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U.K. insurers' digital customer experience left wanting
UK insurance firms need to bring themselves in line with a retailing approach to the customer experience by increasing their engagement with customers via digital and social channels, according to studies by KPMG and Eptica.
In their Customer Experience Barometer, KPMG surveyed 5,000 customers of 160 of the leading banks, insurance companies, e-retailers and utilities in the U.K., U.S., Australia, China and Germany.
The results show that the U.K. lags behind other countries when it comes to customer experience, particularly among insurance firms. Only 16% of general insurance customers and 13% of life insurance customers believe that the customer experience has improved over the last 12 months, a far lower rate than in other countries such as China where 39% of general insurance customers noted improvements.
In terms of overall experience, just a third of U.K. customers rated their general and life insurance customer experience highly, lower than in the U.S. and Germany.
"Unless a claim is made, there can be little to tell insurers apart besides price and brand. However commoditisation hasn't held online retailers back and insurers have much to learn from this sector," said Phil Smart, UK head of insurance at KPMG. "Insurers should focus on improving their customer experience at the point of contact and adopt an online retailing mentality. The proliferation of aggregators is a good example of an increasing industry shift towards an online retail-based model."
KPMG's report also notes that it is not just the use of technology that matters to customers. While self-serve customers do rate insurers based on their digital prowess, customers still place significant importance on interactions with the human face of an organization.
Another study, this time from Eptica, found that U.K. insurers are struggling to cope with the social and other online channels. While the number of customer enquiries being answered online has risen - up to 57% this year compared to 48% last year - the sector still lags behind others such as fashion retailers who answer 79% of enquiries posed online.
Image via Shutterstock
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