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March 10, 2020

3 Ways to Improve Customer Experience

Summary:

A customer browsing your website likely needs something, and fast. No one casually browses GEICO or Allstate to waste time at work.

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Most people buy single insurance products, mainly auto. For them insurance is a set-it-up-and-forget-about-it problem. They want to spend as little time as possible thinking about their car insurance. In fact, 90% of insurers worldwide can go a full year without communicating with customers.  

The story changes a bit as customers get older. They get married and maybe buy another car. They buy a house and need homeowners insurance. Maybe they have children and start to think more seriously about life insurance and disability. People in the second half of their lives spend a lot more time considering insurance.

A first-time insurance buyer’s experience might be radically different from that in other industries like e-commerce, where the majority of customers make at least three visits to a site before purchasing. But, given how valuable a life-long customer is to an insurance company, getting the first-time experience right for the customer could make a difference of tens of thousands of dollars over their lifespan.

Although customers interact with insurance companies much less than with their favorite retail brands, customers still expect the same high standard of experience across the board.

You may only get one chance to talk to your customers, and it’s likely they need something, and fast. No one is casually browsing GEICO or Allstate to waste time at work. It is critical that the information put in front of the consumer is relevant, contextual and useful. A personal experience can make all the difference here.

See also: Bold Prediction on Customer Experience  

Use these three tips to make sure you’re prepared with answers when customers open the app, call the support center or search the site. 

Ditch the Jargon

What do you call that one form? With the numbers? Something about claims?

Your customers aren’t insurance experts. Making search too literal can make it difficult for customers to find what they’re looking for. Track how customers are articulating their needs in the search bar and reflect that language in your search results to save them time. And to save your customer support center from a frustrated phone call. 

Know When to Sell and When to Service

A customer who just purchased a hefty renter’s insurance policy, bundled with auto and life, is probably not trying to purchase that bundle again. If the person comes to the site and searches, he’s probably looking for help or for policy records. Search results should reflect each customer’s unique journey and provide an FAQ or links to access the account, not the best deal for new customers. Use a recommendation engine and apply machine learning in the form of personalized offers to put new and relevant information in front of existing customers.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the Chatbot Basket

AI-powered virtual assistants are a great way to help customers help themselves. But beware: Bots are still learning. Forrester cites USAA as a great example of combining the power of a virtual agent with the option for speaking with someone. “Customers can still reach a human associate when the virtual assistant does not understand the question, avoiding dead ends that lead customers to abandon their sessions in the app.” (Forrester Research, Inc., Simplify Insurance Customer Journeys by Improving Search, 2019).

See also: 8 Key Changes for Customer Experience  

As an insurance company, you only have a few chances to delight customers. Be sure the digital experience across mobile and online channels leads them to the products, documents and support they need.

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About the Author

Vivek Sriram is chief product officer at Lucidworks.

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