How Insurance companies adapt to consumers in the digital age

The digital shift of insurance buyers has transformed the way traditional insurers engage and interact with consumers, forcing them to reassess their business model and improve their digital capabilities. However, complex internal business processes, legacy technologies and a strong risk management culture mindset still prevent many insurers from fully benefiting from their digital initiatives.

Consumers' intensive use of mobile phones, tablets, personal computers and social media platforms are making it easier for consumers to find brands, compare offers and get recommendations at each step of their buying journey. They expect the same experience with insurers.

“Consumers define their desired experience with us [Insurers] based on how they purchase other goods and services. We are now dealing with online, digitally savvy consumers who want that consistent experience”, explains Monika Federau, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Intact Insurance; ( Canadian Underwriter, February 2014).

A better understanding of these digitally savvy consumers can enable insurance companies to articulate their strategy across multiple online and offline channels to make sure they can provide them with a consistent experience during the research, comparison and buying stages.

BrokerLink’s digitalization program: An Integrated Customer Experience story

BrokerLink acknowledges that the purchasing path of most consumers today has evolved significantly over the past few years. Communication channels and sales cycles have multiplied and so have the number of influencers in the process.

Facing these realities, BrokerLink "made a conscious decision to respond to the customers' expectations about the way they wanted to be served." says Dave Ewanchyna, Head of Marketing and Communications at BrokerLink, interviewed for this article. "You never know when or how a customer will hear about your offering," he added.

Across the organization, ask the question: How will this project enhance the overall customer experience? With that priority in mind, the relevancy of the initiatives becomes obvious. Developed and deployed with the help of multiplemedia over the past year, the following projects are among the digital initiatives which have been addressing the various shopping contexts and behaviors of today's consumers, while directly enhancing the global customer experience.

  • Development of a responsive and accessible (WGAC 2.0 guidelines) Web site;
  • Development of an online quoting application to help provide an optimized online shopping experience across all digital supports: mobile, tablets, portable computers;
  • Real time support of users thanks to the implementation of a chat capability and a co-browsing functionality where brokers can complete an online quote in real time, with a customer over the phone, at the moment they want to be served;
  • Overhaul of the company's Blog to support the company's social Media efforts. The Blog acts as a premier tool to give BrokerLink a voice to showcase what they stand for.

Whether the path to purchasing occurs online or offline, this is still "a people's business,” and BrokerLink wants to be sure they can engage in discussions about Insurance with customers to build trust and loyalty.

The evolution of the internal business processes

Responding to today's numerous communication channels and influencers has required the company to adapt its business processes. A "quick response team," of brokers has been trained to work with adaptability and efficiency in mind, jumping from the phone to chat to the co-browsing application, all to provide a "good, simple, easy experience.” Additionally, the BrokerLink marketing team has developed its social media processes to sort incoming posts and requests and direct those to the appropriate support staff to enter the realm of customer support through social channels.

At an analytics level, the amount of data available has helped tremendously in raising the awareness of the digital initiatives among stakeholders. From page views to conversion funnels, the past year has seen the digital reports become more granular, giving the management team more insight into what's happening in the online marketing and sales efforts.

THE Results

X 2.33
Online Sales
2011-14
101 %
Y-o-Y increase
in Lead Closing ratio

The efforts deployed over the past year have generated great results. The main key performance indicator, the closing rate of the "Web initiated quotes,” has increased by 101% year –to- year. These are all quotes that have started out online, whether they have ended by a phone call or not. In this process, multiplemedia has been a trusted development partner offering accessible, standard based and customized solutions while acting as a driving belt between brokers, Marketing and IT resources.