Saturday, February 24Inside Business Africa

Customer engagement key to increasing insurance acceptance

Stakeholders have charged underwriters operating in Nigeria, to make use of Information Communication Technology (ICT), to increase insurance acceptance nationwide.

The Chairman, Mutual Benefits, Akin Ogunbiyi, said in the current global environment, understanding a customer is imperative in shaping future decisions and strategies.

Also, to survive and grow by attracting new customers in today’s fast-moving financial services sector, he urged insurance firms to engage their customers at all touch points to align their strategies with the customer needs.

Customer engagement is defined as a way to create, build, and improve customer relationships, and regarded as strategic in building a sustained competitive advantage.

Ogunbiyi, who spoke at Mutual Benefits Customer Engagement, organised for policyholders, weekend, said such engagements could help operators to achieve greater height.

He said: “Value creation makes the world go round. It stimulates revenue, engagement, and productivity. Value is the secret to customer experience excellence, and that’s why the value is secret to sustainable growth. But beware; sometimes value is created selfishly, for the benefit of one party at the expense of the other. (Example: fees and fines for what was previously part of a package deal, such as airline baggage).

This is counterproductive to customer experience and to growth. Mutual value benefits both parties when upside for customers and the company outweighs downside for either party.”

He implored insurance agents to acquire more skill, especially, in the area of the non-life insurance business, which holds enormous untapped potential that could shore up premium income.

A policyholder, Ayodele Tobiloba, who spoke with The Guardian, noted that the insurance sector has enormous potential, which can be harnessed through proper deployment of technology to serve the un-served in the wholesale and retail space

obiloba stressed that since change is constant, and technology is taking over business deals across the world, insurance agents must also embrace this change.

Stating that agents are the middlemen between policyholders and underwriters, he urged them to embrace ICT platforms in the sale of insurance products and services for better and faster service delivery nationwide, as technology has helped to transform business practices.

While calling on operators to explore the untapped opportunities, he also urged them to initiate easy ways of paying premium and settling claims.

He implored them to esteem good service delivery, stressing that one dissatisfied customer could make an organisation lose more than 20 others, who could buy insurance.

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