What do modern consumers want from the insurance industry?
Andrew Kucheriavy, founder and CEO of the pioneering insurtech firm Intechnic, attended this year’s Web Summit, the world’s largest tech conference. While on the scene, he spoke with leaders from insurance companies, banks, tech firms and disruptive startups to learn what insurance agencies can expect in 2018. What he learned should come as no surprise to independent agencies who have been paying attention to the concerns and demands of 21st century insurance clients.
Modern consumers have been trained by the tech industry to expect more from customer service. They want simplicity and improved clarity. They want transparency and a seamless, streamlined user experience - online as well as in real life.
Are agencies meeting the demands of modern consumers?
Historically, customer service has been problematic for the insurance industry. In fact, one of the main complaints of the average consumer is a lack of follow through by insurance agencies. While agents may be attentive to clients during the courtship phase of a client/provider relationship, that care tends to drop off once clients have made their purchase. In many cases, clients may not have contact with an agent again until they’re filing a claim, and it’s no secret that many agencies create friction during claims filing to prevent unnecessary expenditures.
The insurance industry also tends to lag in terms of technology adoption. Technology is a risky tool. Computers and servers crash. Cyber criminals pose a serious threat to consumers’ personal information. In short, the insurance industry has taken the same cautious approach to tech adoption as they would towards any other risk. Unfortunately, modern consumers don’t just want the option to serve themselves using technology tools, they demand it. In other words, a sense of poor customer service is compounded when agencies refuse to update their tech assets.
What can independent agencies do to distinguish themselves from larger insurance companies?
While large insurance companies have a distinct advantage when it comes to tech adoption, the gap is closing as tools become more widespread and affordable. Now is an ideal time for independent agencies to begin adopting and implementing more advanced consumer tools. Your agency website, for example, can provide many of the assets consumers have come to expect through the use of affordable plugins and widgets. Your agents can provide their expertise to more clients by using your website’s blog or through the development of educational videos or even podcasts.
Forward-thinking, client-focused independent insurance agency can still gain an advantage over more cumbersome, slow-to-move goliaths. Large providers are by their very nature impersonal; but a hometown agent can provide individualized, humanized attention. Pair that capacity with a robust online experience via your agency’s website, and your independent agency can offer superior service without additional manpower.
How AgenciesOnline helps insurance agencies build a more robust, client-focused platform
Eight out of ten consumers are willing to pay more for improved customer experience, and that’s reason enough to invest in building your agency’s online presence. At AgenciesOnline, we help independent agencies like yours develop a robust online platform for reaching new clients and satisfying existing clients. In addition to state-of-the-art websites, we offer training for insurance agents and a wealth of educational tools for both agents and clients. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can improve your clients’ experience and your agency’s business.