How close are insurers to their customers in the digital world?

The Insurance Benchmark 2016 shows how insurers align their activities in the digital world with the changing customer needs, thus creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

Being close to the customer in terms of space, time and emotions is the cornerstone of a trusting relationship. Insurers are required to know at any time where their customer is, what drives him, what his concerns are. This is the only way to link their communication to the customer's situation so that their information becomes relevant. Relevance is created by linking individual needs of the customer with the situational context and the content provided. When a company manages to bring relevant information to the customer at the right time via the right touch point, it reaches the customer and he feels understood and cared for.

The Unic benchmark assesses to which extent insurers create digital experiences which make the customer feel that his needs are being noticed. The aim is to identify the development potential of the entire industry as well as individual differentiation potentials.

To this end, the online and mobile offers of Swiss and German insurers were analyzed with regard to their customer focus.

The study is based on understanding that digital customer focus is reflected in three dimensions: customer experience, interactivity and mobile user journey. The more emotional a customer experience designed by an insurance company is, the more helpful interactive services it offers, and the more mobile it is, the closer it gets to the customer.

Customer experience

In recent years, many insurers have invested in the visual design of their websites. In almost all of the examined companies, the website is visually matched to the brand: the CI / CD is consistently implemented, which strengthens the recognition value. But visual design does not always have a uniform, consistent structure, nor does it support user guidance and orientation everywhere yet.

Interactive services

It is becoming more and more important to insurance companies to involve the customer in their core processes, not only in order to save costs. Many insurers have recognized that customers desire more self-service and convenience, both with regard to loss notification and premium calculation.

Mobile User Journey

Great popularity of mobile devices and availability of high-performance mobile Internet networks are providing access to insurers' information on the go. Many Swiss insurers have taken this into account and implemented mobile-optimized versions of their websites or responsive presentations, which also support an emotional customer experience independently of the end device. In most cases, mobile websites are designed as an information and sales channel rather than as a service channel. In Germany, the maturity of the mobile websites is significantly less advanced.

Possible approaches to differentiation

Many insurers have ventured a big step forward on their digital journey towards the customer. Some have already invested in emotional worlds of experience in the digital world. This pays off: the customer feels addressed and cared for. In a business as trust-based as insurance, this success factor is particularly important. Many companies are now working on new structuring and preparation of their information so that the customer does not lose himself in it.

As regards design elements such as navigation design, contact-making options and online loss notification, best practices or standards have emerged, which insurers can use as orientation. They offer little potential for differentiation, but customers have high expectations in this regard, because the majority of companies have already aligned their customer experience accordingly.

Still, insurers can set themselves apart and find space for gaining competitive advantage in areas such as visual design, content design, configuration of premium calculators and presentation of mobile user journeys.

"The digital channel has become a central station on the customer journey. However, mechanisms used to build trust in the offline world cannot be transferred to the digital world, so new ways are needed to create customer proximity."

Our offering:

  • Analysis of online and mobile offers by Swiss and German insurers regarding their customer focus
  • Identification of the development potential of the entire industry
  • Positioning instrument
  • The basis for the reflection and further development of digital services
  • Identification of possible differentiation potentials