Study: Winning Insurers Invest in Customers

A Merkle study found that high-performing insurance companies have completely different strategic investments than lower performers.
April 25, 2014

Customer relationship marketing (CRM) and related digital capabilities are evolving at lightning speed in insurance – so fast that it begs the question, "Do I need to keep pace or can I watch, wait and then make safer investments at a later time?"

The clear answer is that customer-centricity is today's core winning business strategy – you must invest accordingly.

Merkle recently released the results of a study focused on customer-centricity, customer value and the role of a specific set of CRM capabilities that maximize them. The study was conducted with senior-level executives (50% C-level) at US-based insurance companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, as part of a larger cross-industry study of more than 350 executives.

Uniquely, we looked for links between customer-centricity and company performance. Some of the insights we uncovered were surprising. We found that high-performing insurance companies have completely different strategic project investments and goals versus lower-performing insurance companies.

What distinguishes winning companies?

• Programs are sponsored at the CEO level or have joint sponsorship by executives just below the CEO level; programs are not just supported at the division or functional level

• CRM is a strategic way of life; investment priorities are focused and fundamentally different from lower performing companies

• Customer engagement capabilities are stronger and include customization of the customer experience

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