Insurance brands are accelerating and digitizing processes to improve the customer experience (CX), and it’s for a good reason. CX attracts and retains customers — 59% of customers will walk away from a brand after several bad experiences, according to PwC.
Just as the financial services industry did, the insurance industry has transformed significantly in recent years. Customers demanded an enhanced level of convenience, and insurance brands responded with a digital-first model. Brands now offer all-in-one platforms that exist where customers are — in front of a screen — and leverage artificial intelligence to fulfill requests immediately.
With this digital transformation, signing up for an insurance policy or filing a claim and receiving approval takes just a few minutes. Insurance brands shifted away from in-person interactions in favor of meeting customers where they spend most of their time and automating every process along the way. But even with automation saving time, CX still needs to be a priority in the insurance industry.
How to Improve the Customer Experience in Insurance
Insurance brands dominating the industry realize the correlation between CX and customer satisfaction (CSAT). In a study conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value, it was revealed that 85% of insurance executives are deploying CX to at least a moderate extent. Customers are more informed than ever, and insurance brands need to establish customer service that delivers instant, personalized CX to earn their trust.
Once an underappreciated area within the insurance industry, global enterprises and disruptive startups alike are currently using CX as a key differentiator.
Figuring out how to improve the customer experience in insurance may appear tricky. Insurance doesn’t fall into just one bucket, after all — it can cover anything from homeowners or car insurance to health or renters insurance.
In this guide, we’ll share strategies that brands from every specialty can use to improve the customer experience in insurance.
Create a Human-Led CX Environment
Think of the documents involved in the insurance industry. Policies often include dozens of pages, and it’s nearly impossible for customers to understand every word. Whether it’s to file a claim or ask a question about what is or isn’t covered, customers are bound to need assistance.
Customers do still prefer interactions with another human — phone (43%), email (28%), and chat (23%) are the most likely ways they interact when an issue arises. It doesn’t mean that self-service solutions such as an online chatbot or resource center should be eliminated, though.
CX should encompass all of the ways in which a brand and its customers interact. With that said, insurance brands need a dedicated customer service team in addition to self-service solutions desired in the current digital age.
If a customer can’t resolve an issue or find an answer on their own, they should feel confident knowing that, as soon as they reach out to a brand directly, the customer service team will listen, understand, and attempt to reach a resolution quickly.
Only a customer service team provides empathy directly to customers. Empathy, of course, develops trust between the brand and the customer; therefore, as a result of well-executed interactions with knowledgeable agents, metrics such as CSAT increase and lead to long-lasting brand-customer relationships.
Analyze Real-Time Customer Feedback & Incentivize Earning It
What an insurance brand learns today will guide it tomorrow. In terms of CX, real-time customer feedback indicates how customers feel after they interact with an agent representing the brand.
Brands capturing real-time customer feedback quickly discover if they’re satisfying the needs of their customers and use this data to optimize agent performance. Still, it’s not enough to ask one or two questions in a survey and call it a day. Instead, surveys should feel as humanized as the interaction between the agent and customer — carefully-designed surveys are able to generate response rates of up to 50%.
In humanized surveys, insurance brands display an agent profile for the customer to see. Customers get a brief overview, including a photograph and biography, of the human they interacted with rather than just a wall of questions to answer. It allows a brand to make a personalized connection with the customer even after the interaction is completed, motivating the customer to provide feedback.
Real-time customer feedback is about both positive and negative experiences, though. In any industry, there isn’t a single brand that achieves perfection. Negative experiences occur, and top brands use these negative experiences to understand what went wrong and identify coaching opportunities.
Leading brands in the insurance industry also rely on rewards and recognition programs to gather real-time customer feedback. If a customer feels the interaction satisfied their needs, they’ll have an opportunity to give the agent a reward such as coffee, lunch, or a gift card.
Customer-driven rewards motivate agents to do their best, and customers feel closer to the brand — our Customer Service Trends for 2021 research report revealed that nearly 90% of consumers are more likely to leave feedback regarding a positive experience if they knew the agent would directly benefit from it. See, there’s a lot an insurance brand can do in order to incentivize gathering real-time customer feedback that drives decision-making.
Participate in the Customer Journey, Reducing Customer Effort
Once an insurance brand understands who its customers are and the feedback they provide, CX can target specific milestones in the customer journey. Customer service teams then have an opportunity to, at any time, participate in the customer journey and surprise, delight, and help customers with a human touch.
In The Effortless Experience, research found that 94% of customers who had low-effort experiences stated they would do business with the brand again. Top brands in the insurance industry recognize this, and that’s why they’ve removed the headache and hassle involved in their processes. Customers with these brands don’t worry about digging through a resource center hopelessly or waiting on the phone for an hour.
CX done right in the insurance industry reduces customer effort, improving CSAT and brand loyalty.
Choose a Solution to Improve CX
Consider this: 42% of consumers don’t trust the insurance industry, according to the IBM Institute for Business Value — the lowest trust score in nearly a decade. The distrust, however, is not rooted in speed, accuracy, or convenience.
Expectations just remain incredibly low within the insurance industry. Customers know they’re able to access policies and claims easily, but they still associate most brands with slow, unengaging interactions. So an opportunity exists for insurance brands to reshape how they interact with prospects and customers, ultimately achieving unrivaled brand loyalty to get ahead of the competition.
Insurance brands choose Stella Connect to leverage real-time customer feedback, QA, and coaching in a single platform. Lemonade, which offers a variety of insurance policies, uses Stella Connect to continuously build trust and loyalty with customers against competitors with over 100 years of experience in this industry.
Schedule a demo today to meet with a Stella Connect expert and learn more about how insurance brands are improving CX with our platform.