As we approach the end of the year, thoughts naturally turn to 2015 and the promise of new opportunities. Perhaps it’s also a good time to review our objectives, maybe even think about setting some resolutions for the New Year?

We’ve come up with three that could deliver significant improvements for the insurance market. All three are about customer focus. None of them are revolutionary or involve changing existing products.

  • Improve communication
    The insurance industry provides a wide variety of innovative products, from the simple to the complex. There are products to meet every budget and requirement, but the industry needs to explore more ways of helping the public to understand the choices already on offer. For example, thinking of effective web-based marketing, more use could be made of animation, video, and on-line help. There are many creative methods of communication that the industry could use to better engage the audience and make the understanding of products enjoyable, not hard work and boring.
  • Ensure the quote and apply process is customer friendly
    Most of us prefer to make an informed buying decision after comparing the value of the appropriate products. A quote process should be interactive and centred on the customer’s needs. It should enable a customer to compare both relevant benefits and price, quickly and easily. After a buying decision, the buying process should integrate on-line and off-line options seamlessly. For example, click-and-collect services are increasingly popular for retail; similar innovative options for buying in the digital age should be made more widely available for financial products.
  • Look after existing customers
    Too often attracting new customers is the main focus, leaving existing customers subject to poor service and sub-standard products. Investment in technology to improve the post sale process will reap huge rewards. Customer advocacy is a key element in winning new business. It starts with earning trust through honesty, fairness, and a personal service AFTER a customer has bought the product.

There are huge opportunities as a New Year beckons. Enable customers to understand the huge choice of financial products on offer and then buy easily with the confidence that they will be looked after. It sounds obvious, but it is not being done. In our view, the winners of 2015 will be those that truly put their customers at the centre of their strategy and embrace the opportunities of creative technology to engage effectively with the marketplace.