This post was originally published on the Engagex blog on July 13, 2021.
Updated with new info and republished on October 3, 2022.
Developments in insurance industry technology are rapidly increasing.
With some of the largest insurance carriers servicing their customers entirely online, the question has to be asked:
Are face-to-face customer insurance
review appointments dead?
To answer that question, let's take a look at some statistics:
49% of insurance consumers trust a human advisor when making a claim.
12% of insurance consumers trust an automated phone/web/email service when making a claim.
7% of insurance consumers trust a chatbot when making a claim. (Accenture)
According to Insurance Thought Leadership,
"...the personal relationship with an agent or broker can be the biggest factor in client retention."
All of this isn't to say that you shouldn't utilize these technological advances, but it shows us that personal, human interaction goes a long way with insurance consumers.
Think about your agency for a minute.
What is your customer experience like?
From the moment someone hears about your agency and requests a quote to the moment you land the sale, then through to their first claim or renewal, what are your customers experiencing?
Is it a fully automated process that involves minimum human interaction?
Is it an entirely manual process that involves a lot of phone tag and time spent trying to reach each other?
Insurance is one of those products/services that isn't exactly tangible - the tangible product is the customer experience (Agency Nation).
Typically, the perceived value that consumers get from having insurance is peace of mind unless something unexpected happens - then they see the importance of having it as long as they're adequately covered and as long as the claims process isn't a giant headache.
So, how do you ensure your customers are adequately covered through their many life changes?
And how do you make sure the customer experience is fostering a culture of loyalty and not driving people away?
Hold regular customer insurance review meetings.
Not only do these meetings help you ensure adequate coverage for your clients, they also allow you to enhance the customer experience by checking for discounts (and making sure they KNOW you're getting them discounts - this is just as important as the discount itself!).
The review meetings also serve to strengthen the relationship and their trust in you as their advisor. You can educate them on their coverage options, so they feel empowered to make the right insurance decisions.
"The smart consumer will opt to buy from the company that has educated him on the issue and presented him with multiple solutions. That company's selflessness has built trust — and its ability to teach him has bought his loyalty in the future." – Mark Quinn (Agency Nation)
Utilizing New Technology to Add Value
According to Insurance Business Magazine, customers value 24/7 availability, ease of updating information, and search capabilities from new insurance technology.
This technology, however, doesn't replace the in-depth, personalized advice from their insurance agent when they're looking for more complex products and policies. (Insurance Business Magazine)
Technology can do a lot for your agency and your clients!
Agencies resistant to technological advancements will likely have a more challenging time winning new clients and retaining current clients who value the ease of access that these advances provide.
Self-service tools add significant value to the insurance customer's overall experience.
According to Insurance Thought Leadership, "The ability to get a quote on a new auto policy or request an endorsement through a mobile app is not only considered highly efficient, but also respectful of the client's time." (Insurance Thought Leadership)
Insurance agencies need to have multiple channels and methods of communication available to their clients and potential clients.
Back to our original question:
Are customer insurance review appointments dead in the digital age?
No. They're crucial to your agency's growth.
After all, advances in industry technology wouldn't exist without humans.
By cultivating these vital, personal interactions and embracing the advancing technology in the industry, you can create a lucrative and valuable customer experience that fosters a culture of trust and loyalty with your clients.