Memo to property and casualty insurers: When assessing technology trends to help you engage and serve today’s digital-savvy insurance customer, the benchmark is no longer just your P&C competitors.
It’s Amazon, Google, and Netflix, too. Thanks to these and a growing number of other popular, digital-first brands, consumers have come to expect personalized and proactive interactions from every company they do business with—including insurers.
Whether it’s mobile, IoT, or smart-home assistants, insurers need to engage their customers at the right time, with the right messages and services, or risk falling behind. In fact, this was “Topic A” in a session I recently led at Connections Reimagined, Guidewire’s virtual customer conference in November.
The idea was to share insights into what it takes to compete in the Age of Amazon, including changing expectations about the customer experience, and how insurers can meet those expectations through the use of popular consumer technologies.
Throw a pandemic into the mix, and these same approaches couldn’t be more timely, or more essential.
Trending with Technology: Proactive Customer Engagement
Much has been made about the fact that adoption of digital channels leapt forward five years within the first three months of the coronavirus outbreak. According to McKinsey and Company, more than a third of the people who have ever used digital channels for purchasing or managing insurance have done so this year.
With insurance growing more competitive, digital convenience is a must at every stage of the insurance lifecycle, from purchasing a policy to filing a claim. But it’s also just the beginning. In the Age of Amazon, today’s most coveted consumer segments expect businesses to deliver added value.
For one thing, they want companies to reach out to them with recommendations based on their unique needs, and make it effortlessly easy to act on those suggestions. Perhaps most of all, they prize tech-forward brands that prevent or mitigate issues before they become costly problems—and simplify everything else.
Complicated? Good luck with that. Reactive? Too little, too late. In an era of Amazonian expectations, insurers have to use everyday consumer technologies to proactively engage and empower their customers.
That’s where my Connections session comes in.
Giving Voice to Consumer Wishes
To help attendees understand what this all means, I started my session with footage from a survey I conducted with a representative sampling of everyday consumers about what they want from their insurers.
Given the pandemic, this was all conducted via video conferencing, bringing with it the distractions of home—including a pair of video-bombing, camera-crashing cats.
But it put a fine point on what I have heard time and again.
The fact is, consumers want insurers to leverage popular, automated consumer technologies like Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa or Google Home to make filing and managing claims and subsequent repairs easy. And they want their insurers to really understand, in fact anticipate, their evolving needs.
As Jacob from Bloomington, IL puts it, automated, anytime, anywhere service can “make insurance more efficient, make it more timely, make it more convenient—so that in those moments when you’re panicking, when you don’t know what to do, you’re not having to wait around to talk to someone.”
“I want to feel like my insurance company knows and understands my life, it knows what’s important to me, it knows what I have, and what I want to protect,” says Sarah from Manchester, NH. “It is reachable wherever I am.”
The good news: None of this is futuristic pie-in-the-sky kind of stuff. And to prove the point, I followed these and other consumer vignettes with a look at how insurers can easily deliver personalized, proactive services that delight customers in powerful new ways in the here and now, today.
You can watch the full session here:
Bottom line: Leveraging the power of common, everyday consumer technologies to provide a modern claims experience is easier than ever. And it’s just what your customers expect in the age of Amazon.