Insurers ‘failing on multi-channel’

UK insurers are struggling to deliver a full multi-channel service to customers and prospects, answering just 40 per cent of routine questions asked via the web, email and Twitter.

That’s according to the 2015 Eptica Multi-channel Customer Experience Study, which found that while email performance had improved since 2014, finding answers to questions on insurer websites had become more difficult and Twitter response rates had remained static.

Software provider Eptica evaluated 10 leading UK insurers for the study, by measuring their ability to provide answers to 10 routine questions via the web, as well as their speed and accuracy when responding to email, Twitter and web chat. Overall, 50 per cent of the questions were successfully answered via email, 40 per cent on the web and 30 per cent on Twitter. Half of the insurance companies included were on Twitter, and the average response time for this channel was 8 hours and 52 minutes.

Eptica noted that although the vast majority of consumers were now researching, buying and updating their policies online and through digital channels, most insurers were not providing adequate customer service on these channels. In comparison, banks managed to answer 91 per cent of questions asked online.

Julian Sammells, the sales director for UK and Ireland at Eptica, said: “The insurance industry has been transformed by the internet, with consumers increasingly choosing the convenience and speed of digital channels when researching and buying policies. However, despite this need to be digital-first, the 2015 study found that the overall performance of insurers is no better than 2014, with wider gaps developing between best and worst. Insurance companies need to target their online investment if they are to win and retain customer loyalty in an increasingly competitive market.”

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