(A bandwagon in the 2009 Great Circus Parade, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo credit: Freekee.)
The insurance industry is in the throes of a major overhaul. Results of a 2014 survey by Morgan Stanley and the Boston Consulting Group explain that this is a consequence of two factors: the role of new technology and the emergence of a younger “millennial” generation of customers. Together, these two factors have forced insurers to question the best ways of relating to and engaging with their customers. In today’s digital age, insurers must realize that incorporating digital strategies and products into their offerings is the best way to connect with the “Millennial Generation” and the consumers of other generations whom they influence.
How urgent is the digital imperative? About 70 percent of customers surveyed confirmed that they would be willing to switch insurance carriers, which underscores the need for insurers to foster greater brand loyalty through a digital focused customer engagement strategy.
Millennials are generally tech savvy and have expectations that deter them from traditional marketing methods. Their rapidly evolving service demands are setting the trends for all customers. They seek engaging, precise, and “snackable” information for any and every field of inquiry – including insurance. Because the fine print of insurance policies (among other aspects of the business) is notoriously complex and tedious, digital tools are essential for distilling insurance materials and making them accessible to time-strapped consumers.
To provide engaging digital content that meets the demands of today’s tech savvy customer, the insurance industry needs to incorporate several key elements into their digital strategy:
• Acquisition: Long and tedious explanations of insurance policies won’t get visitors to hit the subscribe button. Instead, provide customers with fast online quotes of insurance policies, turning what could be a painful process into one that’s interactive, appealing to the customer and most importantly, converts visitors to your site into customers. Recommended: a visual, engaging communication channel, including a pop-up insurance questionnaire that can segment data and deliver it instantly, as well as provide relevant policy quotes based on customer answers.
• Onboarding: The onboarding process is the chance to get the customer to engage with your company—it’s during this time that customers will be most likely to inquire about the full suite of services they are receiving, making it crucial to be able to deliver clear and comprehensive explanations of an insurance policy. Recommended: Video can be an effective tool to complement the onboarding process, as well as a medium that can introduce complementary products, celebrate personal occasions, and build an overall emotional connection with your customers.
• Renewal/Retention: Whether it’s automated or active renewal, insurance companies are obliged to communicate the end of one policy period and the beginning of a new one accurately and on time. Recommended: An interactive digital-based renewal policy, aimed at being as user-friendly as possible can put customers at ease, leading to higher customer retention in the long run.
• Claim Management: With fluent communication along the claim process, you can easily reduce calls to a call center. Accelerating the claim process leads to a dramatic increase in overall customer satisfaction and loyalty, and can increase the likelihood that customers will cover a new asset (i.e. car). Recommended: Digital tools, including video, can help walk customers through the claim process, updating them about the steps they need to take and introducing them to the right agent regarding insurance policy renewal.
• Up-selling and Cross-Selling: Both up-selling and cross-selling are key tools for insurance marketers, as they allow insurance companies to both increase revenue and build customer lifetime value while providing the client with full policy protection. Additionally, they are part of the retention strategy, as they effectively block out the introduction of offers from competing companies. Recommended: By addressing customers by first name, and presenting personalized stories or real-life scenarios, insurance companies are more likely to tap into customers’ emotions, and forge stronger connections, resulting in additional sales.
• Mobile App Adoption: As customer communication has shifted from the desktop to the mobile device, insurers have been forced to adapt and incorporate mobile communication strategies into marketing efforts. While developing a robust mobile app for insurance customers isn’t easy, making a policy accessible anytime and anywhere, keeps customers up-to-date with their coverage, and guarantees that an efficient claims management and tracking system is available. Recommended: By creating campaigns like prizes, giveaways, discounts, and special offers to motivate app download, insurance companies could boost brand loyalty and customer engagement, as well as offer their customers enhanced user-experience—a true win-win scenario.
Contemporary society is digitally fueled, and businesses can no longer afford to ignore this. Insurance companies must hop on the digital bandwagon and optimize their customers’ digital experience. This will certainly improve their overall businesses by truly enhancing customer loyalty and engagement.