There are many good reasons for a large number of industries to move their operations online, most of which are underlined by clear benefits like cost reduction. But while it’s easier for consumer goods companies to move their sales and service processes online, it’s trickier in the insurance industry.
When consumers invest in insurance, the decisions that they’re making are often personal. Because of this, the companies that they deal with take a high-touch approach to the customer relationship. They want to make sure that there is a human face, or voice, available to respond to any questions or issues that the consumer may have.
For a lot of insurance shoppers, an LCD screen and a trackpad won’t be able to compete with human-to-human interaction. Still, insurers are becoming more focused on the digital world. It’s where a tonne of consumers choose to shop; insurers need to make sure that they’ve got a strong presence.
Insurers are moving their operations online. That boat has sailed. But there are still questions that need to be tackled about how they should approach digitalization.
Insurers need to maintain a focus on the consumer
Insurance firms face many of the same pressures as every other business; they need to make sure that their overheads are kept low and their profits pushed higher without impacting on the customer experience.
There’s confidence within the industry about the capabilities of online technology. A UK insurer recently shared that 50% of the claims that it handles could be made online. Technology that makes insurance shopping quick and easy for the consumer exists, and is really appreciated by some.
But while it’s true that assessments can be automated through forms, this doesn’t provide the reassurance and high-touch experience that many consumers value. While this sort of automation has clear cost benefits, they may well be negated by higher abandonment rates.
Make sure that technology has a human touch
The difficulty for many insurers is that they simply don’t know which visitors would get the most value out of talking to one of their dedicated advisors. Charging contact channels with Artificial Intelligence can give them this view. More than that, it can give them the opportunity to automatically determine which online visitors should be encouraged to connect with an advisor in the call center. This is the key to creating personalized, relevant experiences that actively reduce costs.
Making digital work for insurers is all about making sure that each interaction that a web visitor has with the company is relevant and sensitive to their specific needs. This will only be achieved if they have a clear, concise and cohesive understanding of anonymous web visitor behavior.
Should insurers move online? Yes. But only if they can make sure that they are equipped to deal with the multi-faceted issues that their customers have. The customer should always come first; if insurers lose track of understanding who their consumers are, or what they need, then they will lose ground.