Insurance companies can’t function without customers. Customers won’t stay if they don’t have good experiences. Here’s why policyholder experience is the new business currency.

First Impressions Matter

If you don’t make a good first impression, you might not get another chance.

Imagine a consumer needs insurance coverage. He contacts an insurer to learn more, but the call doesn’t go well. Maybe he’s put on hold for a long time, or he has trouble getting through to a real person. Maybe he doesn’t feel like his questions are answered. Regardless of the details, it’s a bad customer experience.

So, does this consumer give the insurer another try? Probably not. A consumer survey report from Invoca found that 74 percent of consumers are likely to choose another company after a bad phone experience.

People Expect More out of Their Insurance Companies

These days, consumers expect a lot from their insurance companies.

Bain’s Customer Behavior and Loyalty in Insurance report identified 30 elements of value. These elements form a hierarchy. On the bottom, we have functional elements, like saving time, avoiding hassles and reducing cost. Moving up, we have emotional elements, followed by life-changing elements, with social-impact elements at the very top.

It seems like a lot to expect from a company, but Bain found that insurers that do well in more elements have better loyalty scores and revenue growth.

Customers expect insurance companies to provide a basic level of value. To gain a competitive edge, companies must go above and beyond to deliver a truly exceptional customer experience.

Modern Policyholders Are Vocal

Let’s say your company drops the ball and a policyholder has a bad experience. You might lose that customer – but the consequences don’t necessarily end there.

In the past, people might have complained about a poor customer experience to their friends and family. Thanks to the internet, they can now voice their complaints to the entire world.

Before people contact a company, they often do an online search – and that turns up online reviews. According to the Local Consumer Review Survey from Bright Local, the average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business, and nearly half of respondents say they wouldn’t consider using a business with fewer than four stars.

Social media is another important factor. When people are upset with a company, they may go online to voice their complaints. Sometimes, these complaints go viral.

But it’s not all bad. Customers will also turn to social media when they’re happy. Need proof? This Forbes article has five examples of positive customer service interactions that went viral in 2019.

Deliver Exceptional Customer Service

If you provide an exceptional policyholder experience, you’ll be rewarded with loyal customers who champion your brand. Here’s how:

  • Provide fast, reliable, friendly customer service through multiple communication channels. But don’t stop there…
  • Go above and beyond. Customers want companies to demonstrate that they care about their customers and society in general.
  • Take customer feedback seriously. When customers are dissatisfied, find out why and take immediate steps to correct problems.
  • If you outsource policyholder services, measure performance and ensure that the outsourced team performs at the same level as your own team.

Find out how Covenir’s Customer Support Services can deliver your brand promise, increasing both customer satisfaction and retention. Learn more.