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In a widely shared YouTube video, a toddler is playing with an iPad, touching the screen icons and enjoying the interaction that happens as a result. In the next scene, the toddler is playing with a print magazine. Again, she is touching the pictures, but nothing happens. The toddler seems frustrated that the magazine is “broken.”
The video exemplifies an important shift in behaviors and expectations that has occurred as a result of technological advances in general and mobile computing devices like the iPad in particular. The shift is this: People today expect immediate interaction with information presented to them.
This behavioral shift has wide-ranging implications for customer engagement and experience. And in a document-centric industry like insurance, it cannot be ignored. Gone are the days when insurance customers will be satisfied to receive a lifeless PDF account statement. Reading an insurance statement and related documents (welcome kits, EOBs, etc.) isn’t typically associated with entertainment. Adding the ability to click on colorful charts or graphs of the customer’s choosing, or watching videos right on their interactive communications introduces the type of immediate engagement consumers are beginning to demand from the businesses with which they interact. This interactivity has received the name “gamification” for its game-like attributes. It takes what otherwise might be viewed by the customer as a necessary, onerous task of having to look at their statement, and enables them to “play” with their statement instead, something customers want to do.
Most Important Customer Experience Improvement
Introducing elements of gamification into insurance documents may be the single most effective way to improve a customer’s relationship with and loyalty to an insurer. A 2011 study by JWT Intelligence found that 63 percent of respondents said making everyday activities more like a game would make them more fun and rewarding. Offering communications that are dynamic is an innovative way to take something that may seem like a chore (reviewing coverage, transactions, amounts due, terms and conditions, etc.) and transform it into an engaging experience that adds value and improves the customer experience.
Dynamic communications have the potential to enhance the customer experience in several important ways, including providing:
- Deep interactive capabilities – Customers can view their insurance documents with attractive graphs and charts that can be clicked on to provide detail that is more specific, even drilling down to a granular level and varying the views with a few clicks. This interactivity improves customer education and understanding and reduces the need for customer service calls for questions or clarifications.
- A higher level of personalization – Today, it is the customer that decides what information they want to see and how they want to see it. Now your policyholder can have the ability to customize their statement so that the information most important to them, such as payment due dates, is prominently displayed.
- Accessibility online or offline – Responding to our “on the go” world, customers can interact with their dynamic insurance communications anytime, anywhere it is most convenient for them.
- Multichannel delivery options – Maximizing HTML technology, dynamic communications can be viewed on any PC, tablet, smartphone and/or other mobile device.
In addition to these important end-user benefits, dynamic communications give the organization a number of new capabilities as well, including:
- Tracking clicks and views to provide valuable insight into a customer’s interests and needs;
- The ability to use this data to present relevant, personalized offers and messages to clients — including videos — to closely target new products and services and build stronger relationships;
- Interaction with individuals through personalized surveys and live chats, all of which can be incorporated into the dynamic communications.
As the toddler in the YouTube video indicates, a generation is arising that considers interaction with information to be the norm. But even older generations are increasingly becoming accustomed interactive capabilities that enliven interactions that would otherwise be tedious. That being the case, insurers must acknowledge customers changing expectations and consider whether the days of lifeless PDFs’ days are numbered. The marketplace is proving that insurers getting the most customer stickiness are the ones that are incorporating some level of interaction into their customer experiences. Engaging insurance customers through dynamic communications will deepen relationships with them, enhance their experience with every interaction, increase loyalty and certainly differentiate your insurance organization from the competition.