Insurance Agency
 min read

Personalization: How Regional Insurance Carriers Can Compete With Big Brands

Published on
November 6, 2023
Elizabeth Reed

Content Marketing Manager

Improved technology and on-demand convenience have infiltrated every part of our lives. Customers have high expectations—and in a highly competitive marketplace, they also have many options. That means meeting their demands is key to maintaining their business. Companies in all sectors have adopted an omnichannel customer experience (CX) to increase service accessibility. It’s time for insurance agencies to follow their lead. 

The big insurance carriers have the advantage when it comes to budget, outreach, and sheer numbers working for them. People looking to purchase insurance don’t have to do any work to find a quote with big insurers and their agencies—like the ones with the tiny lizard mascot. All they have to do is go to their site and enter their information into a form to ‌get a quote. And while it may not be the best quote, it is the easiest one to get. 

While other businesses can get wrapped up in the demand for instant digital solutions and convenience in today's business landscape, there remains one customer need that stands above all others: personalized attention. In a business where everyone is just another number in the crowd, showing customers you recognize them as, yes—a person—can be a significant game-changer in your business. To set yourself apart, you must strategically combine personalization with the convenience of an omnichannel customer experience. You might not have the budget of a commercial agency, but you’re going to be the one specializing in offering the best quotes for your prospects. 

How do you do this at scale? Let’s explore practical ways you can build a comprehensive strategy that meets the evolving needs of insurance customers.

The Limitations of Omnichannel Customer Experience in Insurance

You know the success of your business is dependent on sales. However, the goal of adopting an improved digital and omnichannel customer experience is to enhance client satisfaction, retention, and loyalty—more sales are the end benefit.

An omnichannel experience means customers can move seamlessly across touchpoints with your brand. They know what to expect whether you’re communicating with them via text, email, or social media. For insurers, this can streamline processes and enable you to provide more personalized customer interactions. Of course, there are some limitations.

Human Interaction in an Omni-Channel Insurance Journey

Despite the vast number of digital channels available, digital communication will never replace human-to-human interactions. Face-to-face customer support is especially vital in the complex business of insurance. So, think of digital channels as new opportunities to engage directly with clients and prospects.

Experienced businesses rely on people to facilitate the selling, due in large part to accountability. Customers want someone to confirm what they’re getting in return for their monthly premium. They want an actual person to be accountable for the promise of services being offered—not just an automated call line that keeps directing them to anyone but a human on the other end of the phone.

Exploring Customer Behavior and Preferences

When implementing an omnichannel customer experience, it’s critical to understand consumer behaviors and preferences. By analyzing customer data, businesses can identify which channels customers prefer to use, how they interact with each channel, and what they expect from each interaction. This knowledge enables businesses to create a unified customer journey that integrates all touchpoints, including online and offline channels, to create an effortless experience.

Important insights to uncover with your behavioral data analysis include:

  • How customers perceive your brand and your competitors
  • Possible events that lead to a policy change or purchase
  • How people research products and factors contributing to their final decision
  • The average number of touchpoints it takes to close a deal
  • The preferred social media platforms of your ideal target group
  • Customer’s typical pain points along the purchase journey 

Every customer has unique preferences, emotions, and social makeup. But tracking these trends can significantly impact how you develop and deliver a spot-on omnichannel experience for your customers.

Equipped with the relevant customer data, you’ll know what your customers value before they commit to a purchase. Use these insights to strategically:

  • Formulate new products or offerings that cater to various use cases
  • Determine pricing that makes sense for your target audience
  • Refine your market position and promotions
  • Curate a knowledge base of comprehensive content and useful FAQs
  • Customize service options to meet clients where they are
  • Design a painless purchasing journey start-to-finish for customers

Crafting a Seamless Customer Experience (CX) Strategy for Optimal Insurance Success

Once you’ve formulated your products and services around your customer behavior insights, you’ll need to put all the pieces together to master an enjoyable client experience. The most successful carriers prioritize three factors in building their strategy:

  1. The availability of online purchasing capability 
  2. Ease of navigating the purchase journey 
  3. Responsive sales support and trustworthy advice

To perfect CX, you must focus on the customer journey. This will include the following steps:

  • Define every stage of the customer journey
  • Identify key touchpoints where customers interact with the business at every stage and remove any pain points
  • Establish clear objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Identify tools that'll enable your team to reach these objectives, such as training staff, integrating selected technologies, and implementing functional processes to improve responsiveness and efficiency

Enhancing Customer Experience through Technology Integration in the Insurance Industry

Although customers interact with their insurers across multiple channels, many pick up the phone to resolve issues and file claims. This is largely because they want efficiency and instant resolution. By contrast, when interacting with insurers across multiple channels, conversations are often fragmented. Customers must repeat themselves with each interaction, and they start to wonder whether their insurer even knows or cares about them, leading to frustration and a bad CX.

By integrating the right technology, insurance providers can offer a better experience while reducing their own costs. Leveraging technology to create connected and efficient interactions means customers can start and finish communications across different channels without repeating themselves.

For example, leveraging mobile apps enables customers to easily access policy information and file claims and communicate with agents. Artificial intelligence (AI)-based chatbots and voice bots can also help customers self-serve, resolve simple issues, and complete processes, resulting in reduced costs—but note that chat bots aren't a total substitute for customer service. Human interaction is still key in providing the best customer experience. A good middle-ground? Online chats with actual human representatives behind it. Check out some best practices to avoid any chat-related snafus. 

But having an online chat is the tip of the iceberg for integrating technology for CX.  Integrations should aim to make both your life and the customer’s life easier. We may be biased, but gathering your customer’s insurance information in a few clicks is one way to quickly improve the CX in your customer’s purchasing journey. That’s where we come in. 

Canopy Connect offers an instant data collection solution that replaces tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone manual processes that drag out the sales cycle. Forget lengthy questionnaires and back-and-forth phone calls and emails. Canopy Connect enables secure and instant access to all your prospect’s insurance information at the click of a button.

You can immediately access the client’s insurance background and offer them a competitive quote without any delays. Our tech innovation for insurance allows for instant information processing, simplified quoting, and faster deal closures. In today’s fast-paced culture, consumers expect digital solutions when and where it suits them. As a result, insurers provide a flawless customer experience while protecting critical data to maintain customer trust and loyalty.

A positive customer experience from the very first interaction with your brand paves the way for a lasting relationship. And you can offer the best deal to prospects when you’ve got all the verified information you need at your disposal. After all, offering a service that’s fast, efficient, and personalized is the best way to show prospects you’re a serious industry contender. 

Creating a satisfying customer experience is going to be a win-win for both agencies and their prospects. Remembering that convenience in getting a quote is a huge selling point for the modern-day insurance purchaser, a digital CX should be a large focus for agencies looking to level up. Tech integrations such as these alleviate some of the burdensome tasks, allowing insurers to concentrate on what prospects truly need.

Personalization: Tailoring Insurance Experiences to Meet Individual Needs

Throughout our exploration of an omnichannel customer experience, we keep returning to the importance of personalization. While omnichannel, AI, and automation capabilities all make services more efficient, they can’t convey empathy and understanding. So, insurers should shift their focus away from risk mitigation and compensation to protection and reassurance.

To remain relevant in a competitive market, you must tap into your customers’ emotions. Tailor your solution to their individual needs. A client who feels you’re paying attention to them trusts you more than someone suggesting a one-size-fits-all solution. 

Personalizing your offering reassures them that you can improve their quality of life. Their underlying motivation for insurance coverage reaches deeper than purchasing a new car, buying a house, starting a business, or having a newborn. It involves the emotional need to ensure a family is safe, a life investment is secure, or help if there is an emergency. If you can tap into this on a one-on-one connection, you have a winning strategy.

Providing Data Security: Safeguarding Client Information Across Channels

Another major concern when relying solely on a digital omnichannel model is data security and privacy. You’re collecting and storing customer data across multiple channels. As a result, safeguarding information becomes more complex. There’s also an increased risk of data breaches. 

Giving your customers peace of mind on their data protection should be a top focus. Make sure when integrating with new technologies that they have trustworthy security standards, like a SOC 2 Type 2 Certification

Measuring Success: Metrics for Evaluating Customer Experience

The way customers perceive and talk about your business can have a significant effect on your success. Tracking customer opinions helps you gain insights into what you’re doing well and where competitors are outshining you.

Track customer opinions by keeping an eye on all reviews, social media posts, and interactions. These are some of the most common and important metrics for measuring customer experience:

Other valuable metrics to consider are First Contact Resolution (FCR) and Average Handle Time (AHT). These can help you identify where changes are necessary so you can set clear and measurable KPIs for improvement—and there’s always room for improvement.

Mastering the Art of Personalized Customer Experience: The Key to Success in the Insurance Industry

While the demand for instant digital solutions and convenience continues to rise, it's crucial to remember that personal attention remains a fundamental customer need. Standing out in a crowd requires connecting with people. Regardless of who you are, we’ve all been on the other side of less-than-stellar customer service. And while it may seem overt to remind yourself that connecting with your clients on a personal level makes the biggest difference, it’s something easily forgotten in the day-to-day operations sidelined by closing deals or getting through calls as quickly as possible.

Pair top-notch customer service with insurtech and you’ve got a comprehensive plan that meets the evolving needs of insurance customers. By focusing on the customer journey and leveraging technology, insurers can enhance the overall customer experience, foster long-term relationships, and differentiate themselves in the competitive insurance market.

Start taking steps today to make your omnichannel CX stand out among the competition.