Insurance brokers and agents must adapt to appeal to their current and new customers. We look at a few ways the insurance industry can use digital innovation to keep up with expectations.
Engaging customers in innovative ways has become the key to success for insurance brokers and agents. As the intermediaries in insurance transactions, both agents and brokers work to ensure that their clients get the best coverage, communication is seamless, and the process is as efficient as possible. Digital innovation is no longer just a competitive advantage but a business necessity.
While the pandemic pushed many brokers and agents to adopt technology quicker than planned, many would say it was long overdue as we have been talking about the impending digital innovation of the insurance space for years.
As the industry evolves, brokers and agents who don’t innovate will be left behind. Customer expectations are changing, driven by other industries that offer more efficient operations, a streamlined digital experience and new technology.
In part two of our two-part series on embracing digital innovation due to changing customer expectations, we’ll cover these dynamics from the perspective of brokers and carriers to explain why digital has become a point of emphasis for the industry and how they can embrace it.
Rising Digital Expectations
Across personal and commercial insurance lines, we are seeing the rise of “on-demand,” digitally native consumers. They are accustomed to customer-centric, omnichannel service across their preferred channel, whether over the phone, face to face or through online portals and mobile apps. If brokers and agents are not delivering real-time service, their clients will seek alternative providers.
Digital innovation has become key for customer retention and achieving a competitive position in the marketplace. As a result, brokers and agents have transformed their digital space by integrating systems and platforms to provide information to their clients faster, interact with their customers from anywhere and achieve seamless communication.
Efficiency is a primary driver of digital transformation for brokers and agents because paper-laden workflows and manual processes have long weighed them down. The adoption of digital technology and AI allows insurers to reduce costs, increase productivity and streamline the experience for the customer.
Today, insurers recognize the value of building intelligent workflows that empower them to work more proficiently and allow customers to feel like they are part of the process. For example, implementing automated policy management helps brokers and clients instantly pick resolutions for queries. As brokers and agents automate as many tedious tasks or processes as possible, they can focus on driving sales and growing relationships with customers.
Historically, insurers have viewed marketing as a person-to-person business that required phone calls, mass emails and in-person meetings. Other industries have evolved from these traditional marketing practices, and now customers expect a more refined, targeted approach from companies. In fact, 71% of customers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal.
If brokers and agents are not personalizing marketing messages, it is likely that they are already falling behind the competition. Marketing automation enables them to create robust campaigns that send personalized messages or content to prospects and clients at the right time on the right channels. Using data to create all-around personalized digital experiences and embedding AI throughout the customer journey, insurers can build customer loyalty and move beyond a strictly transactional relationship.
Brokers and agents have unique responsibilities as intermediaries between insurance buyers and insurers. Their customer expectations have always changed over time. Today, their clients are digital natives who expect fast, efficient and personalized service.
Many brokers and agents are still wary about digital innovation because it can be difficult, costly, and time-consuming. The truth is that digital disruption is here, and customer experience is now considered a key brand differentiator. Embracing digital expectations, optimizing process efficiency and prioritizing personalized interactions should be top of mind for agents and brokers as they aim to improve customer experience and prevent themselves from slipping behind.