• Monday, May 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

Consumers want to see more vibrancy, increased response in firms operations

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Technology is the in-thing now and any business that wants to get customer loyalty must respond to the demands of the time. So, technology savvy insurance customers will not sit to wait for paper receipts to confirm that the premium they have paid has been received. They want to get alerts that their money has reached the right place.

If this happens, the customer is certain his money is safe; time is managed and there is extra value in the business transaction chain. This going forward will drive the life business and insurance products can begin to mean much to the mass populace as interest in insurance get increasing by the day.

Like the new order in the banking industry where customers get alert on debit and credit transactions on their account, insurers must also up their game in service delivery to deliver same.

Consequently, this will require that insurance companies continue to improve their IT infrastructure to address many of the challenges the customers go through to transact insurance business.

Though majority of the insurance companies have adopted the “Debit Mandate” approach where direct deductions are made from their bank accounts and transferred to the insurance company, it is only proper that the insurers also notify the customer that they have received money on his behalf for premium of a particular period, analysts said.

According to the analysts, it is not enough that the insurance companies should rely on bank alerts alone; it should initiate similar alerts and this will automatically take care of difficulties experience from premium reconciliation between customers and insurers.

Owolabi Salami, executive director, CrystaLife Assurance plc said “ we don’t have a choice but to make our customers happy with our services.” Salami said the insurance companies must as matters of priority improve communication channels with the consumers, stating that this is the only way you can win their trust and confidence.

He said while effort is being made to adopt appropriate technology that would profile agents, it is safer that customers pay agents with cheque rather than cash.

Salami is also hopeful that with adoption of cashless policy in the country’s insurance industry through the use of premium recharge cards or other forms of credit cards for insurance distribution, many of the challenges which customers had to suffer with agents would become a thing of the past.

Julie Gallagher in his presentation “Insurance and Technology: Customer Consolidation” asks why more underwriters are not stepping up to differentiate themselves with the kind of personalised services that will keep customers coming back for more? But as more vendors respond to insurers’ legacy plight with customer data integration (CDI) solutions, the time for customer data consolidation is now, he said.