The human voice, one of the most powerful communication tools in the history of our world is now serving as the new frontier when it comes to how consumers purchase goods and services. Voice search platforms such as Siri, Alexa, and Google now serve as personal shopping assistants providing a level of convenience never seen before. A simple command can have your groceries delivered to your front door, provide reviews on the best restaurants in town, or even schedule your next hair appointment.
Voice Search is Here to Stay
Statistics show that voice search is the future, by 2022 55% of American homes will have at least one smart speaker. Millennials and younger generations are rapidly adopting voice search technology, an eMarketer report shows by 2019, 39.3% will be using voice-enabled digital assistants. This presents both an opportunity and a threat to how businesses currently market and sell their products or services. The insurance market is not immune from these technological trends and must adapt to survive in a historically competitive market. More specifically, independent insurance agents are seeing voice search as both an opportunity and a threat to current sales processes.
The Digital Marketing Revolution
Independent insurance agencies have long relied on relationship building and face-to-face communications to survive and thrive in selling insurance products to customers. However, the digital marketing revolution is changing the way consumers purchase insurance products. Consumers crave convenience, multiple options, and real time reviews of the products they are purchasing, insurance is no different. Innovators and tech startups are leveraging current technologies to enter the insurance market aiming to help insurance marketplaces that have historically lacked innovation in how they sell products to consumers.
Brick and mortar insurance agencies no longer hold the advantage with younger generations. There are companies that can deliver insurance products at lower costs, mainly in part due to lower overhead costs being passed on to the consumer market. Technological advancements and new market entrants are changing the way insurance is delivered to the end consumer. This is an exciting time for independent agents to explore new ways of reaching consumers and growing profits through new technology capitalization.
Ways independent insurance agents can adapt to the voice revolution
A Yext survey focused on how voice search is currently impacting the insurance industry, a few key points from the survey include:
- Half the survey respondents reported using search tools like Google and Bing as their first resource for insurance information
- When selecting an agent, 45% of survey respondents reported the type of insurance sold was predominantly the most important factor in the final purchasing decision
- Key variables like location (33%), consumer reviews (32%) or agent certifications & specialties (10.5%) also were important considerations
These results display a major shift in how consumers are shopping the insurance marketplace. Independent insurance agents must take notice to continue to connect with younger generations’ purchasing habits. Once independent agents have established a digital presence online they can take a few steps to capitalize on the voice search revolution.
Related: Getting Millennials in the Mix
Study your clients
Searching for insurance using voice technologies is not the same as searching through online search engines such as Google or Bing. Typed search queries do not have to follow any specific order as the search engine will use the keywords typed to produce accurate results. However, with voice you cannot speak random words and expect the technology to product the information you seek. For example, a person may ask their voice search device, “Can my house be covered for flood damage?” The best way to ensure these questions are understood through voice search is to know what types of questions consumers will ask when looking for insurance products. By studying the most common questions asked by your clients, you will have a good list of questions to use when establishing a voice search business strategy.
Clear and visible company information
If your agency website uses graphics instead of text on the homepage, voice search platforms such as Alexa or Siri will have a difficult time connecting you to consumers searching for insurance products. Your agency name, address, contact number, and any other crucial information should be easy to find on the homepage for voice search platforms. Ensuring your site has easy to find contact information on the homepage will increase visibility for voice search, making sure potential clients using voice search do not fall through the cracks.
Cast a wide net online
With voice search the more data you have online the better. Having your agency’s information on multiple sites such as Yelp, Facebook, and other sites increases the chances consumers can connect with you. A great strategy is to ask clients to leave reviews on these sites will also give voice search engines more ammunition to help connect you with consumers looking for insurance products. The more information Alexa and Siri can pull from online the better when it comes to voice as the search methodologies are completely differently than typed queries.
With 33% of consumers preferring to use voice search to book an appointment with an insurance agent and 25% liking to use voice search to request reviews on insurance agents, the statistics show voice search is the future of how consumers purchase insurance products. Long gone are the days of simply establishing relationships and word of mouth referrals to capture market share. Independent insurance agents must embrace current and emerging technologies to stay ahead of the game and ensure they thrive with the younger generations who will become the largest insurance spenders for years to come. The voice is a powerful resource, and for independent insurance agents, it is a resource that can lead to great success if used properly.
Agentero was born with the aim of helping insurance independent agents embracing technology in the easiest way possible. We deeply believe in the combination of the trusted advisor and technology to grow independent insurance agencies with the happiest customers.
Agentero offers a mobile app for your clients, giving them access to your agency from anywhere. And therefore, allowing you to increase your cross-selling opportunities and get useful insights on your customers needs and behaviours.
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