Where’s the relationship between customer service and enterprise IT at ACORD LOMA?

Where’s the relationship between customer service and enterprise IT at ACORD LOMA

Nick Bilton, New York Times editor, presenting at ACORD LOMA 2011

As is the case with every technology tradeshow, there’s usually that overarching, bigger picture pointing to why technology is important. Healthcare – better patient safety and care. Government – better constituent service. Credit unions – better member service. You get the picture. It’s all about whomever the industry segment defines as its customer.

Maybe I’ve been too busy tweeting and blogging, but I’ve only heard the word “customer” a handful of times at ACORD LOMA this year. And while it was mentioned, it wasn’t in the context of having a better customer service model as being a differentiator for doing business. Instead, they seemed to be more focused on how to use enterprise IT to innovate within the business itself, as ACORD president Greg Maciag discussed in his introduction on Monday.

This was in sharp contrast between what the keynotes were saying, which were both technology focused, and the content in the sessions delivered by insurance IT leaders. Take what I mentioned in my last post (about the value of ACORD standards to drive innovation). Twitter co-founder Biz Stone’s comments about developing technology specifically with the user in mind really stuck out to me, as it’s something that we at Hyland believe in as we develop OnBase.

Nick Bilton, “New York Times” editor, also referenced the same idea, when he talked about customer experience in today’s keynote speech. The reality, as he described, is that products – from technology to insurance – are a commodity, in most cases. It’s how the customer experiences that product that makes it different. His example was while the content in the “New York Times” is suited for his needs, would he still subscribe if that content was delivered via a stack of Post-Its? Probably not.

Perhaps this lack of customer service chatter is simply because it isn’t a business driver for insurance organizations today. But I think what’s more likely is that insurance organizations are just forgetting how enterprise IT can be leveraged in so many ways to improve a customer experience, and therefore, they’re not talking about it in that context. Yes, social content is new and cool and has been the talk of the show. But with systems like enterprise content management managing the ever-growing amount of content that’s being created – both within the enterprise and around it – they cannot be overlooked or undervalued in how that content can be leveraged to better understand and work with customers.

As Nick Bilton pointed out in his talk, billions of people around the world – including insureds – have become their own publishers (think photos, blog posts, Facebook updates, etc.), and as a result, content of all formats is growing at an exponential rate. But if managing content that’s created in the brick and mortar insurance operations is already here, what’s next? Stay tuned for my next post for the answer.

Kaitlin McCready

Her title may say "Public Relations Specialist," but Kaitlin McCready's got her hand in the corporate Web site, social media, marketing writing and media relations, too. From Baldwin-Wallace College, she came to Hyland in March '08 with big ideas for PR and marketing, including this very blog. In her spare time, she enjoys being disappointed by Cleveland sports, spending time with family and friends, and being involved with the PRSA Cleveland chapter, especially the Young PRos committee. Check her out on Twitter (@kaitmccready) and LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/kaitlinmccready).

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