A Brief Look At Customer Loyalty In The Insurance Industry

customer loyalty

Interacting with customers and maintaining their loyalty is something insurance companies are battling in our age of big data, how can they achieve this? According to Accenture, “first movers with strong brands and customer bases can gain a sustainable competitive advantage by influencing the composition of the ecosystem within which they operate.”

Influencing this ecosystem means adapting to the needs of modern customers and maintaining transparent partnerships with affiliates like aggregator/comparison websites, which can cause insurance companies to be one step removed from their base.

Generic search has changed how customers find companies and the aggregator business has taken advantage of this shift in expectation, in the UK it accounts for 70% of the premium income, says Friss. For most searchers, choosing the right provider is almost always influenced by price and aggregators shape their business models around this insight. Direct insurers struggle in this new environment due to bad branding and less emphasis on customer recognition, offerings that usually attract consumers to comparison websites.

There are so many companies now that don’t really have a brand that can get business from price comparison websites, what you end up with is this disenfranchisement from consumers,” says Consumer Intelligence CEO Ian Hughes.

A lack of branding mostly occurs outside the United States, where insurance brand names are synonymous with creative advertising – Geico has a Gecko, Progressive has Flo.

flo progressive
Flo from Progressive Insurance advertising

“The goal is to create engagement,” Matt Johnson, State Farm’s former head of digital marketing told Contently. “You are battling for a share of the mind of this human being. For something like insurance, these people don’t know that they’re going to [need it]. So when that happens, they’re going to research two or three companies. We need to be top of mind.”

On the other side of the Atlantic, both aggregator websites and insurance brands consider every customer as their possession, yet have very different needs. Aggregators focus on lower costs while insurers require retention and loyalty but don’t quite know how to go about it.

The lack of communication and consistency between brand and affiliate is directly affecting the overall customer experience negatively, especially when its time for renewals. Cooperation between the two is necessary to change the landscape.

Working together

It’s down to creating a symbiotic relationship among customer-aggregator-insurance brand. “A hybrid distribution model that combines online and mobile channels with agent/call centre/ chat support, therefore, continues to have high potential,” notes Accenture.

Doing this means learning from aggregator’s customer-centric strengths such as easier form fills (tick boxes instead of text boxes). Insurers use text boxes 28% more than aggregators which can lead to more errors.

Restructuring the form process for direct insurers involves finding new ways to stay connected to customers even after they’ve closed the deal. Stats show that 20% of customers are leaving their carrier after just a year.

Building loyalty is aligned with creating a holistic view of an insurance hunter, and offering them more than just a singular product, “customers are ready and willing to hear from their insurers about services that reach beyond core insurance,” says Bain & Company. Products attached to policies such as security, car check-ups and more can increase touch and ensure brands aren’t speaking to their customers only once a year.

Direct insurers need aggregators and vice versa, paying attention to the contributions of both can bring them closer to their common goal, customer satisfaction.

Learn more about closing the gaps in customer service here. 

 

Via: Accenture, Friss, Consumer Intelligence, Bain & Company, Contently. 

Your Inbound Leads Suck And How To Fix Them

inbound leads

Outbound marketing is easy, it’s about the chase, mass emails and cold calls. Inbound leads can be a little more difficult, how do you draw them in? Yet when they do arrive there is a tendency for marketing teams to send the whole gamut down the funnel to sales. This results in frustration from the commercial side of a brand. Wasting time sifting through cold leads to find warm ones isn’t ideal and adds to the miscommunication marketing and sales teams tend to struggle with.

What can be done? It’s down to balancing both the outbound and inbound lead influx, sending qualified leads down the funnel and finding the right technology to do that. Rome wasn’t built in a day but there are platforms out there that can be.

Here’s how.

Qualifying inbound leads

Lead to prospect to customer is the journey of every final sale. It all starts with a qualified lead and for marketing, those are the only ones worth sending to sales teams.

Scoring these leads does not have to be painstaking, use profiling to create a more in-depth impression. Digital profiling collects data from every visitor interaction and creates custom identifiers such as geolocation, clicks, browsing behaviour, etc. When leads do reach out, its easier to determine whether they have the potential to become a customer and to nurture them further until they do.

Using calls

When someone calls to find out about a service, they usually show more interest than a form filler. Phone calls come from those further down the sales process, BIA/Kelsey data, “also indicate that 66 per cent of SMBs (small-medium businesses) consider phone calls the most valuable form of incoming leads.” Use call data to fill the gap in lead management by attributing qualified leads coming from calls to marketing campaigns.

Seeing the big picture

Lead generation in this digital landscape is wide terrain full of multiple campaigns, targeting and relationship building. Consolidating every part of this process to form a clear, long-term strategy is possible with investment in technology that can do the heavy lifting and collaborate easily with a human workforce.

Knowing the best times, locations, industries and audiences to target can save time, money and resources. If your inbound leads suck then make some tweaks to how you approach leads overall and see the results.

Via: BIA/Kelsey

Phone Calls: How To Close This Gap In Lead Management

girl on phone

Phone calls are arguably the black hole in lead management. Why? Because calls are now the highest converting lead source for most businesses, yet a large number of companies are still putting funding into digital advertising without an idea of how these investments are bringing in leads. According to Gartnerout of 14 categories of marketing activity, 65% of marketing leaders surveyed told us they plan to increase their spending on digital advertising.”

The fact remains, customers will close a sale when they are ready, not when the company is ready to sell to them. When they do call, that interaction is more likely to result in a sales lead than relying on web marketing alone.

It’s not that the marketing isn’t working, it is…phone numbers are being dialled and click to calls are initiated as a result of marketing efforts. Proving the ROI of this ad spend is where many brands are at an impasse. The ability to accurately measure campaigns is the goal of most marketing teams and yet the hole is there, how do you measure offline interactions and manage the leads that come from them, especially phone calls?

Understand who the lead is going to

When multi-locational brands like those in the automotive sector send qualified leads to their vendors, the expectation is that follow up is immediate. Not always, it can be difficult for brands to trace the customer journey when they leave the brand website. Using workflows can set up a lead nurturing protocol for vendors so that calls are not missed and brands have full visibility of every step.

Call data is gold, use it

Seriously. Stream call data into software that can meld into an existing system. It’s easier than it seems. With this data, build digital profiles for customers to create personalised experiences for every caller and help sales teams understand exactly who they are selling to – resulting in higher conversion rates.

Infosys found that 59% of shoppers who have experienced personalisation believe it has a noticeable influence on purchasing. Despite the stats, there is a startling lack of investment in personalisation technology, according to Pure 360 via econsultancy, “38 per cent of companies are not undertaking any personalisation.”


Calling customers aren’t going away anytime soon and despite the advances in communication technology, large purchases still need the cushioning of a good conversation. Technology is accenting this process with features that make it beneficial for both ends of the line. Fill the gap by paying attention to who’s calling.

Via: Gartner, Pure 360.

5 Common Mistakes Made When Updating Call Centres

call centre mistakes

In customer-facing businesses, when a prospect decides to call, it’s usually because they are looking for help and an informed voice on the other end. Call centres that can meet these requirements need the software that can keep up with modern expectations. Some companies outsource their call centres, while others are moving towards communication technology that keeps everything in-house. But when updating call centres with new systems, what are major mistakes to look out for?

1.Too hard to implement

Revamping an existing platform that has worked for decades can be harrowing, but sticking with legacy systems can also push a company’s customer service back in time. Finding a middle ground where the new software is easy to learn and makes change seamless is the goal, don’t look for the hottest package on the market and expect miracles. It could all end in tears.

Starting with integrative software is a great way to inch into new territory for brands and their call centre teams. Find programs that act as middlemen – streaming call data into existing CRM systems.

2. Doesn’t remove data silos

The bane of most modern call centres is too many data silos. The latent and real-time caller data that streams into call centres have significant value but it needs to used and not stored for a rainy day. According to My Customer via SAS, “only 23% of companies — less than 1 in 4 — are able to generate real-time insights with customer data.”

The technology is out there with routing, profiling and prioritising capabilities that paints an entire picture of data impact on ROI and company development. Use it.

3. Thinking more IVR means better customer service

Nope. In no way does adding more IVR to a call queue make it better. Customers don’t want to wait to speak to a service representative for ages, it’s a guaranteed way to lose prospects. “At the beginning of a customer service experience, 90 per cent of our respondents want to speak to a live agent,” says The Conversation.

4. No remote option

Modern contact centre software gives agents the opportunity to work remotely. This is helpful when considering the impact of the global community on business development, our borders are definitely blurring. If needed, using agents from all corners of the globe remotely under the umbrella of a unified system can improve personalisation by breaking language barriers. Don’t send a non-English speaking customer to an English speaking agent. Route calls to the right agents wherever they are.

5. Not using the right metrics

Focusing on how every agent is managing a call isn’t always the best use of data. There are multiple signifiers of how to better the call experience. Luckily platforms offer dashboards that reveal the intricate elements of call. Metrics like call through rate, call duration and missed calls can point to more than just a lack of good customer handling, rather how the brand can improve the entire customer journey through better marketing, targeting, and nurturing.

Improving training for agents is always good, but optimising the caller journey can also make an agent’s job a lot easier and more fruitful.

Need more help?

Via: The Conversation, My Customer.

How Complex Should Your Segmentation Be?

segmentation

Too much segmentation is as bad as too little

In an age of big data analytics, real customer intelligence depends on having manageable datasets to analyse, rather than too much irrelevant information that may drown you.

According to McKinsey’s “Unlocking the power of data in sales” report from December 2016, “more than 1,000 sales organizations around the world, we found that 53 per cent of those that are “high performing” rate themselves as effective users of analytics”.

With that in mind, we wanted to explore the complexity of segmentation and why too much of it can cost your business money. Cleaning and reformating data is a major first step when it comes to properly segmenting data sets, yet nearly 40% of 200 B2C and B2B companies surveyed by Allocadia claim they consider the process challenging.

Complex yes, but jumbling the wrong data together or putting it into too many categories can result in embarrassing errors such as; targeting the incorrect audiences for campaigns or sending the wrong email to prospective clients. Losing these opportunities is losing revenue.

Understandably, time is precious. CRM managers have a lot on their plates and need tools to help them be more efficient in how they analyse data. Experienced customisation requires a high degree of condensing multi-channel sources of data into fewer groups.

Segmenting your customers based on unsold inventory

When it comes to retail and consumer-facing enterprises something as simple as segmenting your customers based on unsold inventory can make a huge impact. Unsold inventory has surprising potential if advertised the right way, especially when using segmentation to find an audience for unsold stock that may not have been there before.

Dynamic search ads are an upsell tool for retargeting past customers, by promoting products previously viewed. According to travel platform Sojern, after partnering with Fairmont hotels and using Facebook’s dynamic ad offering in their advertising, they saw a 20% increase in revenue.

Segment for you

For online businesses, another way to simplify your segmentation is to utilise tools that target audiences based on their likelihood to become a conversion. Weeding out the leads from the bots and far away visitors can set a course towards attracting the right audience. Prioritisation should be personal to the company’s goals, segmentation becomes overly complex when data strategies are too broad.

Overall, as big data becomes commonplace in the business ecosystem, segmentation is a relevant tool needed to make sense of it all.

Learn more about segmentation for calls here

Via: Marketing Charts, Sojern, McKinsey,