Updated on 05/12/2022
“If you hold a customer’s hand for 90 days, they’ll be loyal for life.” This phrase by John Jantsch, American author and marketing consultant, is often cited to reiterate a fundamental concept of company-customer relationship dynamics: the first stages of the buyer’s journey are crucial. In the insurance industry, the onboarding phase, where the customer must undergo an often complex process compared to other transactions, is especially critical. These characteristics are confirmed by the most recent ANIA monitoring survey conducted by the GFK research institute, which shows that 21% of insured persons have changed insurance providers in the last two years, especially in the automotive sector. The most important point to note here: just over half of them made this decision when it was time to renew their policy.
Easy onboarding process: it’s no longer just a matter of price
The reason for this widespread “infidelity” is the high level of competition between companies which, particularly in the automobile liability sector, recorded a fall in premiums of almost 26% between 2011 and 2017; this decline has stopped since 2018; in fact, in 2020 it increased by 3.8%. This means that if the policy cost was the most important factor the time is ripe to focus on onboarding actions to strengthen the relationship with current customers, holding them by the hand in both the initial phase and during all subsequent phases of the relationship.
The first obstacle to overcome is complexity. Those who take out a policy often do not know what they are buying, and there is little transparency, especially in the early stages of the process, on the terms of the contract. The advent of digital, however, in addition to opening the doors to many competitors on the web, has become the main way to simplify communication for both new policyholders and those who are already on board.
Compliance and cybersecurity as levers for customer experience
Insurance companies, like other sectors, must manage customer experience while also maintaining security and compliance. Taking either of those for granted would seriously jeopardize even the legal validity of the contract. And don’t think that this is a remote hypothesis: even where procedures are correctly performed, if customers can’t understand them, this will certainly impact loyalty.
On the one hand, therefore, an easy onboarding process must facilitate the insured’s experience in fully understanding (in a way that is intuitive) the content of the policy. On the other hand, this simplification cannot take place at the expense of the terms and conditions of the contract. The legal framework and the privacy criteria (currently regulated by GDPR and legislative decree 101/2018) are an integral part of the offer and, therefore, their communication must be made at the same time as the proposal to activate or renew the policy. Instead of being an obstacle, this can become a factor that provides added value to the customer experience, because the clarity of the policy terms can be an important incentive for choosing one company over another.
Content that is easy to convey through the most popular digital channels
A document that is written in clear language and that provides a complete picture of the guarantees included in the policy, possibly accompanied by a glossary with technical words little known to non-experts. Is this all that is needed to create an easy make onboarding process effective at the acquisition or renewal stage? It is certainly one of the pillars that must be conveyed within digital channels (email, website, social media) which make it easier and faster for customers to read and understand policy, and minimizes the risk of customer churn.
Today there is a that, according to viewing statistics, exceeds any other mode of enjoyment of content: online videos. Videos are also suitable for incremental personalization that, especially at the time of renewal, can use the customer’s historical data and transform it into short, animated clips thanks to advanced marketing automation tools. In this way, the classic CRM becomes the lever for quality onboarding and not just a box of master data to be updated mechanically. An easy Onboarding process requires interaction that is not limited to critical phases, such as start/confirmation of the policy or management of the claim, but the cultivation of the relationship with the insured. The CRM can be fed by conducting surveys to verify the level of satisfaction, updating it based on the most recent customer data or regulatory changes, so that it can provide detailed recommendations for each customer.