Imagine a customer calling their insurance provider and reaching a representative that has never spoken with them and is unfamiliar with the customer’s claims history or company policies. That doesn’t sound like a good experience. Now imagine after a quick verification from the customer, the same representative is able to access the customer’s complete insurance profile, detailing coverage history and other necessary information needed to forward their inquiry to the proper agent or broker. The latter experience is now a reality, made possible by connecting data sources across the Cisco enabled network. By bringing together data, it allows insurers to get a full picture of their customers and allows them to create a differentiated customer experience, helping increase customer satisfaction, retention, loyalty, and referrals.

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Insurers are continually looking for the best way to attract and retain customers while also increasing cross-sell opportunities. By employing data mining coupled with collaboration technology, insurers are changing the way transactions are conducted. Many insurers are using technology to their benefit; not only through offering differentiated services or channel choices to customers, but also by the information gathered from customers.

This is possible through “data mining”, meaning data gathered from a variety of sources including customer transactions, claims history and/or third-party vendors. Insurers also gather data and analytics by utilizing demographic information of one’s zip code, credit scores, and birth announcements. More recently, insurers have turned to social media to help drive increased knowledge of the customer and compare that data with third-party data, broad-based demographic, and financial information. Social media’s role in helping insurers obtain data about their customers is continuing to grow. Non-structured data is one of the biggest explosions right now. For example, insurers can look at customer posts on social media feeds like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and make informed decisions around it regarding customer needs. Often, social media feeds can give an agent insight about a customer’s daily life. The customer may post about specific home repairs that affect a certain region or neighborhood, the agent could then offer the additional coverage that would benefit the customer, increasing the sale and giving the customer a more personalized experience.

Data is often gathered in many different places and computing systems, and with the help of Cisco’s data center, networking and security solutions, insurers can make sure the data they compile runs efficiently. Cisco’s goal is to help companies use the customer data they’ve collected to make quick routing and business decisions. While it does not provide the customer information for insurers, the Cisco data center platform can support virtualized applications, to enable a single view of the customer. Things such as transaction history, third-party data and an understanding of the demographics of a customer’s zip code can be accessed in one location and can then be routed to the appropriate party, whether it is an agent or the provider, through collaboration tools. By aggregating this data, insurers have a better picture of individual customer needs and are able to give customers a more personalized experience while helping the insurance provider and agent’s cross-sales. Through the use of Cisco’s collaboration platform, customers will be connected with the right expert via voice, chat or video that will help address their individual needs and find the right coverage for them. This expert could also be their independent agent who can be “connected” into the extended network to deliver a consistent experience in all communication channels.

With information gathered from data mining practices, insurance providers and agents can collaborate on customer data in order to find opportunities to provide additional coverage at the appropriate time for the customer. To stay ahead of increasing competition, insurance agents and providers need to become innovators in the industry and adapt to new trends such as collaboration-enabled technology and data mining techniques more quickly than before.


Jeff Tumpowsky

Senior Advisor - Insurance

Americas Business Transformation