Claimants' customer experience: tips
Claimant experience research requires sensitivity and empathy
We have conducted research for government and for commercial providers with claimants for house and contents insurance and CCI, as well as for business insurance. We have learnt that claimant research has some very specific characteristics that it is wise to be aware of before launching into research and testing.
Claimants - especially denied claimants - are a much misunderstood segment. We have tested many examples of letters written by insurers to people denying their insurance claim. Some of these letters treated the claimant as if they were lying deliberately. Yes, some people submit fraudulent claims. However, some people submit claims because they misunderstand the policies. Some submit claims when they are not sure if it is a valid claim or not. People with disabilities, people in vulnerable situations and people with poor financial literacy often suffer at the claim stage because they have not understood the language, or do not have an understanding of commercial realities.
- Satisfaction with the claim process is almost always driven by satisfaction with the outcome. That's fine if the organisation wants its processes endorsed. However, high satisfaction levels can blind organisations to flaws in the process making them complacent. Satisfaction measures on their own are insufficient (and the same point applies to NPS by the way).
- Tolstoy's quote from Anna Karenina about families applies to claimants. Tolstoy's version is "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." The claimants version is: "Happy claimants are all alike; every unhappy claimant is unhappy in its own way." The sample must be large enough to understand this variability.
- People whose claims were denied or paid partially often believe that the claim evaluation process was faulty or biased because that is how they 'make sense of' the rejection of their claim. However, they are in no position to judge an organisational process that they cannot see, especially if that process has technical requirements or language. Was it the process or was it the policy? Research with denied claimants should only ask questions that they can answer.
For empathetic research from researchers who understand the regulations and commercial realities, contact Sue.