Clients Increasingly Demanding to Communicate Online

Insurers have been warned clients are increasingly demanding an instant response from their household suppliers.

Digital home insurer Policy Expert has released new research that ranked insurers as the easiest household supplier to get in touch with. However, the industry has to improve aspects of its customer service warns the research.

Three in four consumers (74%) think it is easy to get in touch with their insurance company, followed by banks (70%). In contrast, telecoms suppliers (20%) are least likely to be voted as easy to get in touch with.

Tech-based forms of communication are becoming as popular as more traditional methods, as the vast majority of consumers (91%) prefer to use email when communicating with household suppliers. Text (35%) is nearly as popular as telephone-based communication (39%), and one in seven (14%) prefer to communicate via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

On the flip side the research found insurers (23%) trail behind banks (43%) as the household supplier that provides the best overall customer service.

Other household suppliers fare even worse, however, with just 15% of consumers saying energy suppliers offer the best service, while 12% say the same of water suppliers. Telecoms suppliers rank lowest at 8%.

The research also revealed insurers are not always meeting consumers’ high expectations when it comes to responsiveness. Nearly a third (30%) of consumers expect an instant response from a household supplier when they have a straightforward customer service query, followed by 21% who expect a response within an hour and 34% who expect to hear back on the same day.

Yet more than one in ten (12%) have had to wait more than a day for a response to a standard query from an insurance supplier, with almost as many (11%) reporting having waited for more than a week.

Even so, banks, energy providers and telecoms suppliers are all more likely to provide delayed responses to customer queries than insurers.

Adam Powell, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Policy Expert, (pic) explained: “As technology infiltrates consumers’ daily lives and improves our communications capabilities, the industry must seize this opportunity to focus on the fundamentals of providing a better customer service. Best-in-class customer service is a founding principle of Policy Expert, and our rating as the number one home insurer on Review Centre since 2013 and Customer Champion of the Year1 is supported by market-leading renewal rates.

“Swift response times are vital for an industry which provides support in times of great stress for consumers. As customers show a growing preference for tech-based channels of communication, insurers must ensure they provide a range of customer service touchpoints.”