Unlike general insurance contracts, life insurance contracts are generally long term in nature, traditionally bought with a dual purpose of risk cover and long term savings. As in any contract, customer and insurer have their share of obligations to fulfil during the period of contract. However, unlike other contracts wherein fulfilling certain obligations from both sides will generally be simultaneous, in life insurance contracts, the customer fulfils his obligations of payment of premium either immediately(single premium) or periodically(annually) with a hope and belief that the other party(insurer) will be fulfilling his part of the obligation in due course through multiple events like partial withdrawals, loans, survival or maturity benefits, surrenders or any live or death claim as per contractual obligations. Being a well regulated market through IRDAI with multiple grievance handling mechanisms in place, the general public believes that all the contractual obligations on the part of the insurers are reasonably guaranteed/protected in the best interest of customers.
During the term of policy contract, a customer may approach the insurer for various services like enquiry about ULIP NAV, accrued bonuses, tax related certificate’s, any information/clarification related to contractual obligations or definitions, change of nomination, personal details/address, premium payment method, opting partial withdrawals, loans, survival benefits or any live claim under riders availed. These instances are very important moments for customer as he/she will get a unique opportunity to interact with insurer to see for himself/herself about the ease of processes and commitment level of insurer in providing various services as mentioned above.
The above mentioned instances of various services being sought by existing customers provide an equally unique opportunity for insurer to serve the customer as per his/her needs thereby display-ing best possible commitment level to establish sense of customer care and sensitivity and ease of availing various services. Insurers can use these interactions to understand customer expectations for availing various types of services and carry out suitable modifications in the laid down processes with a view to meet customer expectations. Display of standard timelines for providing various types of services in a prominent place of branch office premises will go a long way in establishing the transparency level of laid down processes as well as inculcating a sense of responsibility among designated employees for providing such services.
Satisfaction derived by a customer from any service visit through various methods, clarifications / explanations provided whenever sought, extra efforts taken to minimize hassles to customers are perceived to be creating “Customer Delight”. Various initiatives from insurers like providing online premium payment facility/auto debit in-structions, credit card standing instructions, facility to place service requests through customer portals and mobile apps, premium payment facili-ties in various banks, periodical fund statements and other service related communications being sent to registered e-mail ids, one time NEFT registration facility to facilitate direct credit of all policy related benefit payouts are perceived to be concerted efforts towards creating “Customer Delight” by providing most hassle free service mechanisms with least turnaround time and ease of executing various transactions.
While the above mentioned initiatives by insurers aimed at creating “Customer Delight” will go a long way in creating a sense of confidence among existing customers who in turn may opt for fresh insurance coverage for themselves or their immediate family besides acting as active brand promoters for the insurance company either through rating the services as best in various surveys being conducted at the market place or through word of mouth by recommending their friends and relatives to go for various insurance products offered by the insurer by citing his/her own example of being provided most satisfying services by the insurer. Life Insurance being a long term contract, every customer will be keenly watching the ULIP performance of his insurance product as well as the quality of services being rendered to him/her to satisfy himself/herself about his/her earlier decision to go for an insurance product with a specific insurer. Once his expectations are met, he will be the first and the best brand ambassador for the company for times to come.