Finding Yourself, And Your Customers, in Europe

Finding Yourself, And Your Customers, in Europe

Mike Davies

VP EMEA North at GMC Software

Views 553

Finding Yourself, And Your Customers, in Europe

30.03.2016 10:45 am

Many have applauded the European Commission’s “Europe 2020” strategy, in particular its focus on removing contract-related barriers to cross-border insurance. However, while tackling “bottlenecks in the Internal Market” will remove obstacles to competition, as well as a heavy and inconsistent burden on the ability to expand services, it doesn’t guarantee success. A one-size-fits-all approach to customer experience is already unworkable on a regional or national scale; on a continental scale, it’s even more so. The ultimate success of insurers will be largely dependent on how well they can engage with individual customers, whether they are in Birmingham, Barcelona or Bucharest. Providing comprehensive, informative and above all customer-centric communications will be crucial to making the most of cross-border trade.  

At its most simple, customer-centric engagement needs to adapt itself to crossing borders. For instance, ensuring that language and cultural references are relevant to the individual customer. It might seem obvious, but wishing a German customer Happy Bastille Day, expecting French customers to respond during the les grandes vacances, or sending a morning greeting when the other side of the continent is having lunch, is a swift route to alienating the audience. However, engagement should go further than this. Businesses should know the best channel to communicate with a specific customer; the best times to do so; and what messages will interest them. Essentially, a customer contacting their insurer should expect a single, seamless experience that crosses channels and languages.

This customer-centric approach will be supported by another major focus on the European Commission, digitalisation. Used correctly, digitalisation should make cross-border, customer-centric engagement much more achievable. Communications can be more frequent, more targeted and more interactive, with dynamic content allowing customers to view the information that most interests them; whether that’s interest rates or how to lower their premium. Digitalisation is particularly important in appealing to new consumers such as Millennials, who demand ease of communication and won’t accept traditional boundaries.

However, key to succeeding in this approach is the ability of the industry to implement its, often legacy, systems and processes to reflect and exploit these regulatory changes as they appear. The financial industry, and insurers in particular, are by nature risk, and so change, averse. Unless this inflexible attitude changes, the European industry will never be able to take advantage of more open borders.  

Latest blogs

Martijn Bos Holland FinTech

Making it through the rain: Finance in times of turmoil

You’d need to be living on a remote island, without electricity or internet to not be aware of what the world is going through right now – a medical crisis that has spread across the world and disrupted supply chains, goods and services production, Read more »

James Devoy Sysnet Global Solutions

PCI DSS and Remote Assessments

COVID-19 is obviously changing many aspects of daily life. Some will be short term measures to see us all through these times, although I wonder how many will become more permanent fixtures in our lives. The PCI SSC has provided guidance to allow Read more »

James Booth PPRO

Brave New World: A Futuristic Vision of Payments

Over the last ten years, the retail e-commerce ecosystem has undergone a wide-ranging transformation. As recently as 2010, the e-commerce and payments value chain were relatively straightforward: Any eCommerce merchant could integrate a payment Read more »

Nish Kotecha Finboot

How blockchain could potentially transform global healthcare in the wake of COVID-19

In the globalised world we live in, entities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have been established to ensure cooperation between different governments on global health-related issues. In the face of pandemics such as the one we are Read more »

Lina Andolf-Orup Fingerprints

Dispelling biometric myths and misconceptions

Gangsters cutting off enemies’ fingers to access secret locations and spies lifting fingerprints from martini glasses - the imagination of the entertainment world has been running wild ever since biometrics entered the scene. Couple that with the Read more »

Related Blogs

Simon Blunn Qlik

Need to Digitally Upskill Your Business: 5 Top Tips to Lead from the Front

According the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) UK employers are spending less on training than other major economies. It’s a worrying revelation – when you consider that the skills gap is growing all the time. With the new Read more »

Soumya Kuber Mindtree

Pursuit of Immediate Payments: a Thought Paper

The digitalization of our economy, with the spread of smartphones and of electronic commerce, necessitates the payments industry to constantly level up. Emerging new technologies lead to changes in consumer habits, who are making online purchases on Read more »

Martin Ijaha Neyber

Why It’s Time to Reimagine Banking in This Digital Age

There’s no disputing that the UK is the firm leader of the fintech sector in Europe. Funding for firms in the industry in this country outpaced that of Germany by a staggering 398% last year. In fact, investors pumped £550 million in to UK fintech Read more »

Free Newsletter Sign-up
+44 (0) 208 819 32 53 +44 (0) 173 261 71 47
Download Our Mobile App
Financial It Youtube channel