Customer Intelligence – Leveraging Social Media to Improve Customer Satisfaction

LoyaltyCustomer satisfaction for Property and Casualty (P/C) insurers has been on the slide over the past few years for many reasons, but most notably due to increased premiums driven by natural catastrophes.  Carriers can work to offset these premium increases by improving upon the intangible values policyholders receive, such as customer satisfaction.  Improving customer satisfaction can be supported by improving upon Customer Intelligence.  Customer Intelligence is the process of collecting relevant and timely information about customers and prospects, consolidating the data from all the different sources into a cohesive structure and providing the sales, service and marketing with tools that can leverage this intelligence.

Insurers must begin to look at ways to respond to customer needs outside the old fashioned methods of phone and email, and embrace the social media outlets.  Most carriers look at social media as a marketing tool but used well, it is much more of a relationship, loyalty and service tool.  Many carriers already have a Facebook page and Twitter account to disseminate information and respond to complaints posted directly to them, but the most damaging words are those posted where the carrier does not respond because they do not even know they exist.  Integrating with social monitoring tools can help carriers avoid these situations, creating a competitive advantage.

Carriers need to be able to serve their customers in the channels they wish to be served in, and helping customer service representatives to address issues early, before they become a costly live call or a crisis, can decrease CSR expenses.

The first step to monitoring social media is actively listening, using tools that provide real time alerts on relevant mentions, questions and discussion topics that should be responded to, then route them to the appropriate responder.

Imagine how impressed a customer will be, when they are contacted in response to a tweet that was posted after a bad claims experience.  Carriers can capitalize on opportunities to turn negative feedback into positive, if they take advantage of the chance to make things right with the customer.

In addition to providing this service level response involving their own interests, carriers can extend this service to assist their top tier agencies as well, and educate them on the proper way to interact online.  While policyholders may jump carriers, they are generally loyal to their agency, and if carriers can help protect their agencies, they may find more, and better, risks on their books from those agencies. Conversely, it can also provide an opportunity for carriers to rethink some of the agencies they work with, if they consistently find negative feedback about them related to their support of their policyholders.

With carriers and agents working together, marketing executives can provide management with overall reports on social media sentiment, issues and the activity metrics for agents and their customer service organization.

This is the initial step of a broader goal to create a robust Customer Intelligence framework that allows P/C insurers to listen, connect, analyze, respond and market to customers in a much more proactive and targeted way, leveraging the new communication channels Social Media provides.

The next step becomes tracking this information within the carrier’s CRM and linking with customers’ Twitter names or Facebook accounts, to help CSR agents get a complete picture of the customer.  CRM projects are expected to be near the top of the list for many carriers in 2013 that look to get out ahead on this front and gain a better of understanding of their current customers, and the customers they are going after.

2 thoughts on “Customer Intelligence – Leveraging Social Media to Improve Customer Satisfaction

  1. In addition to leveraging social media to improve customer satisfaction, carriers and agencies may want to remember that social media can also be used to “share” customer satisfaction. Many smaller carriers and agencies may not have the workforce to dedicate to the monitoring and publication of their social media websites. What time they do have most likely needs to be spent providing the best customer service possible and making sure that no one leaves the agency unsatisfied. Looking out at some of the large carrier Facebook sites, many of the “Recent Posts by Others” are riddled with negatively and poor customer service experiences. Social media can definitely be utilized to improve customer satisfaction. However, when using social media to improve the customer satisfaction, much customer dis-satisfaction may be posted. This can result in more negativity than ever gained by the positive action taken to address the negative postings.
    Apple doesn’t do social media. Apple lacks both an official Facebook Page and a Twitter account. Apple was No. 41 brand on Interbrand’s top 100 Brands in 2005. This year it is No. 2. One might argue that Apple has benefited by ignoring the rise of Facebook and Twitter. Social Media can definitely be of benefit, however, carriers and agencies may want to focus their time providing the best customer service possible, upping the odds that the posts by others are positive. It is a tough decision to make in determining the true benefits of social media on profitability, positive marketing and customer satisfaction. Done well, using social media to communicate with customers and learn about customers can be of great value. However, creating social media sites without the proper planning and monitoring may do more harm than good. Before leaping into the social media arena, create a well laid plan for how your organization will use, monitor and respond to social media postings.

  2. Pingback: Customer Intelligence – Analyzing and Acting on the Data | Edgewater Blog

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