When it comes to customer communications, the north star for insurers is clear: omni-channel, customization, personalization and automation. These four capabilities go a long way in helping insurers create the kind of experiences customers demand in this digital age. Unfortunately, the road to acquire and establish these capabilities is often long and complicated given the current technology environment and the regulated nature of the insurance industry.
Delivering Engaging Communications
At the recent OpenText Enterprise World conference in Toronto, Erie Insurance and AAA of Southern California shared their respective journey with customer communications management (CCM) during a panel discussion along with ValueMomentum and OpenText around the topic: Delivering engaging communications with Exstream 16.
Matt Seagren, IT Architect – Strategic Initiatives & Technology at Erie Insurance, highlighted the challenges Erie, and likely many other large insurers, face when it comes to acquiring the ability to deliver engaging communications. This includes modernizing antiquated applications, reconciling multiple letter generating solutions, testing and migrating over 1900 existing documents and moving beyond print to offer basic core e-delivery capabilities. For Erie Insurance, the first step was to purchase a CCM solution, in this case OpenText Exstream, and define an e-delivery strategy with its business partners. Once the strategy was in place, Erie leveraged professional services from OpenText and ValueMomentum to tackle their challenges and bring an updated CCM environment into the organization.
Jag Uppal, Digital Projects Engineer at AAA Southern California, had similar challenges in his organization. Jag pointed out a main struggle with customer communications that is all too common in insurance—the slow and often inaccurate process of finding a policy document on the mainframe to send to a customer. Their journey to upgrade CCM capabilities has taken about four years, most of it spent on acquiring the hardware to shift from mainframe Exstream to OpenText Exstream V16.2. In the last 15-18 months, AAA has utilized professional services from OpenText and ValueMomentum to move 70/80 applications and about 4000 documents from the mainframe to the new system.
Upgrading to the newest version of OpenText Exstream is a key component to the customer communications and digital strategy of Erie and AAA. The CCM vendor market has come a long way to offer software with capabilities not only to service customers in multiple channels but also to customize and personalize their experience. Insurers can now leverage SMS and bi-directional communications and messaging to interact with customers, meet their needs and provide value-added services outside of the normal policy, billing and claims processes. The additional touchpoints allow insurers to collect and curate customer data to further improve customer experience. Other capabilities in modern CCM solutions include security and data protection, regulation and compliance, consolidation and ecosystem augmentation, and AI and ML for experiences and automation.
Although Erie and AAA have taken the step to upgrade to the newest version of Exstream, both organizations still have more to address before they arrive at the north star. For Erie, that includes enabling notification services for e-delivery, migrating all publications to the new server and consolidating letter generation onto one server and integrating it to the claims system. For AAA, addressing simple and complex documents including making them available on the web and internal CCM systems is the next priority. Additionally, the organization is looking at all current practices and processes in order to align customers’ experience internally with business objectives.
Regardless of where each organization may be on their CCM journey, both Erie and AAA know that providing a personalized customer experience through customer communications is key in the digital age. The journey to get there may be long and complicated, but having the ability to customize and personalize customer experiences is not optional; it’s a necessity to compete in the digital economy.
Looking to win in an experience-driven world with engaging communications? Check out our Customer Communication Management Services and see how we can help you get there.