Customer expectations today are evolving more rapidly than we ever imagined. Companies that can decode their customers’ behavior and accordingly tweak their offerings gain a competitive edge. This is especially true for the life insurance sector where the demand remains subdued and consumers literally dictate insurers’ strategies. Cracking the customer code, however, isn’t that easy. Numerous factors influence customer behavior.

The best way to overcome this challenge is to hear directly from the consumers about their preferences. This is exactly what we did. We talked to more than 32,000 consumers in 18 markets around the world to understand what they are looking for. The results were very interesting. While competitive pricing and value continue to influence loyalty, today’s consumers have a growing appetite for more personalized, bundled services. They clearly want more from their insurers and in more ways. 

A comprehensive cluster analysis based on four key dimensions—cost, customer service, trust and digital innovation—yielded three consumer personas with different needs and priorities:

Nomads: These are highly digitally active people who are ready for a new model of delivery. They are not tied to traditional brokers or agents, and would consider buying life insurance from online service providers such as Google and Amazon. They want to minimize human interactions and are very open to the concept of computer-only advice. 

Nomads want more personalized services that can help them manage the risks they face. For example, they would like an automated notification to family and first responders in the event of a health emergency. Besides this, they would welcome bundled offerings such as health monitoring services along with life insurance.

This is the youngest and fastest-growing segment—and will define the future of the industry. Life insurers need to take Nomads’ demands seriously. 

Hunters: As the name goes, this consumer type hunts for the best deal on price. Competitive pricing and value for money are their priorities. They value advice from human advisors and are not ready for computer-only advice. Hunters are open to new offerings but prefer using traditional insurers and financial services firms.

Quality seekers: This consumer segment is loyal to insurers that deliver on brand integrity and service excellence. They want a financial services provider that will put their interests first and offer high-quality, responsive services. 

Accenture’s Distribution & Marketing research provides valuable insights into what today’s consumers seek from their insurers and the kinds of products and services they may want in the future. It’s insurers turn now to redefine their value propositions and business models to become more competitive.

In my next blog, I will discuss how insurers can raise the game with real-time interactions, technology innovations and agile service offerings. Stay tuned!

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