, many organizations still have to go to multiple business units to pull data to create their version of “one view.” This leads to delayed communication, lack of uniformity across departments and inconsistent feedback to the customer.

A single view helps underwriting when making decisions on pre-renewal, non-renewal, recommendations, or requirements. Agents, account executives, and customer service representatives all benefit by knowing the client’s history and can ask the proper questions, offer additional products, and make sure they are adequately insured to prevent coverage gaps.

Frank: Why is having a single view of a customer or policyholder so crucial to the customer? 

Jackie: Customers want to feel appreciated and valued when they make contact, and they don’t want to have to retell their story every time they call to talk to their insurer. There is nothing worse than having to repeat prior conversations and starting from scratch on every situation. A single view ensures one unified view of the client’s portfolio resulting in policy handling efficiency and will build trust and credibility with the carrier or agency. This is invaluable to the customer, resulting in higher customer engagement.

Enterprise CRM and Agency Management Systems

Frank: Many insurers have made an investment in an enterprise-wide CRM system such as Salesforce.com for their customer service centers. Do these systems provide a COV for all their policyholders? 

Jackie: Many CRMs that exist today have limitations as far as storing policy data and other valuable information regarding complaints, service center requests, etc. The old legacy systems that manage various information make it difficult to share data and are outdated and inflexible. This makes it difficult to maintain information related to a single COV. In fairness, CRM systems were not designed for insurance which is very complex.

Frank: What about agency management systems that insurers have invested in?

Jackie: Agency management systems are purchased with the intention of providing one view. Over time, a new management system will be purchased to replace the old. It may be too expensive to migrate the old data to the new system, so now the insurer will have two sources of historical data, and this continues. The historical data remains on the old legacy systems, and it becomes difficult to view this information, so the insurer loses this connection with the client.

Many agency management systems are not easy to work with and require multiple steps for very specific functions, and one view functionality is still not visible.   

Frank: Do CRM and Agency Management Systems provide real-time or static information?

Jackie: Each CRM and Agency Management System provides different features. There are many cost factors including static or real-time, number of users, and deployment type (cloud-based or on-premises solutions). While there are many customized solutions, it is also based on specific job titles, authority level roles, security, and proprietary information within each strategic business unit.

The Top 5 Business Benefits

Frank: From your experience, what are the top 3 – 5 business benefits of having a COV?

Jackie: Any organization that decides to have a COV will have a competitive advantage.

  1. Decisions can be made near real-time or within a very short time because all the information is at your fingertips
  2. There is uniformity within the organization as well as accuracy and compliance. This results in increased productivity and profits by getting more work done
  3. Reduction of costs for system upgrades by eliminating or reducing custom applications
  4. Complete visibility that allows you to be alerted when something needs attention. For example, if someone decides to reduce coverage on their insurance, resulting in a coverage gap on an existing umbrella policy, the insurer will be notified

Challenges Solved and Opportunities Pursued

Frank: What challenges are insurers facing that a COV can solve?

Jackie: To name a few: errors, retention, customer satisfaction, delayed timeframes, possible coverage gaps in insurance, credibility, increased expenses, competition, inaccurate information (time correcting errors, insurance department complaints, apologizing to customers for wrong information). 

Frank: What new opportunities can a COV help an insurer pursue?

Jackie: Additional products and sales, customer loyalty and brand awareness of the company, referral business, retention, profitability, customer excellence, credibility, increased profits, automation, consolidation of client information, uniformity, building a picture of a client’s behavior (risk assessment, pricing, analysis), more effective marketing tools and campaigns. 

This is the first in a series of blog articles and webinars about how household analytics can help insurers improve the customer experience for their policyholders and agents.

Interested in learning how household analytics can help you better understand your customer? Click on the link below to get more information.

More Information

Jackie Vergne
Jackie Vergne
Jackie is a senior operations executive with over 20 years of experience in global multi-line property and casualty insurance companies. She has made significant contributions by strengthening the financial, competitive, operational, and client service performance of insurance businesses. In her previous roles, Jackie held various operations and underwriting positions with Franklin Mutual Insurance, Swyfft, Duck Creek Technologies, Chubb, Selective Insurance, Fireman’s Fund, and State Farm.

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