When it comes to purchasing insurance, consumer behavior has changed. More than ever consumers are welcoming personalized, real-time services that help them better manage their daily risks. It is all about the customer experience these days or CX.
This change in insurance consumer behavior provides opportunities for agents to add value to customers on a deeper level. Technological advancements are creating new ways for insurance agents to connect with customers to provide value beyond simply purchasing insurance. By leveraging technology, insurance agents can provide next level service to retain and attract customers.
Below we will look at ten ways insurance agents can use technology to connect with customers on a deeper level.
1. Live Chat
Customers seek personal advice when shopping and choosing between products, insurance is no different. A live chatbot on your site can provide the level of service customers are wanting. Companies that have implemented live chatbots have seen steady increases in sales conversion rates. Getting customers from browsing to checkout faster.
Live chat is cheaper than phone support, and much more impactful. The typical ROI rate from paid live chat software for sales teams is about 300%. Live chat has also been shown to grow customer loyalty and discover customer pain points. Pain points which can be tailored into future content to help market products which can relieve customer issues. This will be a must for every website moving forward, time for insurance agents to act now in implementing this CX technology.
2. Customized Online Surveys
2019 looks to be shaping up to be another year focused more on customer experience than actual products. A Gartner study found that over 50% of consumer goods product investments will focus on the customer experience. Insurance should be no different from an agent’s viewpoint. Agents can use customized online surveys to better connect and learn more about ways they can improve the customer experience when shopping for insurance products.
Customized online surveys can be used to see how to better serve customers, focusing more on customer experience than the actual products.
Customers in today’s market want a personalized shopping experience, using online surveys to gather data needed to connect with customers on a deeper level will provide a return on investment when it comes to converting customers into long-term relationships.
With the emergence of social media advertising, many companies see email marketing as the past. However, this is simply not true and there is data to back it up.
A 2018 study on email marketing strategies found newsletters have an open rate of 23% with an unsubscribe rate of only 0.21%. This means sending out a newsletter to your book of business will result in at a minimum one-fifth of your clients opening your newsletter email. To improve open rates of newsletters sent via email, timing is everything. Data shows emails are opened within an hour of sending 20% of the time. This means knowing what time your target audiences are checking emails, allowing you to push out content at times that can gain the most engagement. Online tools (e.g. Perfect Timing) can help you deliver your newsletters at the right time, to the right audience. A good recommendation for agents is sending out a newsletter ten times a year to build brand recognition and capitalize on an easy-to-use marketing channel that can reach unlimited individuals with a simple ‘Send’ click.
4. Mobile Apps
We live in a mobile society and nowhere better can an insurance agent make a connection than through customer’s smartphones. Developing a mobile app for use by customers is a great way to connect and meet their ever-changing needs. If your agency can provide service anywhere, anytime, this goes a long way in separating your agency from big carriers who also use this technology to connect with customers.
Separate your agency from the pack by being able to be there for your customers wherever they go, a competitive advantage that should never be overlooked.
Another great avenue for independent insurance agents to explore is hosting webinars to showcase their expertise in the field and provide valuable information people can use in their everyday lives. A great tip is to invite an industry expert to speak on a topic that is relevant to insurance customers. Webinars are a great way to engage audiences around insurance and increase brand recognition. This is a channel which is being underused at the moment but can provide incredible value to both agents and their audiences.
Instagram is an incredible platform used by countless businesses to drive sales and connect with new audiences. As of 2018, there were 800 million monthly users on this social media app, immense potential to reach new audiences. Instagram is an opportunity for agents to express their brand in a new way, using pictures instead of words to drive market engagement. Insurance agents can upload photos that evoke emotions from users, examples include: employee events, work in the community, inspiring quotes, and/or short videos answering common customer questions. The use of hashtags on posts can also help increase brand exposure, connecting with younger generations on the app they use the most.
7. Voice Search
Voice is the future of consumer searching, and a technology that needs to be added to insurance agency marketing campaigns. Insurance agents can leverage the power of voice search while connecting with their customers. Agents that can connect with customers via voice platforms such as Alexa will discover a new channel and way to connect with larger audiences. The more ways to connect with customers, the better.
8. Big Data
Big data is about gaining as much personal information as you can about your customers, without getting too personal of course. Knowing everything about your customers is a great way to build a customized, personalized experience which meets the needs of today’s consumer. Insurance products are like any other, consumers have questions and want to feel wanted when they shop around.
Big data allows for insurance agents to know the needs of customers in greater detail, creating opportunities for upselling or cross-selling to meet the insurance needs of each and every customer. Big data can also be used to create analytics that group similar customer bases together, whereby target marketing can be used to reach groups in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
9. WhatsApp Business
WhatsApp Business is a good way to connect insurance advertising to personal communication with customers, increasing conversion rates in the process. Call to action buttons within digital marketing content can lead directly to a WhatsApp messaging platform where customers can connect directly with agents. Also, the app allows for automated replies to help keep up if large traffic volume is experienced. Automatic messages can also be customized to let customers know you are away but will be responding once available. This is a simple, free add-on that can optimize call to action buttons and add new ways to connect with customers.
A study found that 54% of those using video marketing achieve increased brand awareness. Creating a vlog or ‘vlogging’ as it is called, is a great way to connect with customers and target audiences on a deeper level. A vlog is a video blog where one speaks directly to digital audiences, answering questions, reviewing products, or sharing impactful stories. Whatever the content, starting a vlog can go a long way in connecting with customers and increasing brand awareness.
Conversion rates are increased for those with vlogs versus those who do not engage in this form of marketing. Social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have made it simple for users to create and share video content. Get out in front of a camera (or phone) and show how you can meet the needs of insurance customers out there, your conversion rates will thank you.
Technology is truly changing the way insurance agents can connect with customers both current and future. The resources are available to create amazing customer experiences which can help in making insurance products more accepted by the overall majority of consumers. These ten technological channels and opportunities discussed above can take an insurance agent’s marketing efforts to new heights, creating a true return on investment. The tools are here, all insurance agents must do now is implement and watch their customer experience climb above the competition.
At Agentero, we believe in the combination of technology and the trusted advisor. Our technology helps independent insurance providers discover cross-selling opportunities and automate mundane back-office tasks to unlock the full potential of their agency.
One of Agentero‘s main goals is to help independent insurance agents simplify customer service while enhancing their clients ́ experience and satisfaction. Increase retention and grow your agency with Agentero!