How has the coronavirus pandemic enhanced the customer’s claims journey?

Nigel Paling, commercial and services director at National Windscreens (pictured), wrote for issue 45 of Modern Insurance Magazine, looking at how the digital customer journey has been improved over the period of the Covid-19 pandemic.


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The provision of a seamless digital customer experience backed by a continual improvement programme has been regarded by National Windscreens as a necessity for many years. Whilst changes in traditional behaviours patterns, such as increased home working and online grocery shopping, has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, the fundamental requirement of providing a digital journey that exceeds customer expectations has not changed.

According to research by McKinsey*, compared to previous surveys digital customer interactions in Europe have been accelerated by three years during the pandemic with companies accelerating their digital offering by seven years on average. When it comes to issues such as customer preference for remote interaction, where over 60% of those surveyed have seen specific changes in their organisation, over 50% expect these changes to stick in the long term. There is no doubt that customer behaviour and expectations have been changed forever!

At National Windscreens we have seen online bookings more than double over the past four years. This growth is driven partly by customer demand but also by our proactivity in exceeding customer expectations with our digital experience.

Our objective is simple, we make sure that our customers can contact us through whichever communication channel they find most convenient and then deliver the same seamless service, whichever route they choose. We deliver the same experience whether the customer chooses to make contact by walking into one of our nationwide networks of workshops; booking via the website; telephoning or SMS, using webchat or messaging via social media. In all cases we aim to collect all the information we require to complete the job from one point of contact.  Over 20% of all bookings we receive are now online and we are working hard to keep accelerating this trend towards digital interaction.

The process to achieve this however is not simple, with a vast amount of information and processes required behind the scenes to deliver an immediate and seamless customer service. From identifying the correct windscreens part, requirement for ADAS calibration on specific vehicles through to providing live calendar availability for all 108 National Windscreens workshops and 800 mobile technicians. All this information must be delivered immediately to the customer and requires a powerful, seamless digital platform.

For us, service starts with listening. We must understand our customers preferences through every part of their journey with us. How and when they wish to engage, how their preferences may change throughout the claims journey and how we can proactively and continually improve their experience with us. The changes in behaviour brought about by the pandemic are just one aspect of this continual evaluation and development programme. The journey we provide must cater for every customer preference and remain seamless, consistent and World class in every instance.