Driving growth by selling insurance products via digital channels | Insurance Blog

There has been a seismic shift in how people and businesses buy and sell services since the start of the pandemic. Salesforce data shows that 80% of business-to-business buyers have higher expectations about businesses’ digital capabilities in the wake of pandemic-related disruptions. In the same study, 78% of business buyers said they used more than one device to complete a single transaction, and 73% said they expect connected experiences across channels and departments when they interact with sellers.

When it comes to individual buying habits, a recent Accenture report found that 49% of consumers are willing to turn to brands that offer online product advice and a ‘commerce in everywhere’ experience where transactions happen seamlessly across digital channels. In a survey of the insurance market by Accenture, 48% of customers said they would prefer to open a new account or product on their computer, and 34% said they would prefer to use a mobile app. Customers – business leaders and individuals alike – are looking for simpler, friendlier and more convenient digital experiences.

This does not mean that the insurance agent channel is going away anytime soon. As my colleague Scott Stace says, “Agents still own the lion’s share of the market and remain indispensable to insurance.” Therefore, it is still important to ensure that agents have the tools they need. But insurance companies that don’t embrace digital channels are also leaving money on the table.

Companies with mature digital sales channels have many things in common. They are able to digitally interact with customers to a high degree, can fully implement recommendation engines and a customer customized web store, use tools that generate real customer insights and plan robust incremental investments in data-driven insights. They also have the most standardized and automated selling process and plan to invest aggressively in this area and already have closely collaborating front office entities.

For insurance companies that want to build a more effective digital channel, I recommend developing core capabilities, including:

  • End-to-end digital engagement for customers. To interact with individuals and small business owners, you will need an interconnected set of digital tools and complementary channels for each stage of the sales process.
  • Proactive and personalized recommendations. Using a recommendation engine can help you direct customers or agents to the right products and coverages, resulting in a better experience and improved customer satisfaction.
  • Data-driven predictive customer insights. Leaders are already using a 360-degree view of the customer and customer insights using first and third party data to target offers.
  • Automated and unified sales processes. Automated processes mean cost savings and conversion rate optimization by providing consumers with a simple and fast buying experience.
  • Collaborative front office operations. Leading companies foster strong collaboration between sales, marketing, front office and back office.

While digital capabilities are now essential to insurers increasingly wanting to connect with a digital consumer, keep in mind that there are generational differences – millennials and younger consumers are more interested in digital offerings, but those over 55 are slowly becoming more comfortable. .

Converting customers to digital channels is an opportunity to reduce costs, expand distribution, and enhance customer satisfaction and engagement. Insurers that don’t actively pursue digital sales channels risk losing customers to carriers that have perfected the multi-channel customer experience that spans the entire journey from first contact through purchase and customer service.

In my next post, I’ll look at how you can reimagine customer service to drive growth.

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Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our professional advisors.

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