April 18, 2018
3 Key Considerations for Multi-Channel
Keep in mind the experience you’re delivering, its consistency across channels and the process for renewing policies digitally.
We know the agent channel isn’t disappearing from the insurance and financial services industry anytime soon. However, it’s not going to look the same way it did 10, five, even one year ago. That’s because consumer expectations are changing rapidly, due in large part to the multi-channel shopping experience made possible by mobile and social media and delivered by companies like Amazon.
“All those expectations consumers have are coming to the insurance space,” said Chip Bacciocco, CEO of TrustedChoice.com, during Denim Summit 2017. “Insurance customers have an expectation of interacting with an expert to buy insurance any time of the day or night. They want to know where their friends buy insurance from. They want to know the ratings and reviews of different agents. They want transparency in value.”
Here are three important things to keep in mind as you develop your multi-channel customer experience:
- Customer service. For most consumers, shopping for insurance doesn’t start on the phone any more. People want to have a conversation with a person after they’ve done their own research about the products and services offered. They want to feel informed and empowered — and many of them will be. Be sure your customer service representatives are well-trained and given the authority to perform higher-level service for those consumers who have already exhausted all self-service channels. After all, the last thing a consumer who is used to having requests completed quickly and seamlessly wants is to be transferred to another representative. Bacciocco recommends observing what you’re doing today in terms of customer interaction. “The number one way to do it: Listen to your phone calls,” he said. “Record every inbound call. We record 10,000 inbound phone calls every single month through TrustedChoice.com.”
- Consistency. It’s no surprise that in a digital, multi-channel world, your brand is being represented through multiple channels — agent, website, social media, call center and so on. It’s critical that consumers receive the same information and experience no matter what channel they’re engaging with. “What is the consistency of the products you’re offering? The price of those?” asked Denise Garth, senior vice president of strategic marketing for Majesco, during Denim Summit 2017. “If I go to different channels, and the price is different, you’ve lost credibility, you’ve lost trust and you’ve lost any aspect of having value.”
- Buying vs. renewing. Agents still dominate new insurance policy sales with both consumers and small- to medium-size businesses. However, renewals tend to be less of a face-to-face process. “That is really, really critical because that’s when you’re going to lose them,” Garth said. “If you don’t have a digital channel to engage with them really well to renew that policy and provide that service, you probably will lose them.”
See also: Global Trend Map No. 12: Cybersecurity
With 224 million smartphone users in the U.S. spending an average of two hours every day consuming social media, you have too much to lose to put the mobile and social media channels on the back burner. As you develop your multi-channel strategy throughout 2018 and beyond, be sure you are keeping in mind the customer service experience you’re delivering, its consistency across channels and the process for renewing policies in a digital way.