What Is Omnichannel and How Does it Affect Insurers?
What Is Omnichannel and How Does it Affect Insurers?
The omnichannel trend is affecting every industry. The term is often used to refer to omnichannel marketing, which places the customer at the center of a multi-pathway communications network.
In omnichannel marketing, companies create an integrated experience with touchpoints selected to serve a particular purpose. The result is a personalized customer relationship with a consistent brand image.
The rise of omnichannel has launched several major trends. In marketing, one of the biggest is customer-driven communications over brand-driven advertising. With so many ways to interact with customers and enough information to choose just the right platform, brands can target their outreach at every stage of the buying journey.
Omnichannel is also powering the trend toward AI-powered packaged solutions for customer service. Now that businesses can reach customers across multiple platforms, omnichannel personalization is becoming more commonplace. As the trend picks up momentum, it is becoming something that customers expect – and brands have to deliver or get left behind.
In the banking industry, omnichannel has broadened customer service far beyond transaction accuracy. Banks are using the data at their disposal to understand what customers want and design engagement systems that exceed expectations.
A similar evolution is happening in the insurance industry. Insurers are noticing that today’s consumers are no longer drawn to the one-size-fits-all products and advertisements of the past. Instead, the industry is starting to offer individualized service packages integrated across multiple platforms.
Digital CRM, Insurance Companies and Omnichannel
Insurance customers are accustomed to shopping online, and they expect insurers to keep up. More and more people, especially those in younger demographics, are researching online reviews of insurers and buying new policies digitally. The top insurers are responding in kind with many digital tools and resources that subscribers can use.
One standout example is Predica Life, which has digitized 95 percent of its processes and is working toward creating a multi-channel platform optimized for mobile. By integrating this platform with its website, Predica is making sure that customers can get the services that they need on the devices that are most convenient for them.
Omnichannel for insurers not only helps to meet consumer demand for digital services but also helps to integrate systems that are already in place so as to not lose contact with current customers. Even existing branch networks can help omnichannel adopters to increase the value of existing customer relationships while attracting new customers digitally. This is a foundational element of omnichannel – using each platform to its best advantage.
Selling in the Age of Omnichannel
Omnichannel has dramatically shaped the way today’s insurance products are sold. The traditional push model of selling insurance has been struggling for some time against the public desire for consumer-led marketing. Shoppers, especially younger consumers, have become increasingly resistant to advertising that feels pushy or intrusive, opting instead for messages that are targeted to meet their needs.
Omnichannel marketing empowers insurers to offer different products and reach out to customers on various platforms, a critical capability in an industry where needs are drastically diverse across demographics.
Reaching Millennials with Usage-Based Coverage
Millennials are a challenging demographic for insurers to reach. They don’t always follow a traditional path through life, so they’re less likely to be married with a house, kids, and car at the same age their parents were. Many prefer to rent apartments or share houses with friends and use rideshare companies instead of making those large purchases.
It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that millennials prefer to have services customized to their individual choices and needs. Approximately 88 percent of millennials prefer usage-based insurance, which provides specific coverage based on individual behavior.
Omnichannel lets you provide this kind of coverage, provided you know how to optimally use each channel. That could mean having a mobile app that collects safe driver data integrated with a website that lets consumers build unique service packages.
Data Powers Personalization
The data-gathering capabilities of omnichannel empower you to serve all customer demographics more effectively. Fortunately, recent research reveals that 60 percent of consumers will share their data if it leads to lower-priced services. Moreover, 79% of insurance customers are willing to increase data sharing if it can reduce the risk of loss or injury.
Omnichannel lets insurers collect and use this data as efficiently and effectively as possible. The key is to understand which channels are most effective for particular purposes and demographics. For instance, by leveraging analytics for social media and email marketing, you could learn which method your customers prefer for one-on-one interactions and adjust your focus accordingly.
Omnichannel Maintains Engagement
Yesterday’s insurance customers made their choices based on loyalty. Today, insurance customer choices are all about engagement and conversation.
New subscribers are much less likely to choose an insurer because it’s the one their parents used. To sell your company to a prospect in the current market, you have to engage them on an intellectual and emotional level. You must make a connection that they perceive as an ongoing commitment to their needs.
Omnichannel naturally creates this kind of connection by placing the customer at the center of your communication hub. You can collect claim information from a subscriber via your mobile app and send a confirmation via text, email, or phone, depending on the customer’s recorded communication preferences.
These kinds of integrated systems ensure that each communication informs the next one. Customers feel known and understood, which motivates them to stay in business with you.
Improving the Insurance Customer Experience Through Omnichannel
Insurers need to adopt an omnichannel approach if they want to meet the expectations of today’s subscribers. CHSI Connections can help you develop that approach with integrated CRM systems that combine claims management, analytics, and policyholder interfaces. Through these connected platforms, you can meet your subscribers’ needs while exceeding their expectations.
To learn more, contact CHSI Connections today and tell us about your insurance omnichannel needs. Our representatives can guide you to solutions that meet your needs and schedule a demonstration so you can see our software in action.