If you deliver better customer experiences, 6 in 10 will tell their friends
In an attempt to gain more wins in today’s competitive market, insurance carriers are throwing more of their budgets into bigger and better advertising campaigns. But as advertising budgets grow to alarming rates, the unfortunate news is that this seems to be making very little difference for insurance carriers.
In fact, according to the J.D. Power 2015 US Insurance Shopping Study, auto insurers increased their advertising spend by 6% in 2015 compared with 2014, however brand awareness showed a decline – to 60% in 2015 compared to 62% in 2014. For all lines of insurance, research suggests similar trends.
While price will always remain an important factor for consumers, carriers can no longer compete on price alone. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to compete on product as competitors are easily able to replicate new or enhanced products and offer similar products at lower prices, once again engaging in a price slashing game.
The new competitive commodity has quickly become the customer experience. Consumers expect more, want transparency, and expect personalized relationships with their carriers and agents. According to a worldwide survey, insurance companies are not ranking very high on the customer experience playing field. In collaboration with EFMA, Capgemini uncoveredthat only 30% of insurance customers report a positive “insurance customer experience.” While these numbers are a bit disheartening, there is plenty of room for insurance carriers and agents to step up to the plate and deliver better experiences – and ultimately sell more policies.
One of the biggest impacts affecting consumer expectations is the rise of new technologies and digital channels. Consumers are doing more research online and expect easy access to information across these channels. According to research by CEB TowerGroup Insurance, 38% of consumers prefer to research online. However, only 24% prefer to purchase online, which means insurance carriers and agents need an easy way for consumers to transition from channel to channel during the purchase journey.
Because consumers prefer to research online, it is important to have plenty of information, interactive tools, and easy ways to get in touch with an agent. Different consumer segments must also be considered to appeal to the way each prefers to research and engage with an agent.
A millennial may head to your social media sites to check out videos, read about different policies, and then schedule an appointment on your social pages. An older consumer may simply head to your website and to look for an easy way to get in contact with you. A busy professional on the other hand may research across mobile and want the ability to simply click and schedule an appointment at their convenience.
A multi-channel presence and engagement strategy is a huge factor in successfully catering to today’s consumers and creating positive experiences. Especially when you consider that in 5 years, more than 30% of insurer business will occur digitally.
• More from Larisa Bedgood: 5 ways big data is making a splash in the insurance industry
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