Sep 1, 2021
“There's no such thing as bad publicity,” is a quote attributed to PT Barnum, the famous showman. Oscar Wilde, the Irish playwright, was of the opinion that ‘there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about’.
This may be true for some industries, but for the travel insurance business it is vital to keep a good impression in the minds of its customers. The theory is that as long as people are talking about your brand, it’s a good thing. Making sure that the customer’s perception is a positive one remains one of the most important points to achieve in such a competitive marketplace.
Travel insurers need to focus and invest in enhancing the customer experience, and also be part of developing a global travel community – in whatever shape that takes in the future. So flexibility to adapt, using the technology available to provide customers with rapid answers to their queries such as risk rating, security alerts for traveller destination 24/7, real-time safety notifications including Covid restrictions and transportation disruptions.
It’s an opportunity for travel insurers to up their game. As international travel comes back on the agenda, customer care needs to be enhanced and improved – even post-trip – when customers come back from their holiday to gather feedback to improve the experience the next time they travel.
Communication is key, says Jeremy Murchland, President of Seven Corners. Over the past two years, the company has dedicated time to honing and refining policy language in order to make it more consumer friendly and less complicated. They also invested in different ways for a customer to manage their policies, such as self-service options, using WhatsApp and SMS methods to contact them, instead of an email or phone call.
Adaptability to fast-changing conditions was a vital ingredient. “There were abrupt cancellations, which impacted the claims process. We got inundated with four times the volume for a couple of months,” Murchland reveals. “It threw us into a tailspin. We had to make a lot of adjustments quickly. Sales were down but to me, there’s no better time when sales are a bit depressed to invest in your processes and technology.”