Does your loss control team struggle to reach all the customers they would like to?
For most insurance organizations, the answer is yes. The majority of companies are looking to increase customer engagement, in part due to the mounting evidence that increased engagement leads to increased customer retention, higher profit margins, and increased referral business. Due to the very nature of the business, the insurance industry is typically a low customer touch-point industry and has experienced significant struggles when it comes to engaging customers. A 2017 Bain & Company survey of over 172,000 policyholders in 20 countries found just half of customers had any contact with their insurers, for any reason, in the past 12 months. In insurance risk control, engaging and understanding your customers not only provides the typical benefits of increasing retention, cross selling opportunities and referral business – consultants are able to directly impact policyholders’ risk profiles and decrease their likelihood of loss.
For loss control professionals, engaging customers has traditionally meant visiting them for an in-person consultation. This is changing as more insurance organizations are realizing the host of benefits that result from engaging their policyholders, as well as the wide variety of approaches available to do so. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some cost-effective methods loss control teams are leveraging to increase their reach and policyholder engagement.
Online Resource Center
Having an online risk control resource center is not a novel idea for most insurance organizations, and for good reason. A resource center enables your team to reuse and distribute significant amounts of content without the need to spend time delivering that content to each individual policyholder. A resource center also provides the flexibility to utilize the most appropriate form of content, whether that is training videos, safety program templates, technical documentation, blogs, or simple tips & tricks.
If your organization already has a resource center in place, the question becomes, what are you doing to promote it and ensure utilization? Do you promote the resource center to all new clients? Is it featured in any of your email communications? Is it easily accessible through your company website? Do have any data on which resources are being used, or your customers’ awareness of resources? To answer ‘yes’ to some of these questions, you may need to involve your marketing team. That’s okay – they should be happy to help, particularly if you articulate the variety of ways in which loss control can be leveraged as a competitive advantage. If you’re interested in learning more on that subject, you can check out our whitepaper here.
Several organizations today, including Church Mutual and EMC Insurance, are leveraging the concept of an insured email newsletter. These are typically filled with a variety of content including quick tips and articles, as well as links to more in-depth material in your online resource center. Newsletters are a great way to increase the distribution of your existing resources without necessitating a great deal of additional effort. If done well, they have the added benefit of keeping the organization top of mind as a trusted resource in case your customers should have any questions or require training.
Webinars & Video Conferencing
Webinars provide an opportunity to reach many policyholders simultaneously while maintaining a personal, human feel thanks to webcam video sharing and live question responses. If you record your webinar, you can continue to realize value by making it available in your resource center, as demonstrated by organizations such as AIG, Protective Insurance and Encon. Even for meetings with a specific policyholder, video conferencing tools such as GoToMeeting, Zoom, or Cisco Webex can save your consultants time by eliminating the need to travel in some cases, while still providing the ability to have a video ‘face-to-face’, share screens, documents, and answer questions. Video conferencing will of course not eliminate the need for on site assessments and certain types of meetings, but for a department feeling low on time or resources, it is certainly an avenue worth considering.
Risk Control/Safety Call Center
During the 2018 Loss Control Summit, Eric Bourquin, Vice President of Safety Services at Texas Mutual Insurance Company, delivered an engaging presentation on ways in which Texas Mutual is working to increase their reach and improve service within the small business segment. Among the approaches outlined was Texas Mutual’s Safety Services Support Center, with a call center being an important component. At this call center trained safety consultants conduct a variety of initiatives, including: taking inbound safety calls and emails, discussing safety programs and hazards unique to the policyholder’s industry, discussing online safety and training resources, conducting specialized calls on subjects such as return to work programs, and reaching out to new policyholders to help advise them of existing online resources. In 2017 Texas Mutual’s call center team was able to reach approximately 5000 policyholders via phone conversations. This approach has proven to be a highly effective method for improving service and increasing touchpoints with policyholders.
Insured Self Assessment
Traditionally, the concept of a risk control survey has necessitated an in-person visit from a consultant. In-person surveys are not going anywhere soon, for several reasons. Risks are often complex, require confirmation and audit from a consultant, or a personal discussion is needed to assess the safety culture of an organization – to name just a few. However, due to the high cost of a visit, time consuming nature and more, it is unrealistic for teams to visit all policyholders.
Risk control teams are increasingly exploring the concept of ‘self survey’. By having accounts that would not receive an in-person consultation complete a self assessment, loss control teams can reach and triage accounts, identifying outliers and risks that may warrant additional follow up or an in-person visit. In addition to expanding reach and increasing the data available for use by several departments, this approach is extremely cost effective. If you’d like to learn more about how RCT’s Insured Portal and Self Survey capabilities can be leveraged by your business, view our news release here or contact us now.
Maximize Efficiencies & Eliminate Bottlenecks
Discussing inefficiencies and workflow bottlenecks can undoubtedly be dry. However, it remains an important conversation, particularly for many loss control teams that find themselves plagued by inefficient manual processes and administrative burden. By eliminating or reducing time spent on these tasks, teams can spend more time on important visits and other value add initiatives. Below you will find a few of the most common bottlenecks we have found to be pervasive throughout the industry.
Report & Letter Generation
Many teams today are manually writing their reports and letters, rather that leveraging configurable templates than can automatically pull relevant account, survey and contact data from a centralized loss control system. The inefficiency of this is further amplified when using the same data to generate multiple reports for different stakeholders, such as underwriting and the insured.
Appointment Scheduling & Planning
Loss control consultants often spend a great deal of time planning their visits. Evaluating priorities, contacting the insured, checking deadlines, planning map routes – all of these can add up quickly to become significant time wasters. Thankfully, modern loss control system can automatically handle the majority of this work based on pre-determined, configurable rules.
Recommendation Follow Up
Many carriers today still choose not to follow up on the majority of their recommendations, often simply because it is a time-consuming endeavor when handled manually. Today’s risk control systems can automate or drastically streamline the majority of time wasters inherent in recommendation follow up, including: tracking overdue recommendations, email follow up and reminders, updating compliance information, uploading compliance photos and more.
There is no ‘silver bullet’ to solve all of the difficulties loss control teams face when trying to increase their reach and customer engagement. Every organization is unique and depending on your unique situation, some of the approaches outlined in this blog may work better than others. However, we are confident that by leveraging these techniques appropriately and in combination, you will be well on the way to maximizing the reach of your team.
If you’d like to learn more about how RCT helps organizations increase policyholder engagement and retention, click below to get in touch!