If you’ve been in the insurance business for a while, the following statement should come as no surprise: The average customer and what they expect from an insurance agency has changed.
As time moves on and customers evolve, you can’t expect to use the same customer service strategies that always have been go-tos for your agency. Your tactics have to evolve too.
So what does the modern customer really look for when it comes to insurance? Here are five of the top things customers are looking for in an insurance agency:
1. 24/7 Availability
We don’t live in a 9-5 kind of world anymore. Anyone can look up information, access personal information or shop for anything at any time of day. The expectation that information and assistance are available at a moment’s notice extends to a person’s insurance needs too. Customers want to know that they can ask a live person or an automatic system to answer their questions or concerns at a moment’s notice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
2. Automation and Interaction
The internet has forever changed the way every industry does business, and that is certainly true for insurance. According to Lynn Kesterson-Townes, worldwide commerce marketing leader for IBM, you can learn a lot from how you interact with Millennials, people under the age of 30.
While they grew up in a digital world and expect a certain level of automation—like being able to make payments or switch policies with a click of a button—they also want to know that live customer service is available to clarify information or give advice. While technology drives a lot of their action, so does the personal touch of customer service.
At SALT, we know this is one of the biggest reasons why you as an agent need to adapt your process to meet customer expectations, and it’s why we created a solution.
Those in the insurance business know that it can get complicated pretty quickly. It takes years of training and tests and practice to feel confident that you know the ins and outs of the entire industry. But a customer doesn’t have years to get it right—their need is immediate.
Simplifying the process for customers is essential when it comes to keeping a customer both knowledgeable and comfortable. Offering customers an experience that doesn’t overwhelm them with information yet gives them peace of mind is the key to attracting customers that will be loyal to your agency.
After the initial buying experience, a customer usually interacts with an insurance agency when there has been a problem—an accident, a fire, a flood, a death. While facing what is probably one of the most stressful times of their life, a customer is looking for someone who knows their stuff but also empathizes with what the customer is going through.
This starts with being a good listener and engaging the customer in a real conversation, showing genuine concern and interest in what they are going through. After all, insurance is purchased to give a customer peace of mind; peace of mind also should come during the claims process.
5. Clarity and Value
While insurance can provide peace of mind, it also can be a hard sell since it’s something people may spend a lot of money on and never have to actually use. Customers need to feel that they are getting the most value for the best price. Always be clear about pricing and fees.
Using simple language and avoiding jargon is another way to be clear and communicate value to your customers. We had this in mind when designing SALT—agents can set up easy-to-understand coverage recommendations on their customized application form.
Your prospective customers might be different than they would have been 30 years ago, but it essentially all boils down to the same thing—they want convenience, and they want to feel like they are being taken care of.
For you to do your job well, you need the right tools. That’s why SALT is the one-stop insurance application that can help your agency organize and collect information faster and easier than ever before.
We can help your agency easily track analytics, reduce your risk and embrace the technology that is driving your customers.