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October 13, 2016

3 Types of Data for Personalization

Summary:

The consumer experience is a funnel, and personalization can be applied to each touch-point in the funnel.

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In the modern insurance world, personalization is about more than modifying content to match consumer profiles. It’s about meeting consumers’ needs more effectively, making interactions easier and increasing overall satisfaction.

Remember, the consumer experience is a funnel, and personalization can be applied to each touch-point in the funnel. Personalize all platforms of interaction: in person, mail, phone calls, email, website and mobile.

See also: The Case for Personalization  

When it comes to insurance, consumers want the process to be easy. Your use of personalization should align with that belief. Personalized service is important to consumers, and according to one study, 80% of insurance customers are looking for personalized offers, messages, pricing and recommendations from their auto, home or life insurance providers. Give your consumers what they’re looking for.

The 3 Types of Data You Need for Personalization:

With the Internet of Things, the majority of consumer touch-points are now digital. Use the available data to help improve your personalization techniques.

  • Demographics: Leverage the consumer data you have—age, gender, location, platform preference (mobile, email, by mail, only digital), expressed interests—to better meet your customers’ needs. Asking consumers to repeat or re-enter information that they’ve already shared shows them that you don’t care. Know their demographics to show that you do.
  • Past Contact: What is the consumer’s history with you? Use the historical data to your advantage. A record of contact with the customer is necessary and can greatly inform all future contact. Recall their previous experiences to better understand and meet their current needs.
  • Present Context: Consider the present context data for personalization. What type of device is the consumer using? Which browser is she searching on? For what reason is he contacting you? This can inform the method of personalization used to better meet their needs effectively.

Personalization in Action

Depending on your sector within the insurance industry, your method of personalization may differ. An insurance company may use personalization in a slightly different manner than independent agents do.

Here are some personalization methods that put the three types of data mentioned above to use. Amend these methods to fit your sector and help improve the consumer experience.

  • Contextualize language, images or graphics based on the consumer’s location in emails, mailing materials and in-app offers. Using an image of the consumer’s city or a well-known landmark can help show that you are aware of who your consumers are. Using language that matches your consumer’s demographics and is relevant to his age, location, occupation or needs will also be more useful to him. You can always A/B test to see which method resonates best.
  • Refer to previous contact in current interactions. For example, an agent could say: “The last time we spoke was in November. Are you still the primary driver for your Nissan Altima?” Or a home insurer could send a follow-up email to ask how the home repairs went after a filed claim.
  • Personalize email headers or content in reference to local events or happenings in the consumer’s location.
  • Offer helpful, relevant information. Insurance apps may offer driving routes, roadside assistance and real-time weather reports or warnings. Similarly, agents can send email updates warning of a coming snowstorm or local incident that may affect their customers. Telematics companies could send home or car maintenance tips, reminding customers that it may be time to check their smoke detector batteries or get an oil change.
  • Personalize offers to customer interests. If the consumer travels a lot, she may want to know more about rental car insurance or travel insurance. If a driver has had several recent accident claims, an agent could recommend technologies or courses to help improve skills and cut costs.

See also: 5 Stages on Journey to Personalized Insurance  

Why Does Personalization Work?

Personalization works because it’s relevant. When relevant information is provided, it meets consumers’ needs more effectively and efficiently. Relevant information speed interactions and improves consumer satisfaction. Every interaction with a consumer is not a singular event, but part of a collective path. With the growth of the Internet of Things, insurance is becoming more personalized and tailored to each consumer. Use the available data to deliver the right promotion, content and service to meet your consumers’ needs.

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About the Author

Seth Birnbaum is the CEO and co-founder of EverQuote, the largest online auto insurance marketplace in the U.S. EverQuote has been named to Inc. 5000 list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies for three years in a row and has over $100 million in revenue—with three-year revenue growth of 208%.

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