Personalization Drives Customer Acquisition and Retention for Insurers

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Our always on, digital world is transforming consumer expectations and the way they interact with businesses. This new reality means that delivering value to consumers has become more necessary, but also more complicated for insurers.
How can you stave off customer defection? With the right customer experience, insurers can increase the rate of acquisition and reduce churn of policyholders. In particular, personalization holds the key.
Acquisition: Personalize the pre-purchase experience
To successfully acquire new policyholders, insurers must deliver an integrated and personalized experience across these key pillars:

Personalized search experience: A valuable search experience is one in which the individual does not have to repeat information already given. The information can be passed through to unique landing pages based on pre-determined search keywords and parameters. The search experience should be device-specific, and where possible use the data available to segment that customer into a relevant customer group.
Attribute-based routing: Attribute-based call routing enables a potential customer to speak with the right person with the right skills to help convert them. This requires companies to intelligently connect the prospect to the insurance teams that most closely match the customer profile for a sales discussion. When specific information is asked, the system leverages skills-based call routing to answer questions timely and accurately.
Custom call scripting: Custom call scripting can align associates to specific customer inquiries and search histories for both inbound and outbound sales calls. And temporal 800 numbers can be unique to a specific policyholder’s online search history, allowing the company to understand their path through multiple channels even before enrolling.
Integrated technology platform: An integrated technology platform manages the multiple channels consumers use to search for and purchase new policies. It allows the insurer to remember policyholder and prospect profiles and preferences, and connects the policyholder’s claim history to the call to manage the experience. This is an important element of the pre-customer experience as well, since prospects may likely have multiple interactions across channels before enrolling.
Policyholder outreach: Targeted, relevant, and proactive policyholder outreach delivers increasingly personalized interactions for cross-sell and up-sell. The best outreach is personal and demonstrates that the company cares about each individual. This could mean intervening via chat on the website if someone is stuck on a page for a while, or sending proactive messages ahead of a renewal or during a major life event like moving or a new baby.
Analytics platform: Analytics tools and strategies can help companies know when and what to communicate to customers and prospects, predict prospect and customer actions, optimize offers based on search history, and identify when shoppers are ready for outbound calls. Even before enrollment, there is data from search history, website visits, and information requests that can be leveraged to improve acquisition rates.
Retention: Personalization+engagement
Personalization can also have enormous impact on customer retention efforts. Below are five ways insurers can personalize retention-related customer interactions.
Know the policyholder: There are a number of ways to formalize individual or segment customer knowledge and build relationship strength. They include moments of truth journey maps that uncover opportunities for personalized touch points, such as price increases, renewal notification, or product up-sell/cross-sell. In addition, some companies track individual customer preferences and create personas to match the unique needs of certain customers. Even just staying aware of customer life events is a step in the right direction.
Proactive outreach: Predictive analytics, propensity models and churn modeling can help identify and save at-risk customers, and lean process design can streamline the frequency and triggers of customer outreach. Rules-based trigger communications can be established to automate processes, with messages tailored for relevancy. In the contact center, post-interaction customer care surveys can be used to capture the voice of the customer, as well.
Be relevant: Leading companies build technology-driven, personalized treatment plans for customers, and enable infrastructure and processes like intelligent call routing and custom engagement scripts to be relevant in the phone/chat channel.
Handle claims fairly: Insurers who handle claims well are more likely to see retention increase due to customer satisfaction. With tactics like first contact resolution, attribute-based routing, segment-based associate training, intelligent Web self help, or associate empowerment, the goal is to satisfy the client by resolving issues if possible, or be direct and transparent if not.
Value policyholders: When policyholders feel valued by their insurance providers, they are less likely to switch. Insurers should create an environment of trust toward policyholders, where associates serve as advisors and advocates, acting in their best interests. Customers should be treated professionally and information should be made transparent. Loyalty and recognition programs also go a long way to reward long-term policyholders. Make it easy and worthwhile to do business with you, and customers will reward you with retention.

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