Over the past two weeks, I’ve been discussing how insurers can leverage social media to achieve high performance. If you haven’t already, you may want to read the first two posts in this series:
- Part 1: Five ways that social media can benefit the insurance industry.
- Part 2: Unique challenges facing the insurance industry.
Accenture has developed a Point of View on this topic. Download Achieving High Performance in Insurance through Social Media.
Social media’s benefit to insurance sales
The insurance industry is based on the relationship between agents and customers. Think back to the classic pictures of the agent sitting across from the customer at the kitchen table. Behind this is the idea that people only buy from agents they trust, and part of developing that trust is a face-to-face interaction. This used to mean that agents handled the entire sales cycle, from lead generation to qualifying leads and maintaining customer relationships over time.
As technology has evolved, so has this interaction. Agents are no longer limited to a defined geographic territory. And as people grow more trusting of interactions through video, audio and text, agents who excel will be those who can effectively build and foster relationships through the use of technology.
In order to support this kind of interaction, talent managers and customer experience managers must be able to match agents who connect this way with the customers who buy this way.
Social media’s benefit to recruitment
In a recent survey of 500 companies, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth found that 53 percent of them use social media in their hiring processes. These connections start when a candidate mentions a brand or expresses desire in working for a company. In addition to be tech-savvy, these candidates tend to have done their homework: they know more about the company, and are more engaged with the company brand than candidates sourced through more traditional channels.
For recruiters, LinkedIn and other professional networking environments can complement an insurer’s own career portal.
Social media offers numerous benefits to insurers looking for competitive differentiation. And while challenges exist, they are manageable—and, one could argue, significantly outweighed by the potential benefits.
Prior to reading this blog series, did your business use social media? Have I convinced you to use it? And if not, what existing challenges do you see that prevent you from using social media?