As carriers, agencies and brokers begin the new year, economic uncertainty is on everyone’s mind, and insurers are looking for ways to increase and maintain wallet share. One thing is certain: Loyalty is earned and not bought. A new year is a great time for a fresh start, and decision-makers are evaluating their organizations’ approach to core functions and workflows, including the role insurance technology plays in creating loyalty and generating revenue.
They’re taking stock of the customer experience across the board, from quoting to claims and payments to referrals, in the context of the entire insurance ecosystem and its multiple stakeholders. Many are finding they’ve drifted away from the cadence they were striving for, and they’re struggling to support their distribution and partner ecosystem and stay top of mind with customers.
In 2023, doubling down on loyalty will be key. For insurers, this starts with reflecting on why you’re in the industry in the first place. Insurance company slogans are all about rock-solid steadiness, reliability and protection and caring, and that’s why you’re in the business -- to provide guardrails so individuals, families and businesses can move seamlessly and safely through their lives with the appropriate coverage.
That mission is shared throughout the digital insurance ecosystem, so now is a great time to get back to this promise by doubling down on loyalty. By building trust in a social environment where we are at a low point and showing up to support your ecosystem, you can defend wallet share. Here’s a look at how you can harness trends to create more loyalty and trust across the board in 2023:
- Sharing quality data: It’s easy to lose sight of this critical objective because there are so many stakeholders involved, but carriers, agencies, brokers and distribution networks need to share fresh, relevant data across channels and as needed to better serve customers. Sharing data empowers the digital ecosystem with the right information at the right time to leverage the investments you and your partners have made in the cloud. But while collecting data securely and enabling data application at scale is important, it’s time to challenge yourself to make the most of it by using data to create value across the entire customer journey. Start creating loyalty at the first interaction.
- Refining your ideal customer profile: The current economic situation isn’t the only factor that contributes to a pervasive societal feeling of unease. Weather patterns are changing. Concerns about cybersecurity are on the rise. It’s time to ensure you are growing and adjusting your business to match your ideal customer, while at the same time acknowledging that your ideal customer may not be who you started with. Sometimes your ideal customer will change, and at other times your product will need to change so you can continue to support your ideal customer. It’s integral to the promise you make to customers to be there for them, so help customers by providing the right policies for them.
- Bringing policyholders and end consumers into the conversation: This isn’t a new trend, but communicating with customers is even more critical in a time of uncertainty and when consumer spending is down. Obtain the appropriate consent from the customer and get the data you need to be part of their life on whatever channels they choose. Help customers understand what’s covered and what’s not. Communicate about policy changes. Remember that policyholders typically don’t shop for insurance until they buy something new that needs to be insured or after filing a claim. That’s when churn happens, but you can prevent it by working to build a long-term relationship with customers at the start and respecting their communication preferences.
- Delivering convenience by moving seamlessly between channels: The demand for convenience is a persistent trend, and it will continue. So it’s essential to create convenience at every point of contact, from the first quote to claims resolution. Optimize your workflows and offer multiple channels so customers can complete a task from the first time they reach out to you. Allow them to move seamlessly through channels, i.e., from a call to a text to a secure web interface. The old customer service standard used to be “first-call resolution,” but in a multichannel world it’s now first-touch resolution.
- Providing reassurance on privacy and safety: With trust at a low point, it’s important to assure all stakeholders that you’ll be honest and straightforward and follow through on this promise. That goes for end customers and the partners in your ecosystem. If something goes wrong, get out in front of it and be forthright. Admitting mistakes and working to correct them builds trust and nurtures valuable relationships.
See also: What's in Store for Us in 2023
Here’s another prediction to keep in mind: Times like these are when bold leaders who believe in trust and value can really shine, so challenge yourself to be that intrapreneur or entrepreneur. If you're honest and upfront with people, offering convenience, sharing data and being a good partner, you’ll be in the best position to fulfill the industry’s promise of stability and safety. And trust, loyalty and success will flow from that, even in an uncertain world.