Document Management Difficulties Hamstring Insurers’ Customer Experience Progress –Forrester Report

Owing to fashion and legacy system limitations, insurers CX programs demonstrate a bias to channels such as mobile websites and apps, and often with a marketing rather than a customer experience mindset.

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Executives at Insurers and other financial services companies believe that success hinges on providing a competitive, technology-driven customer experience (CX), but technical challenges and prioritizing of digital channels are impeding modernization of document-based customer communications, according to a new Forrester Consulting report, “Overcome Document Communication Roadblocks to Boost Customer Experience,” commissioned by GMC.

The study, based on a 2015 online survey of 150 IT decision-makers at financial services companies in France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S., found that although many financial services firms believe that the document communication experience plays a crucial role within the larger CX strategy, it is often displaced among a company’s modernization priorities by initiatives directed at mobile channels, such as mobile websites and apps, desktop websites and tablet apps.

Document-Based Experiences Sidelined

“Widely used artifacts like bills and account statements do not get the same customer experience attention they deserve,” the study says. “As a result, document-based communication is often sidelined due to legacy systems and ineffective processes to ensure content produced is accurate and relevant.”

Forrester found that 77 percent of respondents had a clear vision of the type of experience they intend to deliver to customers, and an identical proportion said they know who is responsible for customer experience quality in their organizations. And even higher percentage (79%) said that their firms are weaving CX considerations into the firm’s decision-making processes. Eight-five percent said that the ability to deliver seamless experiences is either critical to their overall CX strategy and business goals or very important.

However, many companies’ CX programs have limited their application of best practices to only a segment of the full customer experience value chain, the study found. Most demonstrate a bias to channels such as mobile websites and apps, and often with a marketing rather than a CX mindset, according to Forrester.

When asked how much of a priority improving customer experience was for a given channel, respondents answered 57 percent for mobile website and 53 percent for mobile apps, as compared to 45 percent for billing statements, 41 percent for policy production, and 39 percent for quote and proposal development.

Legacy System Limitations

Document-based CX improvements tend to be impeded by legacy system limitations, according to the study. Nearly half of respondents said that their technology platforms don’t let them integrate documents into multichannel communications. Over a third said that it would take expensive changes to core systems to improve matters. “Executives don’t seem eager to make such investment,” the study notes. “Forty-eight percent of the people in our survey said that their firms have more important priorities than updating older technology platforms.”

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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