The foremost reason companies across any industry started buying and implementing CRM years ago was to sell more of their wares and services.
CRM made sure that sales people made the calls, followed up, kept pushing. We’ve all made the mistake of picking up the phone to an unknown but slightly familiar number that turned out to be a pushy sales call starting with a version of “I called because we spoke a few months ago and you said maybe”.
The CRM makes sure our “maybes” are never forgotten.
But CRM doesn’t only discipline sales people. It also provides clear feedback to companies when customers don’t care, don’t respond or even decide to no longer be customers.
This made everyone more attentive to what customers want in general and what individual customer groups want in particular. By providing management with hard data it drives the company to be mindful, engaged and responsive to customer demands.
Moving forward, with customer’s attention being even more split between devices and social media, knowing the customer and crowning her queen will be crucial for success.
A long held belief in enterprise IT was the myth of the monolithic core system. Have a big, powerful, all encompassing system for whatever your core business is. In insurance that’s claims and all the business logic and math needed to come up with a quote, configure and sell a product.
The monolithic part comes in when over the years insurers would want to pack supportive tools into the core solution. Useful things like billing, invoicing, reporting, document management, product configuration and workflow management.
All of this worked well because user interfaces didn’t matter much. The agents in offices or in the field knew how to use the advanced interfaces. Customers would sit on the other side of the table, nod and wait for while listening to mouse clicks in between agent’s questions and explanations. A few minutes later the agent presented a prepared, printed contract to review and sign.
Today things are different. Users want access, the option to configure and buy everything online and the power to lodge a complaint fast and have it resolved even faster. Sales partners and agencies also want access and tools, so they can integrate our offering into their channels and solutions. New features are emerging fast, built by people on the outside, such as AI recommendation helpers. Government regulations mandate stricter privacy and security features, such as for instance video authentication.
Regardless if out of a need to give users convenience, increase productivity or comply with regulations, it’s no longer practical or economical viable to keep packing everything into one or a few big systems. That’s a sure way of going out of business.
The Myth of the Monolith is dead. Long live the new option of using CRM along side the core for consolidating data, understanding customers and serving them proactively in sales, support and service delivery.
There’s a clear line of progression in implementing CRM. First to gain a unified customer database, the 360-Degree view of the customer. Next they use that information to fine tune sales, start communicating with customers and supporting them in all that is relevant to them, without things which under- of overwhelm.
Now we’re seeing that insurers who achieved these first two CRM steps expand the technology to provide insight and efficiency in claims resolution. Just like the sales person never forgets a “maybe” and the sales manager can always see how diligent and efficient the sales team is, the same power is granted to the customer when it comes to resolving claims.
Before using CRM for claims, customers would file one and then wait. The process would then unfold internally without much feedback to the customer. When using CRM for claims customers see every step of the claim resolution. They are informed, have more control and can quickly react if things move to slowly or their input is required.
The future of CRM is strong because it continues to help insurers put customers first, supports essential core technologies in a complementary and open way and makes the claims process transparent and efficient.