Insurance Customer Experience – how to make it personal and build loyalty in a self-service industry

Great Customer Experience has always been central to the insurance industry. Whether it’s ease of getting a quote and transacting, claims management or renewals, it has always been important that brands make the process as seamless and easy for customers as possible.

Over the last few years we have seen a big shift towards digitisation and automation in the industry, with self-service becoming the norm across all levels of client management. What considerations do we need to put in place from a marketing perspective to ensure we continue to deliver differentiated customer experiences?

Knowing our customers, and getting them to share their information

For marketers, our customers most valuable asset is their information. The data about themselves and their products, interests and assets that are relevant to us. We have always known that catching our customers just in time for their next renewal is optimal, but there is more insight to be found. Understanding different lifestyles, demographics, domestic and social situations enable us to create products and services that resonate with them.

Consumers are now much more aware of the risks and challenges surrounding the use of their personal information. We have to demonstrate both how and why we will use their data, whether this is by creating real-time offers in their account management web pages, or curating relevant lifestyle communications that inspire, as well as providing opportunities for us to promote our services.

The important thing is to recognise them as a customer, a human-being, not a policy.

Using an example; I’m married, late-40’s, one school aged child, enjoy international travel, have two family cars, two family cats, own home, business owner, hobbies include homebrewing (from my garage); video gaming and golf.

Nothing too secretive above, but with this information, what products and services could any of my insurers cross-sell to me? By showing me how this information is used, through examples and relevant content, there is a higher chance of me sharing more, which creates a much more relevant and meaningful relationship.

Managing Customer Struggle in Digitisation & Self-Service

Our customers are increasingly technology-savvy and feel very comfortable using it to not only do price-comparisons and build quotes, but also in the full end to end management of the relationship. Most insurers have implemented systems and processes that make this work, and in most cases work well. Whilst this has some commercial benefit to us, it reduces the opportunity for our fantastic service agents to build a picture of our client and sometimes limits our ability to manage process problems in the same way.

I recently had to renew my car insurance. I received my renewal quote (very high), so logged into my insurers account management page.

Three things went wrong;

  1. The help page was faulty, and couldn’t provide any assistance
  2. I couldn’t find how to cancel the auto-renewal, within the account page
  3. The page automatically logged me out and got into a perpetual page reload loop

One thing went right;

  1. The web chat with the service agent took five minutes and resulted in my auto-renew being cancelled.

I was actually surprised to engage with a real person, not a chat bot – whilst it was a pleasant surprise, depending on the customer LTV/Models, my enquiry could perhaps have been handled more cost effectively with a chat bot and only passed through when it was appropriate.

The over-riding experience was poor, in a very small part due to the premium increase, but in a large part due to my inability to manage things myself.

If the insurer has in place the MarTech platforms and processes that automatically identified my struggles, then they can act, fix, and create a better future experience, but more importantly provide an opportunity to follow up with me. Yes, things break on occasion but it’s how you act and respond to those events that create great Customer Experience.

CX Journey Automation: making it personal and building loyalty

Customer journeys within the industry are well established, whether it’s for customer acquisition or for renewals, but often that’s where the relationship ends. It’s a straightforward transaction, with limited real engagement. Operating in a price sensitive industry, where it’s easy to compare prices of one insurer against the other makes it difficult to be seen as more than a commodity, something that is bought and sold on a few pounds difference.

If we truly know our customers, and they have given us their information (see my first point), they have also given us permission to recognise them and to communicate with them in a direct and relevant way. Building customer journeys and communications that surprise-and-delight, without always being part of an overt sales and marketing activity, draws customers in.

Personalisation is much more than “Dear Andy”, it focusses on content, relevance and timeliness to ensure I feel understood as a customer. It may be as simple as a cat or dog picture for our pet insurance renewal, or a more sophisticated combination of multi-product engagement, based on their stated needs, in conjunction with our modelling.

Building a focus around these three factors will accelerate you on the journey to ensuring your customers are not only loyal, but actively engage with you to build a more comprehensive relationship.

TL;DR

In order to build ongoing, great customer experience, focus on three things:

  1. Give the customer a compelling and valuable reason for them to share more information with you and demonstrate it with follow through.
  2. Ensure your digital touchpoints work, are easy to understand and look for customer struggle constantly. Follow up if something breaks.
  3. Ensure customer journeys are ongoing, relevant, timely and personalised to the needs of the customer.

For more information about how Purple Square help our clients deliver these three capabilities have a chat with one of our team.

By: Andrew Addison Founder & CEO