Veterinarians check out collie. Lassie had the first pet insurance policy in 1982 and today cloud contact center software helps.

Customer Experience a Key Differentiator in Competitive Pet Health Insurance Industry

Did you know that Lassie received the very first pet insurance policy in the US in 1982?  No? You may not even know much about pet health insurance itself. Even though it appears to have existed in other parts of the world for decades, it has been much slower to catch on in the US. Similarly, customer experience has always existed, even though we weren’t yet aware of its importance to companies and the products they sell.

Fast forward to now, however, and it’s a very different picture. The pet insurance subsegment of the insurance industry is experiencing rapid, year-over-year growth against a highly competitive landscape. A handful of providers lead the pack—Nationwide (formerly VPI), Petplan and Trupanion, among others. The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) reports that among its members, more than 20 pet health insurance brands insure more than 242 million pets in North America and are competing for a share of the $1.42 billion North American pet insurance market. That’s some serious kibble.

Likewise, the focus on customer experience continues to intensify as companies recognize it as a central driver of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

As the competition for policyholders continues to heat up, providers differentiate their brands on things like product features—whether a plan offers coverage for pre-existing conditions, for example—and innovation. One leading provider, Trupanion, has pioneered direct-to-veterinarian payments, which streamline the claims process and cash flow for customers and veterinarians alike.  But as companies in all industries know well, there can be but a narrow window of time before distinctions lessen or disappear.

There is, however, one factor which continues to be the competitive differentiator across virtually all companies in all industries: Customer service—or more broadly, the customer experience (CX).  Other brands simply cannot co-opt or copy the quality of the experiences you provide your customers. 

Particularly as products and brands approach parity in their offerings, the importance of CX rises exponentially.  Every touchpoint matters—statistics bear this out.  NICE conducts and publishes annual CX Transformation Benchmark studies that gauge consumer and business attitudes toward CX.  A few key consumer insights tell the story:

  • 82% reported that they’ll go out of their way to do business with companies that provide exceptional experiences.
  • 83% said they’d recommend these same companies on social media.
  • 9/10 said they will buy more from companies that provide excellent service.
  • BUT—the corollary is also true: 8/10 reported they would switch brands after receiving poor service.
  • 87% want to do business with companies that provide them more communications channels.

Trupanion logo, medical insurance for the life of your petIn the hyper-competitive pet health insurance industry, Trupanionknew how critical it is to “win” every interaction with its customers. The company recognized the importance of providing easy-to-use tools for agents, not only to optimize efficiency and productivity but most importantly, to enable them to focus on customers—many of whom face difficult medical situations with their pets when they contact Trupanion.

Once Trupanion moved from its old contact center system to the unfied CXone cloud contact center platform, its customer experience has improved in a variety of ways. Metrics continue to improve, Net Promoter Score® is up, and customer retention has improved by 55 percent!  Trupanion is also offering more channels that include phone, email, chat and two-way text SMS, giving customers the choice they want and the digital channel options they expect. Learn more about how CXone contact center software helps Trupanion care for its clients and their best friends.