Insurers and advisors well recognize that innovation has a direct link with their business growth. With disruptive competition at the doorstep, especially when the new breed of Insurtech companies are gaining market share, the time available to adopt innovation is reducing.
Website is usually the first and one of the most frequently referred channels between insurance marketer and the customer. The traditional approach for an Insurance marketer had been to view website as only a conduit between finding a customer and assigning her to the right advisor. This perception has been carried for too long creating a bigger information divide between the insurance marketer and the customer.
As per J.D. Power 2016 Insurance Digital Evaluation Study, released in May 2016, insurance websites are not keeping up with customer expectations. “While satisfaction hasn’t suffered yet, it likely will if insurers don’t invest in their websites and keep pace with other industries”, the report highlighted. Direct insurers have more heavily invested in their websites than agent-based insurers because it’s a primary channel of communication with their customers and key to new customer acquisition strategies.
Here is a brief summary of 4 major flaws that are holding back many insurance companies from maximizing their websites’ full potential.
Most of the Insurance websites are quite information heavy. They intend to provide too much of information including product varieties, details, terms & conditions and so on.
Personalization is one thing missing in most of the sites. Since ages, insurance selling (and marketing) is driven by personal relationships. Customer expectations still remain the same i.e. to get individual attention and contextual information. The only way to match this expectation is embrace technology the way it is being embraced in other industries such as e-commerce and entertainment. Today there are numerous ways to track the behavioral history of the customer. Data management and analytics technologies including machine learning, if used precisely, can provide highly personalized and contextualized customer experience. It is the overall customer experience on the website that determines the conversion.
Videos are gaining popularity in most of the industry websites. Users find it much easier to watch a video than to read pages of information. As per J.D. Power 2016 Insurance Digital Evaluation Study, videos gained a lot of user adoption with 46% of all shoppers (surveyed) access and find videos of policy information helpful, an increase from 39% in 2015.
Mobile-first responsive experiences are still not an industry standard within the insurance space. Mobile digital media time in the US is now higher at 51% compared to desktop (42%) as per “KPCB mobile technology trends” report by Mary Meeker
A mobile-focused strategy and responsive website design is no longer an optional feature. This is a must-to-do exercise and needs to be done on an immediate basis. Your company needs to be visible to get a piece of the pie. You can't afford to take yourself out of the game before it even starts.
You would be surprised to discover that many insurance companies have made it difficult for customers or potential customers to communicate with them. In the majority of cases, the last step is a toll-free number with time limits specified. If everything else falls in place and the customer dials in the contact number, in most cases, it takes quite some time before the tele-advisor is available
Fortunately, there is an easy fix for that via a contact form. Placing an easy-to-find contact form on your website will help generate leads by being notified who is interested and demonstrating your company's responsiveness.
While most firms measure vanity metrics such as website visits and email open rates, they do not measure how their marketing is affecting their most valuable customers and prospects.
Insurers are not profiling their customers based on their respective journeys and online behavior through online click-stream data. Customer engagement analytics and actionable profiling are still not a common practice. Such measurement and analytics would assist the channel/agent put the right pitch to the customer.
The insurance industry is a highly competitive market, however, many insurance websites hinder their businesses' market share by unknowingly sabotaging their profits. By overloading information, lack of engagement, lack of measurement and analysis, not utilizing new technologies, not incorporating quality design and not going after the mobile market can leave insurance companies alienated from their core customer base and potential customers. A complete focus on these four mistakes and making efforts to avoiding them would show surprisingly magical results in your future dealings. So, start practicing website best practices from today.