Three-quarters of customers feel a need for change
TORONTO, Feb. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Confusing product choices and poor
customer service are just some of the concerns Canadians have with
their insurance companies, Ernst & Young says in a recent
first-of-its-kind global survey. Some 24,000 people were surveyed for
the report, with three-quarters of North American life and annuity
respondents agreeing that the insurance industry lags behind others in
both quality of service and rewarding customer loyalty.
"Insurers would be wise to think about how they can innovate to meet the
changing needs of their customers," says Doug McPhie, Ernst & Young's
Canadian Insurance Leader. "We're seeing a perfect storm of increased
expectations and accessible technology, which means the insurance
industry is now facing a more demanding customer than ever before. The
choice is clear: suppliers must move toward a more consumer-centric
business model, or risk being left behind as clients seek
Working with Ipsos to gather the research, Ernst & Young's Voice of the customer: time for insurers to rethink their relationships report found that consumer behaviour around the world is changing
rapidly, and insurers must do more to respond to their customers'
Additional highlights from Canadian and global findings reveal:
Consumers across the Americas are increasingly turning to online
channels for research of insurance products, and this growth trend is
expected to continue. Respondents clearly voiced a desire for
simultaneously improving online access while continuing with personal
While present levels of cross-selling are relatively low according to
the research, customers are interested in buying multiple products from
an existing provider if the process to do so is convenient and there is
an additional incentive.
Most customers still want personal interaction when purchasing products,
but a growing minority favour doing it themselves and want the ability
to research products from online sources.
While price is an important component of value, other factors such as
brand, product features and access to information are becoming
increasingly important to consumers.
"If insurers don't adapt to the 'new' shape of the consumer here and
elsewhere, non-traditional providers with more consumer-friendly
business models will seize the opportunity to take market share,"
McPhie warns. "Certainly, these are challenging times. But there's a
great opportunity here to really fine tune a suppliers' approach, and
differentiate a company by being the one that understands customer
needs, and caters specifically to them."
About the Global Insurance Customer Survey
Ernst & Young surveyed 24,000 insurance customers globally to better
understand what customers want from their insurers. Ernst & Young's Global Insurance Customer Survey 2012 included 1,000 Canadians.
About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and
advisory services. Worldwide, our 152,000 people are united by our
shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a
difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities
achieve their potential.
For more information, please visit ey.com/ca.
Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst
& Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst
& Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not
provide services to clients.
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