Every industry battles its fair share of challenges while optimising their customers’ experiences – across channels and product/service portfolios. The insurance sector is one where customer churn is high and defecting to competition is becoming increasingly commonplace. The rise of online comparison services combined with the very nature of insurance policies puts customers at higher risk where most relationships are up for review and renewal every 12 months.
How can insurers ensure they are picked at the end of those 12 months, every time? The key lies in using an omni-channel approach to deliver clear, consistent and compelling messages that customers want to engage with, guiding them down a well-structured and easily navigable journey.
This sounds ideal in theory, but the truth is insurers find the concept difficult to operationalise. We’ve recently published an insight article on customer engagement in the insurance sector which explores customer motives during the review and deliberation process before shifting to another insurance provider. Studies find that customers who feel engaged by their insurers are less likely to defect and are willing to accept an 8-15% price differential before jumping ship. The overall feedback to this has been positive, with most industry professionals agreeing to the need for a strong engagement strategy in their customer experience approach. We’ve also heard back from senior industry professionals who still feel that price is the singular, most important factor in determining customer loyalty in the insurance sector, and that engagement is a good-to-have. We would argue that while price is certainly important, as mentioned in our article, engagement is more than a value-add. It is essential for several reasons:
- Understanding customer needs – communication that forms the basis of engagement also transfers valuable information back to the insurer and helps deliver the service customers expect.
- Predicting customer behaviour – regular engagement does more than build a 360 degree view of customer needs, it can also predict future customer behaviour through big data mining and analytics.
- Reducing operational cost – the ideal approach in engaging customers is via a cross-channel approach depending on their preference and need. We’ve published a white paper on the advantages of operationalising omni-channel strategies and here’s link to a quick guide if you’re interested in reading further.
The truth is, customer engagement is one of the pillars on which the insurance customer experience needs to be modelled and not an additional aspect of customer service. Insurers need to evolve and adapt their attitude towards customers. Price alone can no longer be thought of as the hook, line and sinker, customers need more from their insurers, they need engagement as part of a positive customer experience, each time every time.
Our latest white paper Insure Against Loss examines in detail the opportunities in the insurance sector. In this paper we will explore how delivering an exceptional customer experience can increase customer engagement levels and reduce customer churn.