Building a Better UX for Insurance Customers
Associate Director, Product Design
A few years before I started working at CCC, another insurtech company in the complex space of policy administration and underwriting for commercial insurance brought me in to modernize their products and introduce design thinking methods throughout the org.
During the announcement, someone who had been there for years asked my soon-to-be boss, “Does he have any experience with insurance?”
“I really hope not,” he responded.
They were afraid to make changes because “our people rely on printed instruction manuals and if you change something, they have to reprint the manuals.” I heard comments like, “you can’t change it because those people know it’s seventeen tabs to get to that input field,” or “you think you fixed it, but they’re now complaining that it’s ruined their workaround.” These were industries that were frozen in time, thinking that their complexity was just par for the course, and that digital solutions couldn’t keep up with the level of complexity they managed day-to-day.
But we knew the truth: first, that the complexity of managing insurance claims is quickly outpacing human cognition and some of the antiquated systems that the industry had been using to manage claims. Second, that consumer expectations for their experience with insurance providers are being shaped by other experiences: Facebook, Twitter, Google, Uber, and others. Not to mention that if insurers don’t start to modernize their digital experiences, the startups are more than happy to come in and chip away at their value stream with shiny new objects. The bottom line: a strong user experience (UX) is key to an insurer’s success in today’s market.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only emphasized this issue, turning strong UX design from a nice-to-have polishing touch on a customer’s interaction with their insurer to a vital conduit for conducting business amidst unprecedented changes to the economy. Online interactions have become a critical component of a customer’s experience with their insurance provider, influencing satisfaction and loyalty.
Companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google have set the bar high for customer experiences online. J.D. Power explained it this way, “customer expectations of their insurer’s website are set based on their experiences on other sites, including non-insurance sites.” 1 We expect search functionality to work like Google, ecommerce to work like Amazon, transactions to work like Apple Pay, and social networking to feel like Facebook. Apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats have only added to this during the pandemic; we expect entire industries to deliver a seamless experience within a single platform, from finding the right food from the right local restaurant, to paying for it and having it delivered on time.
“Delivering a smooth, seamless experience for the consumer is no longer a nice-to-have—it’s a requirement,” explains John Goodson, CCC’s SVP of Development and Technology. “Our team not only focuses on the interaction between the consumer and our applications, but works hard to ensure the entire service from beginning to end is best in class.”
We see these customer expectations, especially in the insurance space, surfacing more and more, not just for the end-consumer but for our customers who are managing claims and need a digital experience that can help them manage the complexity of their work seamlessly. Recently, while showing off some new scheduling functionality in our portal, multiple customers remarked that “it felt like a modern web application.” It’s comments like these that reinforce the notion that their expectations surrounding the experience are tightly coupled to their other online experiences. They didn’t feel they were having to relearn everything any more than they would moving from Amazon to Facebook to DoorDash to Gmail.
The sense that enterprise and insurance software should be informed by modern experience design practices will only continue to grow as more and more users turn to the web and mobile for everyday communication and commerce. Consider these trends:
- US e-commerce grew 44% year-over-year in 2020, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-at-home orders.2
- The mobile e-commerce, a.k.a., “m-commerce” share of total e-commerce sales in the U.S. is expected to reach nearly 54% by the end of 2021.3
- 46% of all email is opened on a mobile device4
- Contactless mobile payments boomed in 2020, with in-store mobile payments growing 29% in the U.S.5
These trends should only push us harder to create a user experience in all of our software that mirrors the modern experiences that have become natural for most of the population.
“In our daily lives, we have conversations with AI powered digital assistants, we wear devices that alert us to critical health situations, we can peek in on our homes from the other side of the planet, and children play with augmented reality on their phones,” says Shivani Govil, Chief Product Officer at CCC. “The bar for amazing experiences is raised daily.”
At CCC, we put the end-user experience first, working continually to simplify our products and deliver solutions that solve users’ problems in a way that feels familiar to them. It’s a process of continuous refinement: researching ways to make our applications more valuable, rethinking and simplifying flows so they make more sense—all of this coming from a human-centered service design focus. No consumer ever says, “we can’t wait to use our insurer’s application!” but they will say something like, “I had to take photos of my damaged vehicle for my insurance company and this application made it easy for me.” The way a consumer feels about enterprise software, an agency portal, or a mobile experience, has a strong impact on their overall experience with a brand and will influence their choice to do business with a company in the future.
From consumer-guided mobile-applications to text message status updates, CCC is digitizing the consumer experience – capturing data, improving relationships and accelerating our clients’ digital transformations with intuitive, mobile-first design. More than 85 insurers use CCC’s mobile solutions to support customer interactions and elevate their customers’ expectations. Learn more here [link to: https://cccis.com/our-technology/customer-experience/]
1 – https://www.carriermanagement.com/news/2016/05/20/154650.htm
2 – https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/us-ecommerce-sales/
3 – https://www.oberlo.com/blog/mobile-commerce-statistics#:~:text=Here’s%20a%20summary%20of%20the,hit%2053.9%20percent%20by%202021.&text=By%202024%2C%20there%20will%20be,use%20mobile%20payments%20in%202020.
4 – https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-stats#:~:text=Mobile%20opens%20account%20for%2046,email%20on%20a%20mobile%20device.
5 – https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/05/fueled-by-pandemic-contactless-mobile-payments-to-surpass-half-of-all-smartphone-users-in-u-s-by-2025/
6 – https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2020/01/13/the-5-biggest-smart-home-trends-in-2020/?sh=1f123cea389b