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Ring it on: Phones vital to digital transformation of insurance industry

Ring it on: Phones vital to digital transformation of insurance industry

The key phrase in the insurance industry these days is “digital transformation.”

Many companies are working like mad to install new technology that will allow them to personalize customer offerings and conduct interactions through multiple communications channels. They’re responding to customers (especially millennials) who are increasingly demanding easier transactions and customization aligning with their individual wants and needs.

Among improvements embraced by insurers are beefed-up mobile capabilities catering to customers who are time-starved but still prefer the human touch — presumably a significant number, given that calls to businesses from mobile devices are expected to reach an annual 162 billion by 2019.

One study this year reveals that 88 percent of consumers still prefer the phone to resolve customer service questions. And the insurance industry remains dependent on phone communications for a number of functions.

“At the point of purchase we are still seeing a lot of interaction, whether it’s on the phone or in person with a broker,” reports IBM’s Lynn Kesterson-Townes in InsuranceJournal.com.

At the same time, insurers are optimizing software that provides valuable data about their callers for more informed transactions. Depending on your level of investment, today’s software or dynamic number insertion (DNI) can automatically extrapolate a gold mine of information about each caller, including demographic data and buying histories and preferences. That intelligence can provide detailed insight into your customer base that can be enormously useful in personalizing your approaches to solidify loyalty among clients.

“(Millennials) want to really interact and have a relationship with you,” Kesterson-Townes notes. “They want an understanding of their personal needs. They want fast responses. They still want advice. But if their needs are not met, they’re even more likely to switch insurers than the rest of us.”

Insurers interested in maximizing their use of mobile for business transactions might prioritize the following:

  • A recent industry report advises that insurers ask themselves the following: Are your digital platforms optimized for mobile access? Are you integrating customer data across all media and digital channels? Are you capturing, storing and using current customer data to maximum value? Are you evaluating customer behavior to determine response to shifts in digital communications and processes?
  • Make your business ultra simple to contact by securing a vanity toll-free number customers can remember with ease. Then ensure it’s well displayed in your ads, on your website and on social media. In Dial800 case studies such numbers have led to 25 percent and higher sales increases. Other advantages of toll-free numbers: They create a credible nationwide presence for your company, they’re easy to install without changing your current number and they help establish trust by letting customers know you wish to hear from them.
  • Place mobile click-to-call ads that allow customers to reach you instantaneously. They appeal to customers who might not otherwise contact you and usually provide excellent ROI.
  • Ensure the staffers who handle your phones are proficient in both customer service and sales. Customers who reach you by phone are 10 to 15 times more likely to buy than those reaching you via the web, according to BIA Kelsey. “Customers want a seamless experience involving every contact that they have with the insurer, so they don’t have to start over providing their information at every interaction,” explains Kesterson-Townes. “It really is about understanding what that customer is talking to you about and being able to take them to the next level.”
  • Shop for software that can provide the kind of caller data most valuable to your business. For example, CallView360® uses cutting-edge algorithms and analytical tools to report caller information related to age, income, marital status and specific location as well as the ad spurring the call and the timing of the call.

Insurers who take steps to impress customers who prefer phone communications may go a long way in securing loyalty in the future.

“Whether you’re responding to a customer in real time or anticipating a need they didn’t even know they had, today’s insurance marketing and communications functions must exceed expectations to give their companies a competitive edge,” says Kesterson-Townes. “It’s not just about speed. It’s about delivering relevant experiences at the right time and the right place.”

Let Dial800 create an effective digital-infused phone-based marketing plan for driving sales to your insurance agency.

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