Let’s face it, no one looks forward to receiving bills, but your customers do expect them. These essential communications provide your business with a captive audience – and many businesses aren’t taking full advantage of the value these documents provide. Taking into consideration what your customers want in regards to bills and other transactional communications could result not only happier customers but also increased business.
The insurance industry has a reputation – perhaps wrongly perceived – as being stodgy and stoic. In some ways, perception informs reality. Many leaders in the insurance industry are still relying heavily on legacy systems and disparate software and programs to communicate with policyholders. With companies across all industries looking to improve relations with their customers, the ones who are employing a multichannel strategy are finding success and widening their customer base.
Research and consulting firm Celent is presenting a webinar on a timely topic addressing the way financial services providers can improve doing business in today’s digital age.
A recent white paper entitled, “The End of the Banking Autocracy” uses research culled from worldwide survey to reveal that banks need to not only keep up with the latest technology, but to also listen to their customers’ rapidly changing needs in this increasingly high-tech world. Finance companies can no longer ignore the demands their customers place on them to deliver a customer service experience that not only meets, but exceeds, their expectations.
Forrester Research recently published “Trends 2014: North American Digital Insurance” which details the changes in consumer demographics and customer expectations that all insurers need to be aware of. The report concludes that customers – not insurers – are making the rules. Consumers have built solid, online-based relationships with other businesses – such as retailers, banks and other companies – and want their dealings with insurance providers to be no different.
In a recent report commissioned by Equifax, the credit reporting bureau discovered that there are currently 64 million auto loans outstanding with a balance of over $900 billion – a record high. In addition, new auto loans, originating in the first quarter of 2014 account for $163.5 billion in credit. Surprisingly, with record high balances on these loans, the delinquency rate is quite low – accounting for less than 1% of these outstanding balances.
In a first of its kind study, researchers were able to find scientific evidence to prove a long-standing hypothesis that IT and technology professionals across a wide range of industries prefer an integrated solution composed of hardware, software and services over a piece-by-piece approach. This philosophy has solid technological roots, as it was originated and supported by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and the late Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple.
In recent news, The Federal Trade Commission found that Consumer Portfolio Services (CPS), a subprime auto finance lender, used a number of “illegal tactics” while servicing customer accounts and attempting to collect on consumer loans. The company will pay more than $5.5 million to settle the charges that affected over 160,000 accounts. According to the FTC’s findings, CPS was found in violation of servicing loans by misrepresenting owed fees, collecting on monies that borrowers did not owe, improper assessment and collection of fees – including making unauthorized debits from borrowers’ bank accounts and harassment of consumers.
There’s bad news on the horizon for many homeowners who currently have home equity loans. According to a recent article in the New York Times, when these home equity lines of credit (HELOC) reach their 10-year anniversaries, they are resetting. The reset causes the borrower to reach even deeper into his wallet and not only pay interest on the loan, but also pay on the principal. Borrowers might see their monthly payments triple because of this reset – which is especially daunting for individuals and families who are in subprime loans.