Walking a mile in your customers’ sneakers not only helps you understand their needs better, it can also transform the way you sell to them.
Raise your hand if any of these scenarios sound familiar:
- You’ve had the worst day ever at work and the only thing on earth you really want is to reset with a glass of wine and dinner. Just as you’re minutes away from being able to set work aside for the day, you get a text that your grocery order has been unexpectedly canceled. You pay a monthly subscription fee for the delivery service, you’re a great tipper, and you’re also a frequent flier — to the tune of 2-3 deliveries a week.
- You log into your online checking account only to discover you’ve been double billed again by your cell and internet provider. That’s the third time this year, and you’ve been reassured several times already that the problem is a known issue and will be resolved before the next billing cycle.
- Before making a special trip, you call a store to ask if they’re in or out of stock on hard-to-find Item X, and instead of getting an answer, you get transferred and placed on hold multiple times before you finally throw in the towel and hang up.
What all these have in common, of course, is they are each examples of a less-than-stellar customer experience. Though you likely spend the lion’s share of your time on the business side of the table, sometimes the tables are turned and you’re the customer. And when you are, you want a gold-star experience every time — especially if you regularly spend money with the company in question.
Your auto, home, and other P&C insurance customers want exactly the same thing from you.
They want to know they can count on you to deliver what you promise, that you will fix problems when they arise, and that they can feel safe that their personal and payment information is in secure hands when they share it.
They don’t want to have to wonder every month if they’re letting a duplicate invoice slip past them, or if they’re going to have to hunt you down on Gethuman.com to find out how to contact a real person from your care team who can help when there’s a problem.
Putting yourself in your insurance customer’s shoes — taking the time to think through their expectations as well as their challenges and basic needs — is important for your insurance business. It will help you define the customer experience you offer them, as well as strategize on new and improved ways to serve them.
Mapping Your Insurance Customer Experience
The customer experience isn’t just about customer service. It’s a soup-to-nuts summary of your insurance business offerings that encompasses:
- Customer care
- The insurance products and services you offer
- How easy it is to use them
- How well you do (or don’t) engage with your customers
- Your insurance company’s perceived levels of reliability and trustworthiness.
Breaking down the sum of its parts is one way to get a birds-eye view of what your insurance agency’s customer experience really is from beginning to end.
And while the end-to-end journey from customer onboarding to (ideally) brand ambassador is different with every insurance business, the milestones are similar. The map they create can help you create and deliver an integrated customer experience that makes you unforgettable to your target audience.
Depending on who you ask, or how you phrase a Google search, the customer journey can be mapped out into these four primary touchpoints:
Awareness: The target audience in this stage is still a prospect. They know they need insurance to cover key assets (vehicles, homes, etc.), but their circumstances vary wildly. Some may have second or vacation homes, multiple automobiles or recreational vehicles. This stage is the starting point to understanding and empathizing with your potential p&c insurance customer.
Consideration: In this stage of the journey, your target audience has started researching the best solutions for their needs and making side-by-side comparisons. At this point, you have an amazing opportunity to show your insurance prospect in palpable ways why the p&c products and services you offer are the best fit for them.
Decision: Your p&c prospect is ready to make a choice between you and your competition, and you’re in the lead. They want to buy, making this the milestone the conversion tipping point. At this stage, your focus should be on making sure that customer onboarding goes smoothly, and reassuring your client they’ve made the right decision.
Advocacy: Your insurance prospect has hit the “buy” button and is now a customer … but will they remain one? Though it is the last stage of the customer journey, in some ways, Advocacy is really a sort of a beginning stage, and one of the most important. This stage of the customer journey is framed by keeping p&c insurance clients coming back for more through consistency and excellence, as well as making them feel special and unique with exclusive programs and offers. Executed with a deft hand, this customer journey stage offers you repeat business, customized growth opportunities with each customer, and the chance to receive referrals and testimonials that will hopefully result in new insurance business.
On the Road to Insurance Customer Success
The road to perdition, they say, is paved with good intentions. So is the road to customer success.
Mapping your customer journey is not a one-step process, nor will it especially direct. Your customer journey and subsequent roadmap will change over time, just as your insurance clients’ lives and circumstances change.
Over time, there will be new pain points to address, new hurdles to clear. So it’s important to be observant, to ask good questions, to collect qualitative and quantitative data at every stage of the journey, and to apply that knowledge strategically. This will help you identify new insurance opportunities to enhance your customer experience, and transform satisfied customers into ambassadors that sing your praises.
Be sure and keep an eye out for the fourth and final installment in the The P&C Playbook Blog Series. Next up, we’ll explore cross-selling strategies that get results!