Make Customer Experience Your Differentiator
People usually only contact their insurers when something bad has happened. When the time comes, surprise your customers with excellent service and when it comes to the end of their policy, renewing with you will be the obvious choice.
Traditionally, people only expect to hear from their insurers in two situations: either something has gone wrong and they’re making a claim, or they're coming to the end of their policy. With such limited opportunity to impress, insurers must make sure that the customer service delivered when people do get in touch is of the highest quality. Without a compelling reason to renew with you, customers start looking elsewhere, and you end up competing on price alone.
It's a well-known fact that it takes more resources to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one – five times more, in fact – so building relationships that lead to customer loyalty just makes good business sense. However, as insurers look to address new demographics, they face the challenge of adapting to new needs while continuing to look after the interests of existing customers. So, what can insurers do to delight their customers and convince them that price comparison sites are not their only option?
Give your customers the ability to self-serve
Whether by offering an online portal for submitting simple claims, or giving customers the ability to pay through any channel, your customers want to be able to complete straightforward tasks quickly, on their own terms, and without the restriction of traditional contact centre operating hours. By offering this to customers, you are also freeing up your agents to deal with more complex tasks, whilst offering a wider service wrap.
Make sure your customers can contact you quickly and easy when they need to
Today's customers are used to instant gratification. Online shopping can be delivered to your door on a same-day basis; entire television series can be streamed on any device in seconds. For the occasions when self-service is not a suitable solution, customers should be able to get in touch quickly and with minimal hassle. One way to improve this experience is to cut down the time it takes for a customer, upon initiating contact, to reach the relevant agent with the skills to help them. Consider technology that can quickly evaluate the customer’s requirement and connect them to the best available agent or use an AI-based interface to handle the enquiry.
Make things personal
Your customers don't want to feel like numbers in a system. Ensure that they are greeted by name when their calls are answered, and arm your agents with the relevant information for each customer’s account or case from the moment the call comes in. When they send a web chat message, agents should take the time to understand the customer’s situation fully before responding, to prevent customers having to explain the same information repeatedly.
But how can these improvements be implemented? Forbes suggests making use of technology that already exists in the market to support both their employees and their customers. Contact centres can implement intelligent omni-channel routing to ensure customers are put directly through to the agent best-placed to help them, reducing the time spent getting customers to where they need to be. Basic processes can be automated, to prevent agents from getting bogged down in repetitive tasks that would otherwise sap away at their engagement, and the use of intelligent chatbots can even divert conversations away from agents entirely, leaving their resources freed up to deal with more complex queries.
If the only contact you have with your customers is a yearly bill, there's no incentive for them to be loyal to your company when it's time for renewal. Make quality customer service your differentiator, and customers will stay with you for longer.