Sam Madden, director at Wiraya, explains why insurance brokers must consider new ways of reaching customers in an increasingly saturated communications environment.
With insurers and brokers using email, text and social media more than ever before to get heard in a noisy market, consumers are switching off.
In a recent study, Wiraya discovered that 86% of customers who left their insurance, energy, mobile or banking provider said they would have been more content with the service if had they been contacted in the way that they preferred and in a timely manner (20%).
Insurers and brokers know they need to create tailored, relevant messaging that works across a large customer base, but they need to find a way to do it in a way that isn't expensive and time consuming.
More and more companies are looking to artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle this issue. The latest technological advancements in this area mean that it is now possible to retain that human and personalised approach to customer dialogue at large scale.
Combining AI with customer data means you can create intelligent service oriented communication that is dynamically adapting to the customer's behaviour, in real time.
Below is a list of top tips for insurers considering AI to reach the bombarded consumer:
Cultivate brand loyalty from the off-set
The first 100 days are incredibly important in building trust and preventing a passive customer later down the line. From day one, customers should be receiving a personal dialogue that sets the tone for the brand experience, but this can often be costly and inefficient using traditional communication methods.One approach that proves effective is executing pre-recorded personalised messages over phone and email. These messages can be sent in real time and connect the customer to the human customer support team at a time of their choosing.
Proactivity not reactivity
Rather than just choosing the right channel, insurers need to think about the right message. It's important to review the language of each message and focusing on a service rather than sales-lead approach. Try not to ask your customers for things too frequently, rather offer them a service and let them know how this will make their lives easier.
Start by looking into whether a particular service for a customer actually suits them, and if not, then enable them to easily switch. Do this before they are approached by another provider or before they realise it's not for them, which inevitably leads them to switch provider. The idea of being a help rather than a burden to your consumer will encourage them to stay and drive more value across the customer lifecycle.
Choose the right channel
Whilst it is important to be proactive, it is crucial that you remain intelligent in your message and approach. For example, if a supplier mails a letter asking customers to send in their account details, or remind them about a payment, it could be easily overlooked or could be seen as a burden to complete and send back. However, if digital communication is identified as the preferred method e.g. email or text (SMS), then they are more likely to provide you with what you need.A great example is a Swedish insurance company who we worked with called If, which wanted to get more customers to renew their insurance. Instead of bombarding the consumer with mass communication after post and email failed, they used an automated AI solution. The smart combination of channels including SMS, pre-recorded phone calls and postal mailings, amongst others, allowed customers to easily end or renew their contracts from the convenience of their mobile phones, and significantly reduced churn.
Tailor your solution to your customer
If you notice that your customer doesn't have the best subscription suited to their behaviour, make sure they are offered the right service and enable them to switch, before they take the initiative to end the subscription or get poached by the competition. The customer will be happier and is much more likely to stay.
This proactive approach is essential and much easier and cheaper than losing a customer and trying to get them back again. To acquire a new customer is much more expensive and time consuming than retention, so why not focus on this phase? The customer also appreciates you contacting them pro-actively as a service, rather than reactively when they have ended the service.
Don't bombard your customers
Businesses need to put themselves in their customer's position more often. It's important not to bombard your customers with messages that aren't personalised or are proven not to be delivered at the right time or on the right channels. Use the tools that are now readily available such as AI technology to enable you to create messages and select channels that are relevant to your customers' behaviour, in real time.
Sam Madden is a director a cloud company Wiraya.