In the first two posts in this blog series, I discussed some experiential research from Accenture and Fjord that offers unique insights into the small commercial insurance market. This time, I’ll delve into the methodology we followed to find out from small business owners why they don’t buy commercial cover online.

In a world where digital technology is changing the game, it’s easy for organizations to lose focus on the human element. Transforming any industry starts with understanding what the customer wants and currently lacks. Our approach to experiential research is all about putting people first, so that we can design, build and launch experiences that meet their needs.

The goal is to design ‘living services’—digital experiences that are responsive to the user and the environment. This survey of small business owners sought to understand their attitudes and behaviors about purchasing insurance through digital channels and to explore what carriers needed to put in place to increase their willingness to buy directly.

Check out my first two posts in this series to discover what we learned from listening to the business owners—some of the results were surprising. The activities in our five-week research project included:

  • Secondary research: Reviewed current digital tools and resources, the competitive landscape and market trends in the small commercial market.
  • Primary research: Interviewed small business owners to determine past and future insurance needs, engagement preferences, and opportunities for self-service.
  • Ethnographic research: Used the dscout remote research platform to see business owners’ everyday experiences as they happened, captured in videos and photos via their smartphones, and to identify critical moments in the insurance purchase journey.
  • Small business owner workshop: Validated self-service moments on the insurance journey and explored opportunities to create new digital tools and resources through co-creation. Seven Chicago business owners took part in activities ranging from exploration of their past experiences with insurance to concept ideation.

Based on facilitated discussions and design thinking exercises, this methodology can enable every carrier to better understand customers’ current and future requirements, the resources and experiences they seek, and their drivers and inhibitors.

Some of the concepts developed in the co-creation workshops with small business owners:  

Rate Reassurance prioritizes transparency and context to give small business owners confidence throughout their journey. By breaking down rates and simplifying the language around coverage options, carriers can reassure customers that they can complete insurance enrollment by speaking to an advisor. 

Seamless Services leverages data from digital services that customers are already using in order to craft a policy to fit their needs and expedite their quoting process. Because data between services is constantly shared, Seamless Services can provide smart adjustment suggestions. This ensures customers always have the right policy to fit their unique and changing business needs, while minimizing manual input. 

Scenario Share focuses on framing the insurance experience around real experiences and comparing to similar businesses, addressing the need for a human touch and contextualization. Customers learn about what incidents are protected through vignettes and testimonials.

As insurance organizations strive for hyper-relevance, an essential part of their toolbox is methodologies that enable them to listen closely to the customer’s voice and to build products and services that surprise and delight the people who use them. Human-centered services, experiences and products will set aside the winners and losers in the small commercial market in the years to come.

Have a look at our Small Commercial Insurance research report for more information.

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