Customer Communication Management in the U.S. and Western Europe: competing priorities mean ppportunity for vendors, IDC says

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., August 16, 2016 – A new survey by International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that rapid changes in user behavior, mobile technology, and customer expectations are driving insurers to ramp up efforts to make customer communications friendlier, more informative, and easier to access by any channel the customer chooses.

The IDC 2016 Document Strategies for Customer Communication Management (CCM) in Insurance survey found that, while there are significant differences between countries in the types of communications produced, the overall trends of how users interact with them showed a great deal of consistency. But there were also surprises.

The following are some of the survey's key findings:

  • More than 12% of large insurers ($1+ billion) have already deployed one or more personalized video applications, and 40% are either actively testing or developing applications.
  • 22% of large companies have placed responsibility for CCM with a Chief Customer Experience/Digital Experience Officer, but almost 25% place responsibility with the CEO.
  • 75% of large companies expect to increase their CCM budget in the next 12-24 months. More than 50% expect the increase to be greater than 15%.
  • More than 36% of large companies are highly likely to implement a new CCM solution in the next 12-24 months.
  • Overall companies are still increasing the percentage of total communications available via print.

"The roll-out of true multi-channel communications is happening much faster, and in different ways, than I think a lot of people expected," said Terry Frazier, research director for IDC's Customer Engagement and Document Technologies and Services research. "In this consumer-driven era companies are trying to reach customers in every way possible. For example, they're both increasing the percentage of communications produced in print and rapidly developing personalized video. They have a lot of competing objectives and everything is a high priority. This underscores the need to really understand what's driving them, what they see as the biggest challenges, and what they believe will be most effective at moving them forward."

IDC's detailed survey of 400 property & casualty and life insurers in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, and the U.K. focused on issues regarding customer engagement and customer experience related to critical business communications. More than 68% of the respondents had more than $1 billion in revenue and more than 50% insure more than 1 million policyholders.

The survey covered marketing and customer engagement, management structure, and CCM governance maturity, critical drivers for CCM decisions, most important success factors and top challenges. It also covered leading operations, outsourcing, and IT issues. The survey results provided detailed information about the following areas:

  • Types of communications produced, how customers use them, and how customers will access them across all channels over the next 12-24 months.
  • Top-ranked CCM decision drivers across four specific business areas.
  • Outsourcing preferences and tendencies by media channel, and outsourcing potential for the next 12-24 months.
  • Solution investment and purchase trends for 24- and 36-month periods.
  • Top-ranked features and criteria for choosing new CCM solutions.
  • Budgeting expectations and plans.

The survey results provide valuable market intelligence and insight for sales and strategy teams at both software vendors and service providers who want to serve the insurance industry in either the U.S. or Europe over the next two to three years.

The IDC multi-client study, Document Strategies for Customer Communication Management: Insurance , presents the findings of IDC's comprehensive insurance market survey. Conducted in spring 2016, this online survey examines customer communications management use, digital media channel trends, outsourcing preferences, feature importance, and more. The study deliverables include more than 230 detailed data tables per region, as well as a combined file for regional comparison. Also included are more than 270 charts per region, with breakouts by both revenue and number of customers. A combined US-Western Europe country comparison chart set is also available with 127 charts detailing key commonalities and differences between regions.

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