Data & Analytics

12:10 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

P&C and Life Outpace Health in Customer Experience

Health plan providers placed eleven spots behind P&C and life insurers in the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings.

The insurance industry is divided in the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings. While P&C and life ranked seventh this year, health plan providers landed at eighteenth – one place from the bottom.

This year’s ratings consist of 268 companies across 19 industries. Temkin Group polled 10,000 U.S. consumers to gauge their feedback on company interactions they had had within the previous 60 days. Consumers were asked to rate the functionality, accessibility and emotional experience of the interaction with each business. This includes the customers’ ability to complete their task, the ease of interacting and how the customer felt about the interaction.

Fourteen companies in P&C and life insurance earned enough responses to receive a ranking of 7th out of 19 and average rating of “okay.” The industry gained 2.6 points over the past year but earned nine in the last three years, which is the second-largest jump for all industries. USAA came in first in this category, followed by State Farm and Geico in second and third.

[Does Improving the Customer Experience Matter?]

“Those three companies have an experience rating that puts them in the ‘good’ category overall,” says Aimee Lucas, VP and customer experience transformist at Temkin Group. “What we’re seeing is they certainly outpace their competition across the board, but they definitely exceed in the accessible and emotional categories.”

Lucas notes that while mobile technology is influential, top companies go beyond tech-mindedness to acknowledge multiple customer needs. She cites the example of USAA, which takes time to ask about life changes during customer service interactions. If someone calls to make a policy change, she explains, USAA will ask what caused the change to see if they can assist in any other way.

“The company is mindful of what is going on in the customer’s life, and what they should be doing, to help them before and after the customer touchpoint,” says Lucas.

In contrast, fifteen health plan providers combined to receive a ranking of 18 and overall “poor” rating. The industry has been second-lowest for a few years now, Lucas explains, but has been making improvements and gained 1.5 points over the past year. Kaiser Permanente was the top performer and Humana shows the most year-over-year improvement.

Language has proven to be a significant barrier for health plan providers, as many consumers have difficulty understanding the complex information. Businesses must ensure their interactions are clear and understandable. Language allows the customer to engage, Lucas says, and feel like the company has a measure of empathy. Of course, it is easier for businesses such as grocery chains, which have simpler interactions, to deliver on their brand promises. Complex industries have greater difficulty with this.

Going forward, companies will have to focus on empathy in addition to technological advancements such as mobile. “The ability to demonstrate empathy and create memorable experiences will go a long way in seeing improvements in any of the three categories,” says Lucas.

[The mobile employee -- as well as the mobile customer -- are here to stay. Is your insurance company prepared? Learn how to set up and maintain a mobile infrastructure that can support today's needs and tomorrow's expected mobile demands. Attend the From BYOD to 802.11ac: How to Build A Next-Generation Mobile Infrastructure session at Interop 2014 in Las Vegas, March 31-April 4.
You can also REGISTER FOR INTEROP HERE.]

Kelly Sheridan is an associate editor for Insurance & Technology. Prior to joining InformationWeek Financial Services, she was a staff writer for InformationWeek and InformationWeek Education. Kelly has also written for trade publication Promo Marketing and a number of ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Kelly22
50%
50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
3/13/2014 | 8:49:47 PM
re: P&C and Life Outpace Health in Customer Experience
Absolutely, and that's pretty much what Aimee explained during our conversation. It's easier for health insurers to be perceived as functional, since eventually the customers' tasks do get completed. That said, I can see how they would score low on the emotional factor right now because of the way people feel towards health insurance. You have a good point though - health insurers are working on it, and hopefully they'll move up the ranks next year.
Nathan Golia
50%
50%
Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
3/13/2014 | 5:15:50 PM
re: P&C and Life Outpace Health in Customer Experience
Health insurers are working on it, though, especially given their influx of new customers vis a vis the Affordable Care Act. It's very tough for those insurers to get good ratings in this type of ranking, I believe, because people are naturally very critical of the way their health care is handled. Even the slightest misstep can sour an entire interaction.
Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Slideshows
Video