Three Actions Insurance Agencies Can Take to Increase Customer Loyalty

by | Feb 9, 2022 | Blogs | 0 comments

3 Winning Strategies to Build a Positive Employee Experience
Insurance Agencies have been forced to adapt their business models in order to stay competitive, as well as to maintain and build customer satisfaction and loyalty. In the latest trends, data shows the digital economy is booming as “Today’s Insurance Agent must balance both the growing needs of existing clients and the needs of prospective clients whose preferences are shifting toward digital offerings that provide easy, timely access to insurance help when needed,” said Peter McMurtrie, president of P&C Commercial Lines at Nationwide. This means, customers and Sales Agents alike now need more transparent, and trusting digital experience.

As a result, Insurance Agencies are increasingly asking themselves a few strategic questions as they build a greater digital ecosystem and overcome Customer Experience /Employee Experience (CX/EX) challenges. For instance: should they invest in self-service technologies, and trust customers to handle business themselves with less interaction from staff? Should they develop and provide more digital products and service communications? Or should they double down on technology and policies that encourage more virtual face-to-face interactions?

In short, the answer is: yes, yes, and yes. And the more integrated and accommodating your digital ecosystem becomes for both the customer and the Sales Agents that service them, the better.

Three Actions Enterprises Can Take to Increase Customer Loyalty

Strategies to Overcome Trending Customer and Employee Challenges

Each of these strategies has merit on their own. Here’s how:
1. Self-Service Technologies
In an early study, EY showed up to 40% of consumers decide to continue their relationship with insurers based on the quality of their experience. More than anything, allowing for the integration of self-service technologies is about speed in the initial customer contact through to sale. One of the most important attributes of a customer experience is response time -the faster the better. What better way to optimize lead turnover time than to let customers go at their own pace? A complete digital customer experience with comprehensive information available online with features such as; FAQs, information libraries, support portals, online discussion forums, – will increase customer engagement and equip customers to intuitively walk themselves through your Agencies product offering.  Self-service is a valued addition to your service and a unique selling point to make your Agency more competitive.  – Making your Agency accessible 24/7 to customers leaves them feeling confident about your product offering and, best of all, a confident loyal customer.

Examples use case for self-service that can lead to a sale:

        • Chat-bots – enable customer to talk a chat-bot to provide simple insurance information and in turn you gain customer insights with the ability train your staff on how to tailor the next conversation with a prospect or customer
        • Support Portals – customers that have access their latest policy information online, also draws an opprtunity for the customer to review other insurance coverage they may need.

Additionally, thanks to data and behavioral insights, Insurance Agencies can see what content and queries customers are demanding the most – and then produce and personalize the information they need and identify information or process gaps that may exist along the customer journey. Therefore, self-service confinement is critical, opening your Insurance Agencies to new levels of trust, transparency and an overall better digital experience. That said, the customer experience must be synchronized across multi-channel communications and multidiscipline interaction to proactively meet the customer where they are.

Three Actions Enterprises Can Take to Increase Customer Loyalty
2. Omni-Channel Digital Insurance Updates and Communications
Ensuring customers have access to the most up-to-date information on your Insurance Agency and can engage you in the manner that’s most effective and convenient for them is critical in a post-covid era. Customers must be able to learn and experience more about your unique service offerings, all from the comfort of their computer or smartphone.

Insurance Agencies should build more future-ready digital products and services and provide a clear picture of those offerings through the new age of digital experience. This means building cross-discipline communications, accessible service demonstrations, and clear information touchpoints. By doing so, customers receive benefits like instant service delivery, real-time response to multidiscipline requests, and timely updates on your services tailored to their particular situation. In addition, your Insurance Agency will have the proper back-end infrastructure to handle customer demands in a timely fashion and you can focus on other pressing business matters. This helps deliver total customer experiences and equips your team to generate, test and deploy the next-best solutions.

After all, if customers find they can’t effectively interact with you how they want, they will take their business to another Insurance provider that’s a better fit. It’s no longer cost or time-prohibitive to do so, especially when alternatives are a click, or two away and quick comparison tools are available. Thus, if your Insurance Agency is behind the new digital era, your customers will find out and quickly find the convenience they desire elsewhere.

3. Remote, Personalized Interactions
Remote work, a trend significantly accelerated by pandemic-related necessities, is here to stay. According to Gartner, 32 percent of all employees worldwide were remote workers at the end of 2021 – up from 17 percent in 2019 – and 53 percent of the American workforce will be remote in 2022. So how do Insurance Agencies, that heavily relied on face-to-face customer service still provide personalized customer service and interactions as hybrid and remote work continue to rise?

Insurance Agencies can continue to deliver quality personalized service by investing in Sales Agents with great skills in that area and utilizing intuitive technology that supports and accommodates remote work. That includes technology with better digital communication channels that enable you to still tailor conversations around insurance and policy information, automate low-value admin tasks and provide complete transparency of every sales opportunity to ensure a prospect or existing customer gets the insurance coverage they need. After all, it still means something to a customer who feels an Insurance Agency is empathetic and looks out for their best interest.

Another vital reason to go digital is the current challenge of customers shifting locations as a result of the pandemic, meaning retention let alone a new sale just got harder, therefore maintaining a relationship via digital means will allow Agents to still remain close to their customers no matter how remote.  According to the Nationwide Agency Forward survey – in the next 5 years:

  • 34% of consumers plan to move away from their current location in the next five years and about a quarter say the pandemic impacted this decision
  • At least 1-in-5 business owners intend to reduce, move, or eliminate offices in the next five years with middle-market owners (77%) being three times more likely than small business owners to say the pandemic influenced their plans

Customers still want a great service and support experience, especially when they need to solve urgent or complex issues. By focusing on that as part of the total experience, customers will feel glad they chose your Insurance Agency and become loyal.

Three Actions Enterprises Can Take to Increase Customer Loyalty
Through integrating these concepts together, your Insurance Agency can achieve a total end-to-end Customer Experience that drives loyalty and revenue. Furthermore, by integrating the three strategies simultaneously, your digital engagement will become more efficient and personalized for both customers and Sales Agents who service your customers. To allow customers to choose how they want to engage with their Insurance provider and offer a helping hand to them no matter where they are in their customer journey…now that’s a powerhouse combination.

Enabling Deeper Consumer Experiences

New technologies have emerged that can help Insurance Agencies tackle all three strategies at the same time. Agency Management Solutions (AMS) are perhaps best equipped to help organizations tackle a more integrated digital ecosystem to overcome CX/EX challenges.

As an example, AGENCYMATE’s all-in-one Insurance AMS platform supports Agents across all aspects of their business, providing full customer lifecycle lead-to-sale-to-service excellence every. single. Day. We also understand that every Agency is unique, and that is why we enable you to customize your core business processes from lead nurture workflows, individual team member action lists, communication workflow and that’s just to name a few! This allows your Insurance Agency to focus on core business actions to respond quickly to leads and every step of the sales cycle, to convert and win!

Insurance Agencies would be wise to quickly explore and transform their customer and employee experience to utilize applications like this that optimize consumer interactions, create efficiencies, drive revenue and loyalty, minimize risk and save time and money. Doing so will help ensure they deliver on what their customers want – and stay ahead of their competition in the years to come.

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