Retaining insurance customers is difficult during a tough economic time characterized by fierce price competition. But this is one of those areas where technology really can make things better. We've seen automation of information processes result in tremendous efficiencies, and now we're beginning to see how multi-media presentations can improve customer experience by orders of magnitude. One such example is Humana's (Lexington, Ky.) plan to use SundaySky’s SmartVideo technology to engage policyholders with personalized billing statement videos.
For most people, business transaction records involving mathematical processes are dry, inert things. They have to be dragged from the page, as it were, in an effort of concentration which is anything but pleasant. Insurance is replete with such operations, and thoughtful interface ideas and technologies such as gamification present opportunities for insurers to make these necessary processes tolerable, and potentially even pleasant.
In the case of Humana's personalized video policy statements, the effort to order the aforementioned dry content is undertaken by the insurer: like a good teacher, Humana presents plan members' information in an easily understandable format, emphasizing the most important details with contextual language and visual aids.
Chris Nicholson, vice president of strategic consultancy at Humana acknowledges that insurers need to adapt to an increasingly user-friendly consumer environment. If other industries are making onerous processes easier, then eventually the insurance industry must adapt. Given today's technological possibilities, he might have added that it's almost a moral duty to do something about the unpleasantness associated with health insurance-related documentation.
What Nicholson does say is that, “many communications are delivered from government agencies and are not the most consumer-friendly format, providers can look to more engaging solutions such as smart video.”
Personalized video statements are designed to act as a supplement rather than replace a text document, but their direct intuitive appeal helps to ensure that the proper information gets across, in Nicholson's view. "We live in this YouTube-type environment where everybody wants the 60-second commercial video for everything," he comments. "So if you can catch them and create that retention of information in alternate channels, you may have success. Pulling that through to the SmartVideo channel seems very natural, and much more relevant here for a member to really see the impact.”
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio