Today’s consumers are increasingly moving online. But what do they really want from their online experience? Is it enough for life and annuity carriers to simply provide products or services online? Current Accenture research says “No.” What customers really want is an experience that is highly personalized and relevant to their changing needs.

A switching economy

Results of Accenture’s most recent Consumer-Driven Innovation Survey found that in the life insurance market, 7 percent of customers are very likely to stop doing business with one of their insurance providers in the next 12 months, and 10 percent will take out a contract with a new provider.

Online experiences - what do customers really want
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Using these findings, Accenture calculates that there was up to $400 billion in revenue potentially “in play” in the global marketplace in 2013 as personal-lines, P&C and life insurance and annuity customers chose to switch providers. That’s a large number of dissatisfied customers up for grabs.

Digital capabilities, a flexible operating model and smart software

To attract new customers as well as retain and further penetrate their existing customer base, life and annuity carriers must adapt to the changing demands of customers and develop the ability to provide the advice customers seek. That means building digital capabilities, a flexible operating model and taking advantage of smart software solutions to provide customers with personalized, relevant online experiences. In fact, the survey reveals that 80 percent of insurance customers say that personalized service would play a major role in their decision to switch providers.

Software such as the personalized SmartVideo offering can be extremely effective in improving conversion rates, increasing customer satisfaction and retention, fostering brand loyalty and reducing contact center costs. Using client and policy data to generate on-demand, customized communications, the right software can help life and annuity carriers provide relevant, engaging experiences for customers in situations such as on-boarding, delivering statements and building loyalty at the claims stage.

Selling products is not enough

At a strategic level, life and annuity carriers need to think carefully about how to move away from simply selling products toward providing useful, relevant experiences. The fact that survey respondents are willing to pay more for personalized advice is highly significant and not something carriers should disregard lightly.

Carriers seeking to differentiate themselves from competitors need to develop digital capabilities, implement sufficiently flexible business and operating models, and consider using software that helps them to personalize their offerings and services. This way they can protect their existing, profitable customer base, and attract customers who are switching providers.

To learn more, download the report: Playing to Win

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