Commerce

Consumer Empathy – The Missing Piece in Creating Excellent Insurance Purchasing Journeys

As we’re slowly climbing out of the pandemic, the insurance industry has a fresh opportunity to begin to reinvent itself to align with the changing values of society and leverage the power of data and technology to do more than just deliver innovations in products, underwriting, and operational efficiencies.

Carriers can reorient the foundational principles of what insurance is, move away from selling the unknown, and shift towards selling a proactive model that anticipates and provides future-facing products and experiences that meet the needs of each customer based on lifestyle, geography, and other determining factors. The platforms, and consumer expectations, are already here – and waiting.

Meeting the Expectations of Consumers

Over 40% of customers don’t trust their current insurer, and for a category where buying decisions are based on trust, this statistic should be alarming. But remember, this statistic is in an industry where perceptions and attitudes have been traditionally much less favorable than in most categories.

Insurance has been purchased reluctantly and with little consideration, in part because the industry has been slow to adapt to meet the changing needs of consumers. And for insurers, carriers, and underwriters, the time is now to lean into the experience-driven economy by bringing forward human-centered ideas and platforms rooted in the interests, motivations, and values of consumers.

Heart, Mind, and Market Share. In that Order.

Research shows that insurers that invest in consumer research and sentiment studies see a significant increase in Net Promoter Score (NPS) scores. This insight underscores that consumers seeking insurance want to be engaged emotionally as part of the experience. It’s their livelihood they are protecting after all.

And while the price will always play a role in long-term satisfaction, a leading influential factor in the purchase decision is the insurer’s overarching value proposition. In other words, how they walk and talk and the promise they’re making to their consumers. This allows consumers to ask themselves, “Do I like what this company is all about?” If consumers discover shared values from the insurer while shopping, they’ll gain confidence, validation, and momentum in the buying journey. Look to GEICO and USAA as brands that have cut through the clutter with simple and memorable value propositions.

Producing a Winning CX Strategy that Converts

If you ask any lead marketer at most insurers, they’d tell you that customer experience (CX) is a top priority. Yet up to 60% of insurers agree that their organization lacks a true CX strategy. The opportunity is right there. Acquiring and retaining your customers requires an empathetic approach, especially in sales and conversion channels. As insurers are rushing to direct sales online, they must first step back to truly appreciate and understand the point-of-view from their customer segments. With hundreds of options to choose from, how can one insurer make that true connection that leads to a lasting relationship?

To build a buying experience that resonates, look no further than the tried-and-true principles of creating consumer-centric experiences. As an insurer, it’s important to ask yourself, “Is my organization prepared to meet the challenges in front of us?” And consider the following while doing so:

  • Understand that the loyalty era is finally over. Consumers will drop long-time relationships and gravitate towards brands that offer more personalized, seamless, and low-effort experiences.
    Ask yourself, “On which side of this equation will my organization fall?”

 

  • Demonstrate shared values. The basis for any relationship, customers want to do business with brands they admire, who are motivated, and think like they do.
    Ask yourself, “What is our value proposition, and is it clearly communicated and demonstrated?”

 

  • It’s all about empathy. Today, brands must anticipate the needs of their customers, having clarity on the emotional and rational values at every point in the journey.
    Ask yourself, “Can we anticipate the needs of our customers and provide value in the buying journey?”

 

  • Customer experience is an organizational pursuit. CX is no longer an activity that resides under marketing or product delivery. The initiative must be rooted in all areas of the company. Ask yourself, “Does our organization believe that business performance is directly tied to the merits of the CX?”

The insurers that step forward with consumer-driven values – matched with a bold value statement that’s delivered via a modern and seamless CX – will be at the forefront of the category’s evolution. Are you ready for this challenge? For more information on how you can transform your CX, contact our experts today.

 

About the Author

Keith is a creative-centric strategist with a focus on driving experiential change. He is responsible for CX thought leadership, user-experience design, and product innovation. Keith works with clients to amplify their brand's purpose by delivering valuable and engaging experiences to their customers.

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