Effective Engagement: How Insurers can Profitably Engage Consumers
98% of life insurance policies are distributed and serviced through an agent. And I thought we were in the Digital Age… It’s high time the insurance industry put its past behind it and move forward into the future that is hybridization. I have already spoken about one element of hybridization in a prior article, the super agent, but this is actually only one element of a seamlessly hybridized approach to life insurance sales and service: the omnichannel experience. An omnichannel is simply using every viable method for engaging customers. What the omnichannel provides is an optimal customer experience, for customers can buy policies, manage insurance portfolios, and gather information using whichever ‘channel’ suits them best. Naturally, an optimal customer experience redounds greatly to the bottom line — providing customers with a plethora of ways to buy policies increases the likelihood of cross-selling and upselling, and offering such engagement tools in the first place begets customer acquisition.
Our research has found that the typical life insurance policyholder is largely ignorant of his insurance options. Maybe he just has a policy through work that he knows next-to-nothing about. And even if he bought a policy himself, like 10 million Americans do per year, he probably is unaware of his full range of options, as he only talked to a single agent who was just trying to close the sale quickly so she could grab a cold one with the team.
But what if, at this point, the typical policyholder’s insurer starts offering an omnichannel experience, powered by Sureify? Upon prompting, the policyholder downloads the new app, enticed by the advertisement there is some kind of rewards program offered in it, something about health challenges… Anyways, he delves into the app and finds it easy to use and very informative. In this digital engagement platform, he learns from the highly digestible educational content that he could have a twenty year term-life policy for only $10/month more than the ten year one he currently has. He uses the app to in-message his agent because he’s telephobic and so doesn’t like to talk on the phone. In talking to her, he confirms what the app already informed him of, and then confirms his intent to buy, so the agent reviews his application in real-time, on his side of the app as he writes it, and lo and behold he has a brand new twenty year term-life policy with a $10/month greater premium.
The great thing about an omnichannnel is that there are many varying iterations of the above scenario. The man could have started with an agent, who could’ve told him about this ten-year policy, or he could have not talked to an agent at all but learned of and then bought the new policy entirely himself, entirely online. This is the beauty of the omnichannel experience — one can not only pick his potion, he can create it. This pick-your-potion formula for hybridization increases the chances of upselling and cross-selling, as policyholders find it easier to inform themselves of and purchase policies than before, where they had to contact an agent at some point in the process.
But the omnichannel experience has even more profit potential than that, for it means an attractive new way to engage insurance, especially for Millennials. The Millennial mind is unsettled, undisciplined — a frantic place of anxiety and unrealistic aspirations. A mind that requires everything on-demand, immediately, and has no attention span for in-depth engagement. Clearly, an omnichannel experience is just the kind of thing the Millennial mind gravitates to, as it bestows control-with-ease. When buying and owning insurance is made entertaining, even mildly so, and easy, Millennials will come in droves. Whereas, if your typical Millennial has to go through an agent, then he is most likely just going to put this ‘chore’ off indefinitely. So, providing an omnichannel experience promises impressive customer acquisition but especially in the demographic that will matter most as they age, Millennials. And let’s be honest, technological trends flow from Millennials outward these days due to their constant demand for something better; so if you’ve mastered the Millennial, you’ve mastered the 75 year old.
An omnichannel experience doubly effectively engages consumers insofar as it acquires them as customers, by offering many more simple methods to buy, manage, and learn about insurance than the competitors, and increases the likelihood of cross-selling and upselling to any given customer. The need for an omnichannel experience is immediate and greater than ever. People demand options in the Digital Age, and they demand ease. Life insurers would be wise not to rest on their monochanneled laurels lest a company like *cough* Apple comes along who understands better how consumers want to engage insurance. As it happens, Sureify’s Lifetime Platform enables insurers to easily create an effective omnichannel experience, including building apps with special admin features for tracking, analyzing, and refining every aspect of customers’ omnichannel experience.