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January 7, 2019

3 Customer Experience Takeaways from Denim Summit 2018

The right — and wrong — ways for insurance and financial services companies to create a differentiating customer experience.

Scott Campbell DS2018

It’s going to be increasingly difficult for insurance and financial service companies to differentiate themselves based on products. That was a message shared throughout Denim Summit 2018 — and a key focus of the final keynote delivered by Scott Campbell, SVP and chief client officer at American National Insurance Company.  

“At the end of the day, our products are basically the same,” Campbell said. “You can differentiate on price, but that’s tough. Unless you have massive scale, you cannot get into that price war. Can you really differentiate on product in insurance? Not so much. It’s not an iPhone, no matter how much we want it to be. That leaves us, really, with the experience. The relationship is the main opportunity to differentiate ourselves.”

Below are three takeaways from Campbell’s presentation on creating a differentiating customer experience.

  • Customers expect real-time interaction, consistency, and understanding. Customer expectations are heavily influenced by the experiences they receive from leading digital brands like Apple and Amazon. “Consumers are used to what they’re used to, and they expect that when they come to us,” Campbell said. “They don’t care that we’re insurance companies.”

    Customers don’t want to wait three days for an insurance ID card — they want it now. They expect a seamless experience no matter what channel they use to engage with you. “They don’t want to have to keep retelling their story to you depending on what channel they’re in,” Campbell said. “And they want us to understand their unique needs. What do they really care about? How are you using data to find that?”
  • There are wrong ways to think about the customer experience. Campbell pointed out three mistakes it’s easy to make in the journey to improve the customer experience:
    1. Do more of the same.
    “There’s a big segment of the industry that’s like, ‘We’ll just double down on advertising. We’ll make more noise. We’ll just try to convince people that this is fine,’” Campbell said. “But it’s just noise, and it becomes very hard to set yourself apart in that.”
    2. Get too caught up in innovation.
    “You’re seeing companies do a lot of building these standalone innovation centers,” Campbell said. “While I think that’s good and that’s necessary, you can go too far with that. We’re trying to disrupt and innovate around something that people have a basic need for, and maybe getting it all sexy and exciting isn’t the total answer.”
    3. Disintermediate ourselves. “While I think there’s a huge opportunity with insurtech, with partnering with startups, I personally don’t think the companies that go down the path of replacing all their old-school agents and brokers with new-school agents and brokers, I don’t think that’s the way to go,” Campbell said. “That’s why we like tools like Denim. That’s a good example of a partnership to us where we’re helping our distributors reach our current and future clients better though content, through social. We like those kind of partnerships because that’s bringing us together with the client and helping us support those distributors.”
  • There is a right way to think about the customer experience. Campbell closed his keynote by outlining five imperatives to a successful client experience:

    1. Clarify and better support your distribution relationships.
    2. Align around the customer’s journey and moments of truth.
    3. Establish a collaborative customer experience discipline throughout the company.
    4. Measure and tie client experience work into the business result.
    5. Embed customer experience into the culture and help all employees understand their part in delivering on the promise made to customers.

To learn more about how Denim can help you better support your distributors and improve the experience you’re delivering to customers, schedule a demo today!

Get our latest ebook, Top Takeaways from Denim Summit 2018