8. November 2023 By Sandra Weis
Effective business experience management in occupational pension schemes
There is a boom in demand for occupational pension schemes at the moment. In most cases, it is insurance companies or pension providers that provide the benefits offered under these schemes. Employers are a key target group for them, and they have become much more demanding in terms of what they expect from pension providers. Which is why effective business experience management is so important to ensure that the focus is squarely on employers. But what exactly does business experience management mean and in what ways does it affect employer satisfaction as customers of these products? Another question is how to approach business experience management in real terms. I will address each of these questions in my blog post.
Occupational pension schemes are indispensable for employees, allowing them to make provisions for the future and maintain the standard of living to which they are accustomed in retirement. Employers also feel a growing social responsibility to support their employees in building up funds for their retirement. The passage of the Act to Strengthen Occupational Pensions by the German parliament is also helping to bolster and promote such schemes. As a result, occupational pension schemes are experiencing a veritable boom.
The benefits granted under occupational pension schemes are generally provided by an insurance company or pension provider. These institutions bear the insurance risk and receive the premiums paid by the employer to build up their employees’ retirement fund. Given that fact, insurance companies have identified employers as their prime target audience. However, employers have become more demanding in terms of what they expect from insurance companies in recent years, though the latter often do not know what is expected of them nor are they aware of the specific challenges faced by employers. This is why it is all the more important for them to focus on employers as the target group and to use business experience management to strategically manage each point of contact, make targeted improvements in this area and systematically increase the quality of every interaction between the insurance company or pension provider and the employer. At its core, it is all about understanding the needs and expectations of employers, making constant improvements and providing them with effective support with their occupational pension schemes. Which is why their products, processes and communication are all geared towards the needs of this target group as part of an effort to create positive customer experiences.
The adesso Digital Commerce Study on Finance describes what customers in the financial and insurance sector are seeking to achieve in terms of customer acquisition and customer loyalty, and what companies can do now to reach their goals. The results of the study can also be carried over to employers as the main target group of an insurance company’s occupational pension scheme. Customers want products that they understand and that are explained clearly and unambiguously. They also seek transparency regarding the processing status of their enquiries and want the insurance company to know which questions they have already asked and which offers they have already accepted.
It all sounds simple in theory. But in practice, the general conditions under which insurance companies operate make it difficult for them to achieve this goal. To give two examples, their system landscape or individual systems might be out-of-date, or their processes and products are not at all in line with the needs of the target group. As a result, most providers really only offer a true ‘experience’ at a few points along the customer journey.
Synergies between customer satisfaction and sustainable growth
Insurance companies can achieve a high customer satisfaction if they adopt a targeted business experience management strategy where their products, along with their sales and communication strategies, are aligned with the requirements of employers as the target group. This has the positive effect of strengthening the employer’s ties with the insurance company and promotes customer loyalty. Insurance companies can leverage targeted communication to make customised offers to improve upselling and cross-selling opportunities. This in turn drives higher sales and generates sustainable growth, giving the company an edge over its competitors.
A customer-centric approach
Employers are increasingly using the online options available and making their decisions on both an emotional and rational level. An insurance company should therefore seek to provide added value by having a clear strategy and creating customer experiences. However, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. The company needs to create one that fits their individual needs based on the options available to them and according to the conditions under which they operate.
Business experience management consists of a series of interlinked elements that are carried out in several steps. Step one involves gaining a deeper understanding of the situation faced by the customer. It is important to first define how the insurance company gauges whether their products and strategies meet the expectations of customers and which key performance indicators (KPIs) it will use to do this.
After this has been done, the needs, expectations and concerns of employers are analysed. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, including customer surveys and feedback loops. The results of the analysis are then used to define the goals and identify potential for improvement.
Next, specific measures are established and solutions developed to optimise the customer experience and achieve the defined goals. This could include, for example, coherent products, information and documents, upgrades to IT systems and processes as well as the use of dark processing. Another option is to implement a portal solution that provides a better customer experience and improves interactions with the customer. The insurance company can use this portal to provide information, documents and customised offers for employers, while employers can call up contract information and request policy changes on the portal. All in all, the portal solution serves as a bidirectional communication channel, enabling the insurance company to highlight the benefits and services it offers through targeted, personalised communication.
It is vital that insurance companies continuously monitor and evaluate the adopted measures to ensure that the improvements being sought deliver the desired effect. Feedback from employers plays a crucial role here, as this information can be used to make appropriate changes as required. It is important to think of business experience management as an iterative process that aims to continuously improve the customer experience.
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