In my last blog, I introduced the 2019 Global Financial Services Consumer Study and how insurers can serve individual customers by personalizing services. Now, I’d like to go into more detail about what kinds of experiences and offerings consumers want from their insurers.

Speed and convenience are top priorities for consumers. They want insurance to fit into their lives, not the other way around. Further to this, consumers desire more integrated propositions that address their core needs through a variety of products and services bundled together. For example, more than half of the consumers we surveyed are interested in a home care package that includes insurance, essential home repair services and home utilities.Building integrated ecosystems with partners that offer complementary services comes with its own challenges—namely security. Consumers trust financial institutions more than other industry players to protect their data, but many don’t understand how their data is used or how to keep it private. Third parties need to be reviewed and only granted access to necessary customer data.

A failure to safeguard data is the second biggest reason consumers leave their insurance company.

Consumers also desire more integration across insurers’ own physical and digital channels. In the same way that ecosystems can offer integrated services, omni-channel experiences can provide one-stop-shop options that meet consumers’ needs across their preferred channels. The key is to strike the right balance between human and digital interaction.

The majority of consumers still prefer to receive product and claims advice in-person or over the phone. Consumers prefer to do most of their research beforehand online, though. Ninety-four percent of consumers say they prefer to read content online and 54 percent say their mobile phone is their principal device. Fifty percent also report they would like the ability to switch between online and telephone channels when making a transaction.

Chatbots and other technologies, such as virtual reality, are still evolving and haven’t yet hit a tipping point with consumers, though adoption is growing. PNB MetLife India is seamlessly blending new technologies with a human-to-human experience. Its virtual reality platform transports customers to an insurance expert’s office so they can “talk across the table”.

Consumers are fairly satisfied with digital interactions on carrier-owned platforms, but carriers still have a long way to go with digital interactions on others’ platforms, such as social media. Understanding where consumers prefer to interact online versus in-person will help insurers build services around their needs and expectations. The bottom line is that integrated, omni-channel experiences should be easy to use, secure and efficient in order to encourage interaction.

In my next blog, I’ll share five steps insurers can take to become a living business and position themselves for continuous growth in light of these consumer insights.

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