More and more customers are going online when they want to research and purchase insurance, and they’re also turning to websites and apps to make payments, report claims or get help with customer service issues. Now, it appears we’ve reached a tipping point. According to J.D. Power, auto insurance websites became more important than agent interactions for the first time in 2020.

There’s no denying it – technology is changing the insurance customer journey. It’s not just car insurance, either. According to Accenture, 21% of life insurance customers prefer to purchase coverage online, and this figure is expected to increase due to differences in generational preferences.

Beware the Digitization Trap

If insurance companies want to keep attracting new customers, they need to embrace digital transformation and its impact on the customer journey.

But insurers also need to watch out for the digitization trap.

Insurance customers expect digital tools, but offering those tools doesn’t guarantee high rates of customer satisfaction. In fact, J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study shows that customer satisfaction with digital offerings failed to increase despite all the effort that insurers have been putting into digitization.

So What Do Customers Want?

Customers want convenient digital tools and omnichannel options, and their expectations are changing as technology advances. But that’s not all that customers want.

Customers also want excellent customer service – and that’s something that isn’t going to change.

When focusing on digital transformation, it’s important not to forget about the customer service fundamentals that haven’t changed.

Insurance Customers Still Want Helpful Agents

Self-service using an app can be great for simple tasks, but when complicated problems emerge, customers want to be able to talk to a real person. If technology makes this difficult, customers won’t be happy.

Microsoft’s Global State of Customer Service found that 21% of customers cited difficulty reaching a customer service agent as the most frustrating experience, 35% said that an agent’s lack of knowledge was the most frustrating, and 32% complained about having to repeat information.

Insurance Customers Still Demand Fast Service

There’s a lot of speculation that modern technology is making people more impatient. If you’re making customers wait, you’re also making them angry.

HubSpot Research found that 90% of consumers say it’s important or very important to get an immediate response when they have a customer service question. For 33% of consumers, waiting on hold is the most frustrating aspect of getting customer service help.

Insurance Customers Still Expect Great Service

According to Microsoft’s Global State of Customer Service study, 90% of customers place a high value on the quality of customer service when they decide whether or not to stay loyal to a brand, and 58% of customers will end a relationship with a business if their customer service expectations are not met.

New digital tools have the potential to improve the customer journey by providing faster, more convenient customer service. However, insurers shouldn’t assume that more sophisticated digital tools will automatically translate into happier customers. It’s important to look at digital adoption from the customers’ perspective to see how changes are – or are not – improving the customer journey.

Your insurance BPO partner plays an important role in maintaining and exceeding your company’s customer expectations. To start envisioning ways that Covenir can help enhance your customer journey, read these success stories.