How do you provide the best customer experience if you cannot get in touch with your lost customers?
With 11% of the UK population moving house every year and an average of 2% to 5% of all mail returned to sender*, this is a growing challenge for life insurance and pension providers. Also, some customers sadly pass away, leaving unclaimed funds that need to be delivered to their next of kin.
The benefits of being in touch with every customer
Firstly, the ability to reunite loyal customers and their families with funds owed to them is a positive outcome which creates brand affinity. The FCA names organisations that are especially good at finding customers who are lost and organisations that do it right can create and receive significant brand value in the eyes of the customer.
Overcoming current challenges
In the quest to find and contact customers, manual customer tracking and tracing processes are creating a challenge for many organisations. With limited time and resources, and typically thousands of lost customers across the books, the current manual approaches to finding them can be slow, time-consuming and expensive.
As an additional challenge, many life insurance and pension providers need more data and insight to identify and reconnect with their lost customers effectively. If limited information is available about customers, organisations can’t be sure that they are reaching the right customer at the right address – potentially limiting the effectiveness of their efforts.
Accurate, relevant data from multiple internal and external sources is required to validate a customer’s latest available contact details, and to ensure that communications are always appropriate, and that they always reach their intended recipients.
Four practical steps for finding and reconnecting with lost customers:
Step 1: Put data at the heart of customer searches and interactions.
In the life and pensions sector, customer contact is traditionally limited. This means that a customer may have moved house before the next letter or statement is triggered. To overcome this challenge, and to stay in contact with customers’ in the long term, providers need to maintain accurate data. External data sources are a means of updating their records and validating information in real time. For example, credit bureau data can provide an indication of where a customer has moved to and how they can be contacted.
Step 2: Use information ‘triggers’ to prevent customers from going away
To stay informed of any changes to a customer’s contact details, and to ensure you can always stay in touch, life insurance and pension providers can use information ‘triggers’. These are automatic notifications of customer changes that support a proactive approach to managing, tracking, and communicating with customers. For example, a trigger can automatically alert a provider if a customer has moved to a new address. This approach can also help reduce the reliance on manual data appends and retrospective data checks, giving a proactive approach but also helping you to streamline compliance by staying in contact with customers on an on-going basis.
Step 3: Leverage tracking and tracing technologies
Tracking and tracing are different things and should not be confused, although they are both useful for providers looking to stay in contact with their customers. Tracking helps providers to stay up-to-date and monitor changes to customers’ contact details in real time. At the same time, tracing technology highlights data discrepancies, providing a proactive way to find and contact customers. Tracking and tracing technologies can be applied to small or large sets of customer data, depending on the needs of the organisation. The outcome from using both gives providers enriched information, enabling you to make contact with customers, but also adding a layer of prevention too.
Life and pension providers can upload data into the Unclaimed Asset Register at any time. Doing this provides another way to find lost customers as people themselves, or solicitors, can search for the register at any stage and make a connection. Membership of the Unclaimed Asset Register also supports compliance initiatives by proving a commitment to finding and staying in contact with customers – even when the customer information uploaded is very old or incomplete.
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*Research conducted by Office of National Statistics