There’s no getting around it – when it comes to the insurance industry new customer channels are continuing to pop up.
Although many customers still use independent agents and call centers, many policyholders are looking to conduct business online and via their mobile devices, according to an article in Insurance & Technology.
And that means insurers have to move to online and mobile channels to satisfy their customers.
While moving to these new channels can do much to improve business, it can also create some unique challenges, one of which revolves around collecting customer contact data, according to the article.
The reason: Insurers are no longer relying on their trained workers to enter customer data. Rather they have to depend on the policyholders to enter their information accurately.
The problem is that the increasing number of channels within insurance organizations is hurting data quality. In fact, 94% of organizations believe that their customer and prospect data might be inaccurate in some way, according to a survey by Experian QAS.
On average, respondents believe that as much as 17% of their data might not be accurate. And 27% of respondents don’t really know how much of their customer information is inaccurate, indicating that some organizations aren’t monitoring data quality carefully enough.
And a reliable data analysis depends on accurate data.
It’s critical for insurers to figure out how to improve the accuracy of their contact data across channels, particularly in digital channels that they don’t control. It’s important because that data helps them with rate quoting, risk analysis, marketing campaigns and overall business intelligence, according to the article. Because of that it’s crucial that the information is accurate as it’s being collected.
One way insurers can ensure that the contact data is accurate is to eliminate the possibility for human error, which is the main cause of poor data quality, with 65% of respondents in the Experian survey noting this as the main cause for data inaccuracies.
Here are three ways insurers can combat the issue of inaccurate data:
1. Identify Data Entry Points. Insurers have to understand how information enters their systems and through what means. “Consider all channels and data entry points so a full data workflow can be created,” the article notes. “Then prioritize projects based on high volume channels or excessive data quality errors.”
2. Utilize Automated Verification Processes. Insurers have to implement software solutions in various channels to prevent inaccurate data, like poor address and email contact details, from being entered into their systems. “Incorporating software solutions is the only way to ensure information self-entered by untrained users is accurate,” according to the article. “Figure out what data is most important to the business and evaluate and prioritize available solutions.”
3. Implement Solutions That Continually Clean Data. Insurers should regularly monitor their databases. “Even with software tools at the point-of-capture, regular database maintenance is required,” the article notes. “Regular cleansing allows insurers to review information and make sure installed tools are still effective in managing data to the expected level of quality.”
Insurers that take these simple steps can ensure that these new channels are convenient for consumers, and that they supply accurate and reliable information to the business.
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Spotfire Blogging Team