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Why the insurance industry must tailor communications strategies

Why the insurance industry must tailor communications strategies

Sam Madden, Director at Wiraya, describes why insurance companies must move beyond batch and blast campaigns to entice bombarded prospects. 

Insurers know they need to create tailored, relevant messaging that works across a large customer base. In an ideal world, every insurer would speak personally to each customer and provide the best possible service. But with hundreds of thousands of customers, this just isn’t possible.

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, in a timely manner (20%). Added to this, nearly one in five (17%) complained that they never receive relevant information.

With relevant and timely communication having the biggest impact on loyalty, insurers need to find a way to deliver in these areas that isn’t expensive and time consuming.

Many hands make light work

It is clear that traditional mass communication is no longer working. With insurers using email, text and social media more than ever before to get heard in a noisy market, consumers are switching off unless the message is highly personalised to them individually.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is pickup up pace as the chief solution to this growing gap between expectations and business capability. Combining AI with customer data means you can create intelligent service oriented communications, that are automatically adapted to the customer’s behaviour in real-time. The communication is done in a way that suits customers and it’s an engaging, useful interaction.

The latest technological advancements in this area mean that it is now possible to retain a human aspect and be just as intelligent as a customer dialogue. For brokers, this can only result in greater sales and help build trust.

Choose the right channel

Whilst AI can help your marketing be more proactive and tailored, it is crucial that you remain intelligent in your message and approach.

A great example is a Swedish insurance company who we worked with called If. If wanted to get more customers to renew their insurance, yet didn’t want to bombard the consumer with traditional mass communication.

By migrating to digital communication using an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based solution, and picking a smart combination of channels including SMS, pre-recorded phone calls and postal mailings, amongst others, the business enabled customers to easily end or renew their contracts from the convenience of their mobile phones, and significantly reduced churn.

Message

The idea of being a help rather than a burden to your consumer is a founding principle of AI. It offers the capability to be more far more relevant and proactive, but crucially, the messaging has to come from its human counterpart. This is where brain power must be focused.

It’s important to review the language of each message and avoid a sales focused approach if possible. 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 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 switching provider.

The first 100 days

This time is incredibly important in building trust. From day one, customers should be receiving a personal dialogue that sets the tone for the brand experience.

Efficiency and economy can be driven by executing pre-recorded personalised messages calls 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.

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.

This proactive approach is essential and much easier and cheaper than losing a customer and trying to get them back again. Customer acquisition is far more costly, and time consuming than customer retention, in fact 5 times as much, yet few insurers fully recognise this, and deploy resources appropriately The customer appreciates a pro-active service, rather than a reactive and impersonal approach.  

Less is more

Businesses need to put themselves in their customer’s position. It’s important not to bombard your customers with messages, delivered at the wrong time or on the wrong channels. Moreover, less is more, deliver less communication yet deliver higher results with a high quality approach.

Insurers that prioritize understanding their existing customers and gaining their trust first, not selling, will create a positive customer experience that can reduce customer churn. AI is just one of many tools insurers can bring into the fold to reach customers in a relevant and timely way, without breaking the bank. As ever ensuring your customers keep renewing with you is key, yet this challenge is ever increasing. Create a compelling message that speaks to your customer’s emotions, deliver it at mass scale yet with a human and personal touch. The time to change is now.

For full access to the bombarded consumer study please click here.

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