Using data and insight to equip your Customer Service department
Nov 2017 | Risk Analytics | Insurance Risk

Customer insight

A single customer view can help you reduce the threat of fraud, appropriately communicate with your customers, and, better engage with them too. In turn, this can lead to longer relationships with the likelihood of more products consumed during the lifetime.

How does it achieve this? Accurate customer data can bring you some much needed insight. And, with regulatory changes on the horizon, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it is even more important that you prioritise these areas and embrace data integrity throughout your organisation.

“64% of businesses report that inaccurate data is currently undermining their ability to provide an excellent customer experience.” Experian Global Data Management Report 2017

The expectation on insurers for better customer focus

The ability to get a single view of your customer base has become increasingly important both for you and your customers. As insurers, there is an expectation that you increase your customer engagement models and demonstrate to existing, and new customers, how focused you are on meeting your customers’ needs. You will need to consider this across your products and within all of your customer engagements.

Customers now expect fast, convenient, personalised responses – across multiple channels. The key to achieving this is to have a complete view of your customers. You therefore know more about them, their preferences, their needs and their best channels of contact too.

A single customer view includes all of a customer’s data (often held in different databases) and across every channel and interaction points, being brought together in to one single source. The data is then standardised giving you a single set of data that contains all insight and details on each customer.

The barriers to getting a single customer view

There are barriers which make achieving a single customer view challenging for insurers. For example, some insurers have different databases for each line of business or product type. As such each could hold multiple records for the same customer with different details on each. Each of these departments could be sending different messages to the same customer at the same time which could confuse or inconvenience the individual.

Also, some insurers still use legacy systems. The result of this often means a multitude of historic data is held. Historic data is mixed with recently acquired data. This can mean cleaning and connecting data sources is quite a big task.

These scenarios lead to inconsistent data across the business and prevent a single customer view of a customer. Therefore, limiting your business performance and increasing your risk of not meeting compliance requirements. If all of the information on an individual can’t be collated in one place, you can’t spot the gaps in your customer data. This can affect your ability to use the data you hold to its best potential. For example, understanding and modelling the best action for each individual customer.

Benefits for insurers and their customers of a single customer view

The benefits of a single customer view are huge. And can be very rewarding right across your business. Your customers can also benefit greatly from a single customer view with better personalised services, more relevant products and increased trust that you understand them and their needs. This in turn will help you grow your relationships and increase your loyalty, providing a longer and more valuable relationship.

What steps can be taken to achieve a single customer view?


The vast amount of data held is forever changing and maintaining it can be a difficult task. We’ve found through our research that nearly a quarter of all the data organisations hold is inaccurate and out of date. So, where to start?

  1. Do you know how accurate your current data is?
  2. When was the last time you undertook a data health check?

It is important to create a data migration strategy to understand the different areas of the business affected and where all the different data sets sit. Do you have a strategy in place?

Your business can then gain perspective on the size of the project and who needs to be part of the working group to achieve the objectives.


Next, you need to assess any potential impact, flag risks and focus your effort to certain areas of your business depending on how you prioritise following your data review. At this stage, you can start to understand the health of your data and document any decisions that need to be made to move forward.


Following the review and assessment of your data, you should be able to clearly see the gaps and incomplete data sets. You can then enrich this data from sources within your business (matching existing data from different databases). You can also add in external sources such as data found on the Experian Bureau.

This allows you to build a more detailed picture of your customers. It will also help you better serve them as you understand their needs and behaviours.


Once your data has been improved and you have better insight, you can put in place controls to ensure the data remains accurate and up-to-date. One way this can be achieved is to centralise your data management systems and enrich and qualify your data regularly with new up-to-date data sources.

You can then confidently connect with your customers at the right time, via the right channels, with the most suitable messages – optimising your contact strategy.

The ability to understand a single view of each of your customers has become increasingly important for your business’ success, compliance, and as a tool to help tackle fraud. If you know your customers better, you can spot when there is irregular activity and flag potential fraud risks.

Data and insight has become essential to business success

Understanding who your customers are, the products they have with you, and when they wish to be contacted all lead to greater customer intimacy. The potential opportunities for both you and your customers are vast and the regulatory environment looks set to encourage a single customer view even more. Ask yourself, have you started to unpick your data? Do you know how accurate your data is or the potential insight you could gain from it?