Information Technology- Catalyst or Constituent for a Sustainable Business Model?
(Extract from paper by Abhay Johorey, COO, Aviva Life Insurance published in Banknet's Publication Technology In The Insurance Sector)
In today’s times when the customer is well informed, well read and wants best-in-class-service, Information Technology (IT) has a huge role to play in any business. It is not just a support function anymore but a key factor in deciding the sustainability of business.
Policy servicing is a key area which determines customer satisfaction and therefore repeat business. The products and distribution strategy can make a customer buy a product once but to ensure that the customer retains the policy, buys another policy and is an advocate for the company, one has to make every interaction an excellent overall experience for the customer. Innovation in customer services will be a key differentiator for companies in future.
A complete customer experience programme should be designed right from the point where the customer is introduced to the company to the point of purchase, to policy servicing such as endorsements and premium payment services. Also recognizing special occasions in a customer’s life, can be a differentiator that companies are always looking for. One should remember however, that often the benchmark and customer expectation is defined not just by competitors in our own industry but equally by companies in other industries.
Also recognizing special occasions in a customer’s life, can be a differentiator that companies are always looking for. One should remember however, that often the benchmark and customer expectation is defined not just by competitors in our own industry but equally by companies in other industries.
The turn around time for handling customer requests and complaints therefore should be based on the customer’s expectations and often this can be achieved by deploying innovative technology-led solutions. Web-based and SMS-based policy servicing can ensure a higher degree of satisfaction and reduce response time. Increasingly, customers benchmark their insurance companies not against other insurers but against the other world class service providers that touch their lives daily.
IT has an integral role to play through its 3 pillars - Customer Relationship Management, Business Intelligence and Data Mining.
IT has an important role to play in the success and sustainability of any insurance business. Technology is not just a ‘catalyst’ to enhance business process, it has taken on the role of a ‘thought leader’ in building the business process.
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