Customers in most industries now expect an omnichannel experience. That means they want to be able to communicate with the business in whatever way they want through seamless, customer-friendly methods that connect with each other. A customer who updates information in a digital portal, for example, will expect that customer service agents will see their update immediately and be able to service their needs accordingly.
But how can independent insurance agents and brokers create an omnichannel experience for their policyholders? Read on for our tips for creating the best customer experience.
How to Create an Omnichannel Experience for Insurance Customers
Insurance is all about relationships — so communication is key. Policyholders want to communicate with their insurance companies in ways that are convenient to them. Email, text messages, phone calls, digital portals, chatbots, and even letters or messages sent through traditional mail could all be valid parts of an omnichannel experience.
Customers like to pick their method of communication based on their needs at the time, and many customers use several different methods. This means agents and brokers should ensure they offer useful channels of communication. But simply adding more ways to get in touch doesn’t equal a better customer experience. Research found consumers don’t just want more channels, they want to use ones that make sense for their particular needs.
Studies also show that consumers prefer low-effort experiences over high-effort ones. If a business makes it easy and low effort for a customer to engage, ask questions, and receive needed information, customers enjoy a better experience with that business. In fact, research by Gartner shows consumers who had a high-effort interaction with a company became disloyal 96% of the time, compared with 9% of customers who experienced a low-effort interaction.
Agents and brokers can use these insights to their advantage when developing their omnichannel experience for their customers.
- Plan your omnichannel strategy. Begin by deciding what to focus on first and make a list of which communication channels to prioritize. Decide on a realistic timeline for development and implementation and set goals for the project.
- Start with creating an intuitive, user-friendly digital portal experience for policyholders. McKinsey found that the availability of online purchasing was the most critical factor in omnichannel success, so it makes sense to start here. Designing a digital portal to meet customer needs doesn’t have to be complicated, either. There are lots of low-code or no-code programs and SaaS vendors that can provide a tailored digital experience for agents and brokers of any size.
- Focus on seamless integrations between systems. Consumers want synchronous, real-time support and information. If a policyholder talks with a customer service representative, they expect the CSR to have up-to-date information readily available regardless of whether the details arrived by email, chatbot, digital portal, another CSR, or through the mail. This seamless integration between sales and service is another top priority of the omnichannel system according to McKinsey.
- Don’t forget the agent management tools. Alongside a robust customer experience, make sure to give your agents and brokers the right tools to be successful. They need to keep up with and predict the demands of your policyholders and they need a CRM system to keep up with the customer journey.
Join The American Agents Alliance For More Tips
The American Agents Alliance aims to empower independent agents and brokers to thrive. Become a member to see firsthand how your agency can benefit from powerful networking opportunities, valuable business discounts, and educational blogs on trending topics designed especially for independent agents and brokers.