As document management has evolved into customer communications management, what does it take for insurers to produce and distribute targeted, relevant multichannel customer communications? What are some of the coming developments in document creation, output and delivery that insurers should be watching, and what must they do to capitalize on these developments?
Achieving the Full Potential of Customer Communications Management
By Stephen Applebaum, Senior Analyst, Property & Casualty Insurance, Aite Group (Boston)
Some carriers have made real progress with customer communications management (CCM) programs, and many vendors continue to bring more robust IT solutions to market. But in general the industry has yet to implement effective CCM across all channels and all departments of the enterprise -- as evidenced by inconsistent messaging, misaligned resources and low customer satisfaction. Nothing less than a coordinated, enterprisewide strategic and tactical plan owned and executed by a fully empowered IT and marketing partnership -- perfectly aligned with a carrier's business strategy (one that supports all possible bi-directional customer information exchanges/channels) -- will achieve the full potential that CCM technology now enables.
The convergence of mobile computing and instant collaboration in the hands of the "new consumers" who embrace both of these powerful forces has created a reaction that no provider of consumer products can ignore. While more traditional physical document formats still dominate and must be supported, applications for digital document creation, delivery and exchange are coming to market and being adopted as fast as they can be implemented. Progressive Insurance, for example, just introduced real-time auto insurance quoting and binding for consumers who upload mobile phone pictures of their driver's licenses, insurance cards and/or vehicle VINs. While regulators scramble to protect them and their privacy, consumers are more interested in fast and frictionless transactions -- and savings.
Insurers should establish and communicate an executive focus on a customer communication development plan that aligns business strategies with practical capabilities and consider appointing a CCM czar/cheerleader/evangelist to oversee, lead and execute the plan. Carriers must design a long-term transition plan that starts with small, visible, quick-hit projects that can demonstrate early success and will encourage the organization to move on to increasingly more difficult projects with bigger payoffs. This starts with a reassessment of all existing CCM solutions -- silos must be eliminated. Finally, insurers should formally assess the global vendor community for the best possible solution fit and consider working with external resources that have demonstrated specific success in this area to help manage the process -- which also could help pollinate the required cultural shift.
Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio