Digital channels will continue to play an increasingly important role in the insurance industry across the Asia Pacific region.
Ravi Malhotra, managing director, insurance strategy lead - Asia Pacific of Accenture, told Insurance Business that the continued infiltration of mobile technology into homes across the region makes a digital strategy more important than ever.
“While most distribution in China and the rest of Asia is still agent / broker or bank-based, digital is playing an increasing role in both sales and servicing,” Malhotra said.
“The adoption rates are particularly high in China but digital is a key force in most Asian markets.
“Digital is essential to deliver the desired customer experiences.”
Malhotra noted that markets in South East Asia, such as Indonesia and Vietnam, still have a low level of internet penetration but mobile technology is still prevalent. This means that for insurers and brokers in the region, “digital is essential for reach.”
Social media will also prove to be important for insurance businesses in the future, as Malhotra stressed that online information and communication will be vital as consumers use online channels for research.
“Customers also want to choose how they interact with you, so multi-channel options are also critical.”
Malhotra advised that businesses should use data to their advantage to lessen the pain points that they have with customers and help boost retention rates.
“Take a customer centric lens to the way you operate – are you designed based on company needs or customer needs?
“Sometimes we don’t realise that we make it difficult to inquire, buy, or use a product, which t is really frustrating for customers.”
The 11th annual Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey found that in China 83% of consumers have switched providers due to poor customer service but only 27% of consumers will not return to a provider.
“Insurance businesses need to recognise that you can significantly improve retention by listening to and acting upon customer feedback,” Malhotra said.
“The influence of digital is here to stay and cannot be ignored.”
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