The Balance Between Human Interaction And Technology In The Insurance Industry

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Why should you care about how millennials want to shop and buy insurance? Because millennials are expected to become the largest living adult generation. Plus, these trends are not isolated to millennials. Other generations also like to research options online before calling an agent.

The Power of Expertise

The future of insurance is not only digital. It is still hard for consumers to navigate their insurance policies. With varieties of coverage, deductibles, and other options, it is a complex product. Agents play an important role in the insurance buying process. Their expertise and service help consumers make informed decisions.

Consumers are looking for that expertise — plus digital. It should be a symbiotic relationship. When done right, the experience is seamless no matter if the customer is engaging online or with a person. Unfortunately, many agents have not mastered this relationship as the opening example shows. For most agencies the interaction consumers have with their websites is static. It often involves submitting contact information in an online insurance form. And, they’re not always getting any insight into options and prices until the agent calls.

Consumers are looking for that expertise — plus digital. It should be a symbiotic relationship.

Strengthening Digital Superpowers

Digital transformation has created more competition. It is also driving opportunities to grow and expand the business and connect in new ways. In the ideal experience, there is a seamless hand-off from online to physical and back online again. Luckily, technology is changing to help you achieve this experience that consumers demand. The good news: the technology is easier to implement and less expensive than ever before.

Build a Navigable, Searchable Website. At this point, all agencies should have a website. But those that excel have a website that is clean, easy to navigate and found via search results. Your website should avoid long paragraphs of copy. Also make sure your call to action, such as “Request a quote” or “Contact us” is visible. Use keywords that will help boost the website in online search results. Take advantage of other ways to get your agency in the search results. This could include online review platforms, news coverage, and social media.

Ditch Static Insurance Forms. Consumers want to know someone will see the information they submit online. That their request won’t end up in a bottomless inbox. You need a solution that guides them through the quoting process. It should automate an authentic, personal conversation. For example, instead of a chatbot, the questions should come from a real agent at your agency. Instead of a static contact form, the solution should show the customer questions based on their previous answers. Next, you need a process in place, so the customer receives a message from you quickly. A best practice is to use the consumer’s preferred method of communication. This includes texting and social media.

Offer Price Comparison. Consumers are bombarded with ads about saving money on insurance. There is a real opportunity for you to offer consumers what they want — online price comparison. Representing multiple carriers and offering price comparison is already part of your job. Online comparative raters are easy to add to a website and provide more engagement. They also allow consumers to compare prices as well as coverage options. But not all comparative raters are created equal. Look for a solution that’s mobile responsive, so consumers can easily navigate it. It should compare the quoted policy to existing policies. Also, you want to look for a solution that you can adapt to your branding. Some solutions even make the process fun by allowing consumers to take a picture of their driver’s license to prefill information.

Use Human Interaction Where It Counts. In-person and over-the-phone contact is integral to a sale. A website, virtual agent, or mobile app is not a replacement for an agent. Especially at handling a more complex product like insurance. So, give consumers the option to talk to a human at every phase of the online experience.

In the insurance industry, the human element is still needed as consumers rely on guidance from agents. Technology is playing an important role in the consumer’s experience. The convenience and ease of technology help consumers find and choose their agents. The future of insurance will be a perfect balance of technology and human contact.

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