Now more than ever, the customer is in control.
Technology has given the customers more insurance information and options to choose from. That is why agents need to focus their energy on creating a positive and personalized customer experience. According to SMA research, 85% of insurers surveyed stated that customer experience and engagement is their top strategic initiative, making it their top concern.
While engaging and improving the customer experience has long been a concern for insurance companies, it continues to grow in importance. The rise in customer expectations makes it vital that agents understand and proactively meet the needs of their customers.
The customer journey can help agents do just that. By mapping out each part of your customers’ interactions with you and your agency, you can increase engagement and elevate the customer experience.
Here’s what you need to know about the customer journey and tips on how to map one that is unique to your business and customers.
What is the insurance customer journey?
The insurance customer journey is the series of experiences a customer will go through to find and use your insurance services.
Mapping out the customer journey allows you to view their entire experience. It also enables you to understand your customers’ wants, needs, and pain points as they navigate that journey. By mapping out what potential customers go through to become actual customers and interact with your company, you can anticipate and facilitate their experiences.
While each customer’s journey is unique based on their circumstances and motivations, agents can find patterns to anticipate the customer’s next interaction and prepare a response. Agents can improve systems, enhance training, change processes, and set valuable new strategies with a thorough understanding of the customer journey.
How to map the customer journey
When mapping the customer journey, think through each step that takes the customer to your brand. For each stage, lay out what they are thinking, feeling, and experiencing. Also, think through what opportunities you have to reach the customer during each point in the journey. For example, social media, videos, webinars, and an easy-to-navigate website or app can target specific parts of the customer journey.
Some of the common steps include:
People typically seek insurance out of necessity rather than desire. What is driving them to find coverage? For example, the birth of a child or approaching retirement age can make a customer realize that their insurance is inadequate.
Understanding their underlying motivations is a critical part of the customer journey. It can give you deeper insights to use for marketing and reaching out to clients.
Where are they getting the information about insurance? You can use the research stage to find ways for customers to find your business.
Most people use the internet to start their insurance research: 71% of B2B researchers and 81% of B2C customers start their research online. It makes sense, then, that most insurance agents should mind their digital presence to make it easier for target customers to find them and the information that they need.
The acquisition portion of the journey is where an engaged prospect becomes an actual customer. A seamless acquisition process will help drive a customer to buy from your agency. For example, prospects are 20% more likely to purchase a life policy if the underwriting and application process is closer to real-time.
Beyond the Purchase
Consider the ways customers contact you after purchasing a policy, such as filing a claim updating personal details, requesting their ID cards, and paying premiums. It used to be that once you had a customer, your company was set. However, it’s no longer inconvenient for a customer to leave for your competition. You need a high level of customer service to maintain your customer base.
How your customers experience your services when they need you is incredibly important. Research shows that your customers are more likely than ever to leave if they have a bad experience. In fact, 65% of consumers have cut ties with a company after just one poor customer experience.
Renewal and Retention
Whether a customer decides to renew with you depends on their entire experience with your company at each point of the journey. If they need to continue or change their plan, how easy is it for them to contact you? Do they have to wait on the phone or navigate a difficult website? Their experience will affect how they view your business.
Also, consider referrals. Do you ask for them? How easy is it for your customers to make referrals or to send you a referral’s contact information?
Mapping the Customer Journey Creates a Stronger Business
Reviewing and mapping the customer journey is vital to both evaluate your customer experience and get a better understanding of your customer. Take time to review your customer journey regularly. Yearly reviews or during pivotal times, such as during COVID-19, can help you see how best to reach your customers and provide a better experience. Also, give your customer journey to the people that interact with your clients the most (producers, account executives, customer support, etc.) and ask them questions such as:
- Are we missing any personas (decision-makers or influencers)? Click here to download our buyer persona template.
- Are we missing any common situations we haven’t accounted for?
- Is there anything that doesn’t seem right?
This is a discovery process. You may not get everything right the first time around, but you want your Customer Journeys to be an accurate representation of your customers’ buying behavior.
You don’t have to navigate the customer journey alone. Independent insurance agents use Agentero to boost their revenue, save time, and deliver a superior customer experience. We integrate with your current technology to modernize your operations and position you for growth. Check out our website to learn more.