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February 21, 2019

How to Keep Humanity in Online Sales

Summary:

The winner won't be the first brokerage to go fully online; it'll be the one that doesn't lose its humanity in the face of the digitalization.

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It’s no secret that the small business insurance industry is creeping online, representing the start of an insurtech revolution. More insurers are realizing that customers are getting comfortable buying directly from them — and aren’t shy about asking for specific products. There is a huge opportunity for insurers making the jump online, but I would argue that it’s not going to be the first online insurance brokerage that wins…

It’s the one that won’t lose its humanity in the face of the digitalization.

Here’s a deeper look at how online insurers can provide a more comfortable and human experience for their customers:

Follow the Golden Rule

It’s a timeless piece of advice, and for good reason: If you wouldn’t accept a certain level of treatment as a customer, you shouldn’t treat your own customers that way.

Think about every part of your customers’ journey and how your brand interacts with them at key touchpoints. For example, if they call with questions about their policy, are they able to speak with an adviser immediately, or are they on hold for several minutes? Is your site copy easy to understand, or would it take an insurance agent to decipher what you’re trying to say?

See also: 5 Digital Predictions for Agents in 2019  

Analyzing your customer journey with this empathetic lens can help you better understand opportunities for a more human touch.

Don’t make it complicated

It’s a huge understatement to say that the insurance industry can be complicated. That’s why, as insurers move to the online world, it’s important to make it easy for customers to get what they need. Don’t overcomplicate things for them or add information that they really don’t need to know. A large number of small business owners are probably shopping online for insurance before or after putting in a full day’s work; they just want what they need, and that’s it. Your digital experience is the face of the company, so make sure it provides a smooth process.

Leave industry jargon at the door

Be smart about what you’re presenting to the customer because, as I mentioned in my last point, our industry is overwhelming. Creating a more humanizing digital experience involves leaving behind the jargon and framing the conversation in a way that’s easier for the customer to understand.

Deliver on your promises

A lot of insurtech companies are jumping on chatbots as a platform for engaging with customers. But bots can quickly lead to a negative brand experience if you don’t have the logistics to support chats. Recently, I left a query on a brand’s chatbot and was told that I would get an answer about three hours later (already unacceptable). Seven hours later, I got a response — but the answer didn’t even relate back to my question. Needless to say, the frustrating experience hurt my opinion of that brand.

See also: Best of Both Worlds: Humans and Tech  

If you’ve promised your customers something – like support or an easy claims experience – you need to deliver on your promise. It’s as simple as that.

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About the Author

Santosh Perumbadi joined Simply Business as chief commercial officer in 2017 and is responsible for launching U.S. operations, as well as managing the relationships with insurer partners and suppliers.

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