October 11, 2016 // By Magenic
Traditional insurance providers are facing massive competition from online sources, and one way they’re keeping ahead of the game is through added convenience.
In today’s highly connected world, consumers can handily compare price points and benefits online, meaning savvy insurers must make their offerings highly accessible, understandable and transparent, responding quickly (maybe even in real time) to questions and queries. When clients don’t have to work hard for answers, they put trust in the provider and come back for more, which helps move business relationships beyond the basics. That ease of service also reassures clients a brand is progressive enough to thrive in the 21st century.
Vendors that can’t meet the new standards of convenience and service are at risk of falling by the wayside. An Accenture study reveals that 51 percent of U.S. consumers (up from 5 percent the year before) switched insurers in 2013, citing poor customer-service experiences. That means a potential $1.3 trillion worth of insurance could be up for grabs.
Smart insurers can step up by better meeting customer expectations brought about by the burgeoning age of digital. The industry at large has been slow to embrace digital technologies that will heighten customer convenience, says one report by EY Global Insurance, citing that 80 percent of insurers fail to categorize themselves as digital leaders.
“Insurers trail the entire digital spectrum — customer engagement, use of analytics and adoption of mobile and social media,” the study reports. “Industries such as telecommunications, consumer products, and media and entertainment have already harnessed digital to attract and retain new customers. It is time for insurers to evolve and respond; they cannot afford to be on the sidelines.”
That’s true in all insurance sectors but especially in health care, a field under transformation by the demand for ease of use, greater transparency, do-it-yourself applications and real-time data via mobile. “New entrants … are arriving with disruption on their minds, as the effects of the Affordable Care Act continue to ripple through the sector,” explains the PwC Health Research Institute. “The health-care sector will begin to look and feel like other industries, catering to customers expecting one-click service. A true consumer-driven market is slowly taking shape.”
When it comes to insurance, the path of least resistance can be a powerful lure for busy clients. Forward-thinking insurers will understand that and take a good hard look at whether they’re keeping their communications and transactions stress-free and easy.
Read more about how insurance providers can remain relevant in the Magenic white paper “Lenders, Insurers Turning Digital Challenges into Innovation Opportunities.”