Customer journey mapping:10 tips for the insurance industry

| 13 Jun 2017

Accurate and representative customer journey mapping helps in making the right strategic decisions at the right time in future transactions. This personalisation and targeted marketing is key to improving the customer experience. Here are 10 customer journey mapping tips for the insurance industry from the International Quality & Productivity Center (IQPC).

  1. Start with the customer, not the system.

Insurers should not log what they assume their client does, instead they need to track the activities and behaviour that are actually occurring. Customers need to be “followed” through their journey and theories put into practice with testing initiatives. By tracking the actual trail of the customer, companies can see exactly where things go wrong and how to enhance occurrences where things go right.

2. Segmenting: Capture the right data and examine it in the right way.

Start with using only some customer data, instead of having it all at once – for example the name and a relevant event – birthday or festive season. Then behaviours and preferences can be tracked to further target personalisation. For instance, some firms manage to categorise customers into positive, neutral or skeptical. Other fields of interest include age, gender, social media activity, preferred communication channel etc, to help the insurer in its recommendations.

3. Go deeper to find hidden touch points.

Get to the details and granularity. Listen to the customer at touch points and deploy analytical feedback to observe and capture behaviours, especially at a crucial touch point in the customer journey.

4. Locate the bleeding and equip staff to stem it.

Where journeys are not going well, ask where the bleeding occurs and how it can be stopped quickly. It is important to identify where in the cycle issues are likely to occur so staff can be empowered to correct it quickly. Sometimes processes that are employed with the best of intentions in fact disturb the customer journey.

5. When the pain hits, ditch the jargon.

Forget jargon and heavy communication methods. For example, if bad news has to be delivered that one can’t quote for a policy or pay a claim, avoid hiding behind corporate wordings. Explain the situation simply and clearly to the client, and look to offer suggestions.

6. Listen to staff.

Front line employees have extensive knowledge about customer behaviour due to frequent client interactions. They can contribute suggestions on how to optimise the customer journey. For this to occur silos may need to be broken and certain ideas tested to measure their impact.

7. Customers crave availability, accessibility and seamless interactions.

There isn’t one route customers use to locate an insurer or choose to interact with an insurer, and it follows that one should not rely on a single channel, e.g. referrals. Ensure that inbound leads from a range of sources can be followed up on, to broaden the options customers can have to interact. This will also alleviate inefficiencies.

In addition, more customers are expecting to be able to take steps in their journey outside of usual working hours. Consider B2B services that facilitate out of hours communications, such as virtual assistants.

8. Use patterns to pre-empt behaviours.

Although each journey is likely to be different, there will be common patterns within a demographic to help shape prioritisation and decision making on how best to support the customer journey. This may incorporate timings of activities and what platforms or interactions should be used. Patterns can help in forecasts, so that one can be proactive in dealing with customers.

9. How does this experience align with your internal organisational structure?

Insights from the mapping need to be integrated into the business via analytics functions so the findings can be used. Looking at your delivery models and their metrics, are these aligned with what you have identified as the average customer journey, or does it clash and stifle it in places? What do you need to change to correct it?

10. Don’t leave your map in a drawer, keep it agile.

It is important to have continuous improvement with journey mapping. Socialise your journey mapping to some of your customers for feedback from a variety of touch points and scenarios. Systems may need to be put in place to enable this feedback loop. This way insurers can see if the mapping is representative of reality. Also, updates should be made to optimise the mapping and the KPIs used.

The above is extracted from an IQPC report, Taking Customer Journey Mapping To The Next Level.