The insurance industry is in an exciting stage of transition – and as with any transition, challenges and opportunities go hand-in-hand.
Rising competition, rising customer switching, tighter margins – insurance companies face greater pressure on finding the right distribution channels, delivering exemplary customer service, and keeping business costs low.
Just as technology has empowered consumers in their search for the right insurance company, technology also empowers insurance companies to get an inside business advantage. Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system – such as CRM for Insurance – is a particularly useful tool for keeping tabs on customer engagement.
But there are other unique business advantages for insurance industries using CRM – check out our three examples below.
Easier to Adjust to Industry Demographic Changes
Insurance industry demographics are shifting from Baby Boomers to Generation Y (also known as “millenials”) – if insurance companies aren’t able to identify the new insurance audience, and tailor their interactions and communications to best suit that audience, they will miss out on crucial business.
For instance, millenials are more comfortable with engagement through technology than older generations – in fact, they prefer it. According to Gallup, millenials are more than twice as likely (27% vs. 11%, respectively) as all other generations to purchase their policies online rather than through an agent. This comfort with technology also means that millenials want to be able to access information quickly, and that they will search exhaustively on the Internet before turning to a rep.
Family relationships are also important to leverage when working with millenials. Many millenials choose to be covered under a family member’s plan, and they are also more likely to choose an insurance company that their family members use.
CRM for Insurance provides insurance companies a 360-degree view of the customer with in-depth customer records, containing a customer’s contact information, the policies that the customer has, as well as any previous interactions between the customer and the company.
CRM for Insurance also allows companies to identify more personal information about the customer, such as birthday, relationships between customers (such as if a customer is the parent or child or a customer, or a spouse, etc.), special anniversaries, etc. As customers have grown to expect more personalized service, this information enables insurance companies to more effective cross-sell and up-sell to individuals with targeted communications and offers.
CRM for Insurance enables insurance companies to input and track customer’s personal information, which can be leveraged for more personalized, worthwhile communication.
Explore New Distribution Channels
The traditional insurance distribution model meant that agents and brokers were the primary drivers behind insurance customers’ purchases – they were the ones with all the information. But not anymore – customers now turn first to the Internet to answer questions, get more information, and research companies.
Insurers that start creating online distribution channels gain an important advantage over their less technologically savvy competition. With a greater web presence, insurers are able to attract more of the customers who make the Internet a key part of their decision-making, and product-buying, processes.
But that doesn’t mean that agents and brokers are becoming completely obsolete. Agents and brokers are another important part of a customer’s research gathering, because if an answer to a question can’t be found online, an agent needs to be prepared to respond quickly when the customer reaches out to him.
And with more customers using their smartphones as their research tools, insurers also need to make their selling mobile-friendly – from an agent’s outreach, to a piece of marketing collateral.
CRM for Insurance enables insurers to track all touch-points with a customer – from a query that was emailed, to an incoming phone call, etc. – providing greater visibility into the customer’s needs, and a useful interaction history for future reference. CRM for Insurance even allows agents to track text messages that are sent to the customer.
CRM for Insurance tracks all touch-points made with a customer, such as phone calls, emails, text messages, etc.
Attract – and Retain – Talented Employees
Companies that are renowned for innovation, cutting-edge solutions, and excellence easily draw talented people from the job-hunting pool – people want to work for exciting, pioneering companies. The insurance industry, unfortunately, has a reputation of being stodgy, uptight, and resistant to new ways of doing things, which can make it difficult recruiting for positions.
Good recruitment is especially essential in that the insurance industry’s workforce is rapidly approaching retirement age – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 50% of the industry’s workforce is above the age of 45. To prevent a skills gap from occurring (which would drain customers, and in turn, drain revenues), insurers need to develop strategies for enticing tech-savvy millennials – the next workforce generation – into pursuing careers in the industry.
By embracing new technology that helps better serve customers, insurers can debunk the stereotypes. Making technology the cornerstone of industry-leading customer service initiatives helps insurers advertise company progressiveness and agility, and also the company’s commitment to operating at the highest level.
Making an Impact with CRM
CRM for Insurance ensures that insurers keep their sales and marketing tighter and more focused despite customer and industry shifts, and thus a useful tool for recruitment – giving companies an important competitive edge.
For more information on CRM for Insurance, or how Ignify can enhance your business processes, please email email@example.com.
Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.