As an independent agent, you know it’s important to deliver a great insurance customer experience. Making sure every interaction is a positive one can go a long way toward boosting client satisfaction, engagement, and retention. But what you may not realize is your customers’ expectations have increased.
According to a survey conducted by Salesforce Research, 67% of customers say their standards for good experiences are higher than ever.
This means you need to work even harder to offer excellent communication, advice, and service – or risk losing your clients to the competition.
The good news is making the following strategic changes can not only improve the insurance customer experience but also help your agency grow!
1. Keep in Mind Automation Is the Future of Insurance
Make no mistake – automation is shaping up to be the future of insurance. Implementing the right tools to automate certain tasks can increase efficiency by freeing up time. Plus, it can enhance your existing service. However, only forward-looking agents who invest in such technology enjoy the benefits of automation in creating an impactful customer experience.
Nowadays, consumers expect an experience that is simple, fast, and convenient. These are attainable by automating insurance processes such as renewals, coverage recommendations, policy updates, claims processing, and more.
2. Implement Self-Help with New Technologies
The COVID-19 pandemic taught the corporate and commercial world a lesson: It’s still survival of the fittest. Insurance companies have, for decades, relied on agent distribution to reach new and existing clients. The pandemic brought into clear focus the need for agencies to off-load service tasks, not the relationship.
Fortunately, you can stay competitive by adapting to this new world. And one of the best ways to do that is by offering solutions such as self-service via an app. In doing so, you can meet your customers’ mobile servicing expectations and give them the opportunity to help themselves. Combined with personal attention, this kind of technology can go a long way toward improving the experience you provide to customers and strengthening the relationship by offering more service options.
3. Give Consumers Options
A staggering 84% of customers say that the manner in which you engage is just as important as the services you provide. When you give consumers multiple options to engage with your business, they feel empowered. They have more control when it comes to decision-making, and that’s critical to delighting clients.
According to data from MyCustomer, providing multiple options for…
…increases customer satisfaction overall.
So, if you want to improve the insurance customer experience, you need to provide multiple service and communication channels, especially those for self-service. Being quick to answer the phone only goes so far – particularly when many of your customers prefer other simpler and faster ways to get answers to their questions.
4. Simplify Processes for Better Experiences
How easily can a customer find something they need to know about your agency?
If they needed an answer to a quick question, what would be the turnaround time to provide an answer?
Would a customer trying to engage have to jump through hoops and tedious searches and scrolling?
If the average internet user can’t find the information they need on the first attempt, your business processes and settings are more complicated than they should be, or possibly nonexistent.
Here is a straightforward tip to simplify the insurance customer experience: Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. By recreating the processes they would use to find information, you’ll be able to rate the simplicity of the process.
5. Demonstrate Openness, Transparency, and Clear Communication
The last thing you want to do is leave your customers in the dark or make them feel as though you’re not being honest with them. This can have a negative impact on the insurance customer experience. That’s why you need to demonstrate openness, transparency, and clear communication.
This means taking proper steps such as…
- Setting expectations early on
- Keeping them up to date on relevant information
- Following up with them on inquiries
- Making it easy for them to connect with you
By proving your agency is one that takes these characteristics seriously, you can increase customer satisfaction and trust. And in the process, you can help your agency stand out from the competition. 4. Implement Self-Help with New Technologies
6. Take a Personalized Approach to Customer Service
Personalization is not just about memorizing each customer’s name and coverage; it’s about going the extra mile when it comes to their experience. To do this, you should focus on the following:
- Keeping detailed records (aka “data”) of past interactions
- Training staff members to be customer-facing
- Soliciting feedback to discover frustrations with insurance, recent events, and interests
- Finding out what they like and don’t like about your agency
The goal is to learn as much as possible so you can apply the findings and serve them better.
Taking a more personalized approach demonstrates that you see your client as a person with unique wants and needs. This makes them feel valued and heard. And as a result, you not only improve the insurance customer experience but also build customer loyalty.
7. Focus on the Service, Not the Sale
Selling coverage is probably the most important element to most insurance agencies. However, agencies that excel understand that the service is more important than the sale. So, to improve the insurance customer experience, you must invest the time, effort, and resources in ensuring a positive and seamless experience for the customer.
If you are having problems with retaining customers, there is a good chance that service is lacking. HubSpot found in a study that nine in ten Americans factor in the quality of service when deciding whether to go with a company or agency. Consider what the initial onboarding process with a new customer looks like and how it could be better.
Improving the insurance customer experience is not a one-off event; it’s an ongoing process that your agency must embrace to survive. More than ever, it is crucial that your agency leverage your customer experience to win against your competitors.
As a new generation that does not care for old processes enters the insurance market, the best bet a growing agency can place is to offer customers an experience the competition can’t match. So get to work on making strategic changes that will take your customer experience to the next level!