October 10, 2016 | Written by: Lynn Kesterson-Townes
Categorized: Client Stories | InsurTech
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My daughter’s roommate, Jan, recently had her car stolen from the parking lot of their apartment building. They had just moved in! Their new apartment is a short walk from their college campus and right across the street from a grocery store. They thought the location was perfect. They found out the hard way that it wasn’t.
But, what if Jan could have been spared the trauma of having her car stolen? What if Jan’s auto insurer had been paying attention to her apartment hunt via social media? What if her insurer had jumped into the conversation with stats on the safest places to rent an apartment and park her car? What if the insurer had offered a discount to Jan’s premium if she had decided to rent an apartment in a building with secure parking? It could have saved Jan a lot of heartache. It could have saved her insurer a lot of money. What’s more, it could have earned her insurer a zealous Brand advocate for life.
These days, it isn’t good enough for insurers to be responsive after bad things happen. Today’s customers want more. Of course, when bad things happen, policyholders want their insurer to jump in and compensate them as soon as possible. But, today’s empowered insurance customers are realizing that they want their insurance partner to advise them on how to avoid bad things happening to them in the first place.
Let’s take a closer look at what policyholders really want from their insurance providers.
- Treat me as an individual. Insurers, you need to know what’s going on in the life of your policyholder and offer products and services that anticipate and support that life experience. Whether it is safeguarding exciting events like welcoming a new baby or buying a new car or mitigating challenges such as storm damage or a death in the family, always interact with relevant engagement.
- Give me a holistic experience across channels, at every stage of my journey. Insurers, you need to create a productive customer experience, regardless of which channel a policyholder or prospective customer uses at any stage in their dialogue with you. For example, never place your policyholder in a situation where they have to get your customer service agent up to speed even though they’ve already started a claims process online. An IBM Institute for Business Value study revealed that 41% of policyholders switched their insurer when their needs changed and their insurer couldn’t keep up.
- Offer me immediacy. Today’s policyholders want instant gratification. They won’t restrict their research, their questions or their buying activities to between 9 am and 5 pm. Many don’t want to talk to a person at all. They’d rather discover the answers to their questions themselves. If your website can’t provide answers, demonstrate how to’s, and offer products at any time, potential customers will move on to someone else’s website that will. But, if you can meaningfully interact “on demand”, you have a good start at building a relationship that will eventually include selling insurance.
Connected policyholders are driving insurers into a brave new era. But, traditional insurers are not consigned to failure – if they have the foresight and perseverance to evolve into the risk management partners that today’s empowered policyholders seek.
To walk through an example of an insurer meeting a millennial’s expectations, check out this SlideShare. For more food for thought, please refer to the IBM IBV study entitled, “Capturing Hearts, Minds & Market Share”.