How to improve Customer Engagement in the insurance industry?
Among the many revolutions that Digital Transformation has brought to the Insurance Industry, there is one that we believe is the most decisive: the reversal of the role of the customer.
Let us explain. As we’re often reminded, we live in the era of the Customer Experience. This means that companies can no longer start from their own processes and hoping that customers will adapt to them…it’s quite the opposite. Today, we’re starting from the Customer Journey, which has to be traced, analyzed, and interpreted. Based on this, we’ll redesign our own processes, making them increasingly effective and tailored to individuals.
Here, in a few words, is the reversal! What is needed today is a new “closeness” and empathy between company and customer. A closeness that passes through digital, and that brings benefits on both fronts, in a perfect win-win perspective.
Put another way, we need to focus everything on Customer Engagement, to build a path that results in loyalty and – even more so – trust and advocacy.
This is the way to win the challenges of the present and the future. It applies to all sectors, but it is particularly urgent for the insurance sector which, more than others, has been overwhelmed by the processes of internal change and liberalization.
Now, we want to focus in on the topic of Customer Engagemen in the insurance industryt. We will do so through three key themes: data, personalization, interactivity, which draw a very precise trajectory. Finally, at the end of the post, we will look at an exemplary case study that concerns Customer Communication in the insurance sector.
Customer engagement starts from Data
We’ve seen it above; everything starts from the Customer Journey and the centrality of customers. So, the first question companies must ask themselves is: who are these customers?And then: how do they behave? What are their preferences and needs? And, finally: what do they want?
These are very simple questions. But the answers may seem impossible to obtain when the target audience consists of thousands or millions of people, as in the case of insurance companies.
zBut here’s where digital comes to the rescue. How? With data.
Data is the fuel for technological innovation. And it’s everywhere. We’re all producing data all of the time. When we interact on social networks, when we search on Google, when we use a navigation app on our smartphone, when we chat and text each other, when we watch a video or scroll through photos…and, of course, when we interface with a company’s customer service department.
These are just a few examples, and they don’t even include data related to our “objects,” which are and will be increasingly interconnected. We’re referring to the IoT (Internet of Things), which will have an increasingly decisive impact on the insurance industry (just think automotive, home automation, but also wearable devices for health and fitness).
This information is the foundation for getting an accurate, dynamic, and deep picture of your audience.
But you have to know how to collect it in the best way, in omnichannel mode. Then, analyze and interpret it with automated Artificial Intelligence systems. And finally to obtain a readable output that is functional for your business’s purposes.
To put it another way: it’s not enough to focus on maximum quantity. It is necessary to be able to identify and select quality data. And make that data operational. This is where the revolution starts, the passage from one-size-fits-all communication to tailor-made communication.
It is therefore a question of dividing one’s target into different segments, united by common and homogeneous characteristics, which are increasingly specific. In the insurance field, for example, you can start from the types of policies, then isolate geographical data, personal data, data relating to income, the rate of loyalty, and so on, becoming more and more detailed.
In short, it’s no longer a single, indistinct target, but many micro-targets to be hit with tailored actions, with relevant and valuable communications, with tailor-made upselling and cross-selling proposals. It goes without saying how much all of this makes Customer Engagement soar!
Be careful, though: you have to pay the utmost attention to security and everything related to privacy and GDPR regulations.
So: is that all? No. The ultimate boost is to match the target audience to the individual person. And that’s where we get to our second theme.
72% of consumers expect to be contacted by a customer service department that knows who they are, know what they’ve purchased before, and their choices and prior needs (Source: Microsoft Dynamics 365 – Global State of Customer Care).
Let’s start from this statistic and address the issue of personalization.
What is it all about?
It’s about doing something very old, with the most advanced tools made available by digital transformation: knowing every single customer and addressing them in a targeted manner, based on their characteristics, their previous behaviors, and their choices, even in real time. All of this in order to anticipate their desires, to design a Customer Journey as if it were tailor-made for them.
The ultimate boost for Customer Engagement is all here, in the shift from one-to-many (even segmented) communications to one-to-one dialog. It starts with data and arrives, finally, at the creation of solid, long-lasting, fruitful relationships.
The first effect, as we have already pointed out, is the increase in Customer Engagement. Then there is the lowering of the Churn Rate, a delicate and serious problem for the Insurance Industry.
From here we move on to loyalty and the creation of trust between company and customer both on a rational level, because personalized communication is more useful and more efficient, and on an emotional level, because the customer feels understood, valued, and not treated as just a number.
The final result for companies?
An improvement of all processes, from lead generation to onboarding, up to conversions, which quickly turns into an increase in revenue. But that’s not all: reputation itself also benefits from all this, another central point in an increasingly open and fluid market.
To conclude this section, let’s always keep in mind this fact that emerged from a study conducted by Bain & Company: a 5% improvement in Customer Retention can produce up to 25% more profit (Bain.com).
Data is the basis for knowing your target audience. Personalization is the way to create a one-to-one communication, to increase Customer Engagement in the insurance sector, and to build relationships of trust.
Now we’re missing one last piece, the last of our three themes: interactivity, which is the turning point for raising conversion rates.
Again, the mechanism is ancient is very simple, but made possible by digital. It’s about transforming the old one-way communications of insurance companies into a two-way dialog between company and insured.
In this way, the relationship is truly built in two, a collaborative circle is created that reinforces trust, that allows the user to feel involved in an equal, transparent exchange, based on conscious choices. Communication becomes sudden and the target is no longer a passive audience, but a protagonist, who makes his voice heard…again, with advantages for both the client and the company.
And not only that. There is another aspect that is less immediate, but no less decisive.
Creating a dialog, building pathways through which the customer can move, asking questions, and receiving feedback is the best way to enrich and continuously update your data assets.
In short, it’s the best way to refine and continuously improve communication and the company-customer relationship. To keep it always relevant and consistent.
Because there is no such thing as a perfect, immutable communication strategy: effectiveness is all about constantly reconfiguring the dialog.
A concrete case: the collaboration between AXA and Doxee
Data collection and interpretation. Personalization. Interactivity. Now let’s see all this in a concrete case, that of the collaboration between Doxee, a leader in the personalized Customer Communications Management market, and AXA, a global giant in the insurance sector.
Let’s start with the objective: to reduce the cancellation rate by customers at the time of policy renewal, one of the most delicate and slippery points for companies in the insurance industry.
Instead of sending a cold traditional communication, AXA chose to use the tool of Doxee Pvideo®, personalized and interactive videos built based on the characteristics of the individual recipient.
Video is by far the most effective tool when it comes to digital communication. It’s the medium capable of holding attention to the highest degree, facilitating understanding and driving engagement. And with personalized videos you can govern – with a single tool – the texts, images, tailored calls-to-action, all in complete autonomy and in seamless integration with the CRM and marketing automation systems of the individual company.
So, going back to our example, each AXA client received a personalized video via email, 40 days before the expiration of the RCA policy.
This video was built based on each customer’s data: from the license plate, to the color of the vehicle, to the accessory policies included. In addition, special offers were included, selected based on specific variables such as previous claims, geographical area of residence, and purpose of use of the vehicle.
As a result, policy renewal has been made extremely simple: all with a single click. But not only that, this delicate touchpoint was transformed into an opportunity for dialog between the company and the individual customer.
It’s not surprising that the results of this campaign were important; you can learn more by downloading the free case study.
In closing, there’s one last important aspect we want to highlight. By relying on specialized companies like Doxee, insurance companies can create personalized data-telling experiences with a very short time to market, with a very low impact on their IT architectures, and with maximum scalability.