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Blog

Nov 13, 2014

5 Tips for Keeping Insurance Consumers Happy

According to the Wall Street Journal, insurance companies are spending nearly $6 billion each year to woo customers with glitzy marketing campaigns. This humorous commercial correlates switching to Geico with the happiness a camel experiences on “hump day.” The original received more than 3 million YouTube views in its first month.

So what does a wisecracking camel have to do with insurance? In a mature market like property and casualty insurance, this is where the marketing money goes – expensive gags and attention-getting, million dollar ad campaigns – to basically steal each other’s customers.

But hanging on to existing customers is just as important, and the contact centre is vital to that strategy. When prospects or customers reach out to the contact centre, it’s a valuable opportunity for one-on-one relationship building.

Customer interactions in the contact centre can provide valuable feedback that both marketing and customer service teams can use to keep customers for the long term. Get it right, and insurers can create a loyal customer, and use the lessons learned to keep even more of them around. But if the interaction doesn’t go smoothly, that customer may try another company instead.

Here are five steps insurance companies can take to build lasting customer relationships.

1. Measure customer sentiment with social media.
Not just negative, but positive, too. If your customers are singing your praises, use that to tell more people about your great customer service and get some real marketing mileage out of it. On the other hand, companies need to know that when dissatisfied customers complain on social media, their competitors are seeing that, too. Airlines, for example, are using social media to engage and steal their competitors’ unhappy passengers.

2. RTC (Real-Time Communication) on brand Facebook pages.
When customers visit their insurer’s Web page, do they want a return call within 15 minutes or two days? Obviously quicker is better. RTC is a new technology allowing customers to request an immediate return call from the contact centre via a Facebook interface (also saving the consumer money). Insurance providers need to communicate with customers quickly, and in the format with which they’re most comfortable. There are decisive moments when real time communications are critical.

3. Upgrade your Knowledge Management for customer retention
In today’s fast-paced world, customers have little patience to wait for answers to their questions – even complex ones. Knowledge Management tools make that key information available to the contact centre at just the right time: when the customer requires it. A Knowledge Management tool that helps to consistently provide resolution on the very first call saves time and resources that don’t have to be used on follow up calls.

4. Equip your Knowledge Management for employee retention
One of the biggest expenses in the contact centre is employee turnover. Insurance companies may spend thousands of dollars over many weeks training a new employee, only to have them quickly become frustrated from being unable to answer customers’ questions, and quit. An intuitive Knowledge Management system, like Astute Solutions’ RealDialog, gives team members the answers they need, when they need them. Energised employees then stay with their employer and become more productive, while the employer avoids the pain of hiring a replacement.

5. Use CRM Proactively for “Stickier” Relationships
Insurance companies strive to develop relationships with customers to keep them for extended periods of time. Loyal customers may stay with insurers for decades and influence friends and family members’ decisions as a result of their personal experiences. Effective use of CRM tools, to create more positive interactions, will build this loyalty. Advise customers to changing weather conditions, alerting them to steps they can take to prevent damage that would increase their premiums. Proactively offer simpler billing methods based on customers’ payment history. This approach helps insurers go beyond simply accepting regular payments, so they can create a more personal relationship that could last for years and years.

Contact Astute Solutions to learn how your company can start implementing these strategies today.

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