By Małgorzata Moderacka, Digital Insurance Product Manager at Comarch

Customer Relationship Management systems have been on the market since 1993. Fast forward to today, and it’s still a tough job for many companies to choose the right one.

It all started in 1982, with Robert and Kate Kestnbaums publishing the concept of database marketing which applies statistical methods to gather and analyze customer data. Building upon that concept, over a decade later, the first CRM system was launched. Businesses were never quite the same – and never looked back.

Customer Relationship Management systems are the life and blood of today’s companies. Wondering which system is the most important one in any organization, you may consider core systems, financial ones, ERPs perhaps, but it’s the CRM that shines through all of them. Even the best back office system is not enough to impress your customers if you fall short CRM-wise.

Feature soup

The features provided by a typical CRM are grouped by Gartner into 5 main categories: sales, marketing, customer service, field service and digital commerce. This is where it gets complicated, because in each category there may be tons of features. The list is so long that a single vendor can specialize solely in a wide scope from just one area.

In that case, it is very often impossible to find one solution meeting all company’s needs. As Gartner says: “the larger the organization, the larger the number of CRM solutions in use”. The organization has to implement several systems to create tailor-made architecture and ensure the most needed features are in place.

But he ‘feature soup# is one thing. Another one is customization, especially in highly technical industries like finance and insurance. Considering a CRM system for insurance, you need to combine typical CRM features with industry specific needs. Well-known CRMs come with long lists of universal features, but don’t cut the mustard when it comes to, say, premium quotation. That’s because it requires more advanced algorithms than those coming up with product lists, along with prices and discounts.

Every little thing counts

A CRM system for insurance should provide flexible business rules and algorithms for premium calculation. An insurance agent needs to know instantly about what the offer and premium is so there is no point in redirecting their query to a core system for the sake of time.

But the quotation itself is not enough, the agent still needs support in building a true relationship with a customer. Full customer data, the history of their transactions and interactions are needed for that – policies owned, meetings held, and emails sent. Thanks to that, the agent can smoothly continue any process, while the marketing team, monitoring the process, can find patterns to plan their strategy around.

Recipe for success

There are many different CRM systems on the market today, from small, open source solutions to advanced and comprehensive platforms offered by market leaders. But in the insurance and finance industries, one must be prudent in picking and choosing.
First, the stability and security of the solution should be considered.

Second, the vendor’s experience in the insurance realm is critical, as good understanding of the business and using the same industry typical language go a shorter way. It’s best if the vendor’s team has skills as not only of IT, but also insurance experts: the job gets done better and faster.

Third, take all the regulations you need to comply with – MiFID questionnaire, FATCA, or PEP declaration – they all should be known through and through by those you work with.

Simply put, if you’re an insurer, your CRM system should be insurance-specific. We have one. We can help.