Insurers Can Capitalize on Web Customer Service: Poll

Insurers offer consumers a number of ways to connect with them—like phone and web services—but they aren’t doing a very good job of making that connection, according to the findings of a U.S. customer service survey.

Leading insurance providers showed “below average” overall customer service, scoring only 1.8 out of 4 in a recent eGain Communications survey. And many  insurers have failed to make the most of web services—the respondents ranked their web self-service offerings at 1.7, an improvement over 2009’s 1.3 score, but still “below average,” according to a March 25 eGain statement on the findings.

Although email customer service was ranked above average—at 2.1—the findings reveal gaps. The majority of insurers —84%–didn’t send an automatic response acknowledging web queries, and 28% ignored them altogether.

The results also show room for insurers to offer consistent broker/agent phone and web services: the respondents ranked their cross-agent experience at 1.2, a steep drop from 2.2 in 2009. Some agents take phone calls and give quotes over the phone, but others would pass off the call to another department or send clients to the company’s website.

“The research found disparities across contact center agents in answers, query handling process, business policy, and offers. For instance, some agents would cross-sell contextual offers and others would not, passing up revenue generation opportunities,” the findings note.

The eGain State of Customer Service Study evaluated self and contact centre customer service for over 175 leading U.S. and Canadian service providers.

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