Insurers surpass banks in customer experience index in Singapore

This is the first time that the insurance industry has taken the lead against banks.

The quality of customer experience in the automotive/home insurance industry has improved significantly and has surpassed the banking industry for the first time, according to Forrester’s 2021 Singapore Customer Experience Index.

Forrester’s Singapore CX Index benchmarks the CX quality of financial services brands across automotive/home insurance and banking industries. It is based on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers in Singapore across 11 brands, including six insurers and five banks.

According to Forrester, the insurance sector used the pandemic crisis as an opportunity to build CX equity with its customers. It recorded significant improvements across all three key dimensions of CX quality — emotion, effectiveness, and ease of use — when engaging with its customers during the pandemic. In particular, the insurers made their strongest gains in emotion scores throughout the pandemic, a time characterized by emotionally draining restrictions. In contrast, the scores for the banks fell across all three components of CX quality.

The overall CX quality in Singapore improved by three points, from 60.3 to 63.3 on a 100-point scale, which can be attributed to the fact that every insurance brand included in the study demonstrated improved CX scores. FWD, Singapore’s overall CX leader, continues to top the insurance vertical for the second year in a row. 

Meanwhile, in the banking industry, Citibank was the only brand to improve its CX score in 2021, displacing long-standing leader DBS Bank to rise to the top of the industry ranking after being at the bottom in 2020, showcasing an impressive turnaround effort. Citibank’s customers rated the brand highly for its mobile banking capabilities; the ability to resolve problems and issues quickly; maintaining transparent prices, rates, and fees; and the ability to keep customers’ personal and financial information secure.

According to Forrester’s CX Index, how an experience makes customers feel, through a collection of either positive or negative feelings, has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than effectiveness or ease. Amongst customers who felt confident with their provider, 51% plan to remain with the brand, 66% plan to increase their spending, and 71% will recommend the brand to their family or friends. In contrast, amongst customers who felt disappointed, only 9% either plan to remain with the brand or spend more with it, and just 5% will advocate for it.

“For an industry that is heavily reliant on personalized service from agents, the insurers had to quickly adjust to pandemic realities by doubling down on digital service engagement to replace face-to-face interaction. The improvements made by the insurance sector demonstrate that emotionally positive customer engagement drives CX improvement, which ultimately leads to customer loyalty,” Tom Mouhsian, principal analyst at Forrester said.

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