Customer Experience Management, the evolution of CRM


I’ve come to think that there is opportunity for insurers in taking a more customer-centric approach to product packaging and client engagement. With the rapid change in expectations around service, communication and quality that have built over the last few years, it’s not an easy mission, but one I think is essential for insurers looking to connect with new demographics and streamline business models to adapt for pared margins.

There’s a new acronym in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) space: CEM, which stands for Customer Experience Management. I won’t argue the merits of the title, but the definition as I understand it is more expansive than CRM and moves beyond central contact information and tracking. CEM-minded systems have evolved to be the hub for client data, communication, andservice. From portals to social media and mobile devices, a unified familiarity provides a common paradigm and builds ever-increasing trust with clients in the quality of interaction.

A case in point was my recent experience adding Progressive’s Snapshot service to my auto policy. For those not familiar, Snapshot is a program Progressive offers to drivers who are willing to share their driving patterns in exchange for a potential discount. The Snapshot device plugs into the diagnostics port on my car, and over the next few months will capture acceleration and breaking measures  – adding more data points that can help Progressive’s underwriters better assess the risk of insuring me. I think I’m a safe driver, so I like the program, but the sign-up experience is what really ties this offering to my topic.

My on-boarding to the program was seamless. With a single login, I was able to modify my policy online, receive shipping and tracking details and access customized instructions on installing the device on my make and model car. The device arrived in “Apple-esque” streamlined and friendly packaging with simple instructions. I even received email reminders when I let the device sit uninstalled for too many days. I understand the choreography in unifying all of these touch points is difficult – certainly Progressive had thought through the full end-to-end customer experience and managed it with a sophisticated software solution.

Investing in a strong platform that can manage both customer relationships  and communications with a view to differentiate sales from service, and blend them when appropriate, will play a key role in defining success as the business of insurance evolves.


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