Insurance Supply Chain Management – where’s the hidden gold? (Final Part Three)
Welcome to the third and final part of our blog which covers the results found in our recent insurance supply chain survey. Our full report is 25 pages long so we’ve decided to share our findings and insights in three separate digestible chunks.
Part three: The moment of Truth – Claims Perfection or Resolution?
The experience of the claimant is the ‘moment of truth’ for the insurer and third party suppliers are often the only direct contact for the claimant, or have the most concentrated dealings. Most often, claimants are unfamiliar with the process, especially if it’s their first claim. They do still however expect a high level of service similar to ones they experience with more familiar consumer services such as Amazon, Sainsbury’s online or even British Gas Homecare. They will want to be guided through the process and have status updates pushed to them or easily accessible.
It is no easy task to guarantee your suppliers are treating your customers with the high level of service you would want for your brand, and this can be very difficult to monitor and quantify.
Additionally, the claims fulfilment process needs to be the right balance of service quality with speed, as a super quick settlement that doesn’t satisfy the claimants’ expectations won’t help keep your brand image and customer loyalty intact. The reverse is also true; a process that is ponderous and does not allow well informed decisions to be taken at the appropriate points won’t keep your claimant happy either.
A perfect service is not always realistic for every claim
It may not be realistic to aim for perfection during every single claim instruction. A more achievable goal would be to resolve any mistakes and problems that arise quickly and to high levels of customer satisfaction. For this to be possible, you need to enable both the insurer and the supplier to focus resources on issues by exception. Allowing for quick and clear communications to happen can help bring about a perfectly satisfactory level of service for the claimant. Furthermore, having a more visible ‘human touch’ where problems arise and are solved with understanding will generate more loyalty towards the brand that more automated responses or standard cash settlements are unable to reinforce.
Often positive feedback from customers with the highest possible ratings for service, are received when there’s been a slight service stumble and as a result the customer is kept up to date and a member of staff goes beyond the perceived ‘call of duty’ in order to rectify the situation. Managing issues by exception can be an opportunity to delight claimants and keep them renewing their policies with you.
To conclude this series of blog posts…
…Insurers and suppliers agree when it comes to the crunch!
The overall consensus was that both insurers and suppliers agree that there are benefits for all parties in having improved claims supply chain through exception management and automation, such as:
- Reduced operational costs
- Improved claimant satisfaction
This is why insurers and suppliers are actively investing in portals to streamline their own processes and improve the efficiency of communications with their supply chain partners.
But, there are some hurdles…
Having a number of partners can become complicated if each party has to logon to multiple portals and learn to navigate a number of different workflows.
It also becomes tricky for insurers to obtain the right level of data in a consistent format in order to produce meaningful management reports in a timely fashion. From a supplier perspective, having to integrate with a number of insurer portals can be resource intensive as well as expensive.
Supply chain utopia could exist!
A solution has emerged which gives the best of both worlds. AXA and Zurich have elected to use a message standard designed by ediTRACK. They have put effort into helping their suppliers to work to that same standard. More than 70 suppliers are able to automatically receive instructions and send back claim status updates in a structured and easily understood way. The standard allows each participant to continue to use their own preferred claims admin system while simplifying, automating and enhancing their external communications.
So if you are an insurer or supplier, do you have a view and how do you think this technology will progress in the future for your business?
We’d love to hear your views.
If you would like to read the full report, please contact us and we’ll send you a copy today!