Last time we looked at how recent studies show that the key to insurance customer satisfaction lies with the convergence between digital capabilities and the human touch, especially among younger buyers. Today we’ll take a closer look at the Gen Y/agent relationship and what makes it tick.

A recent survey of more than 15,000 customers worldwide indicates that while positive customer experience decreased nearly 4 percent in 2014, North American insurers lead in customer satisfaction. US consumers reported the second-highest satisfaction rates at 41 percent positive, behind Austria, followed by Canadian consumers.

We can infer that a key driver is customers’ satisfaction with their insurance agents, which the study finds high, especially compared with customer satisfaction with phone and Internet-based services.

North American insurance agents lead with a 51 percent satisfaction rate, compared with 40 percent for the Internet, 38 percent for phone, 33 percent for social media, and 30 percent for mobile Internet channels.

What can we learn from this data? I believe the main takeaway from these and the J.D. Power findings that I referenced last week is that while digital disruption is a powerful imperative for insurers, it can’t be allowed to overshadow the traditional agent/client relationship—even among the Gen Y buyers who, in spite of the conventional wisdom that suggests a preference for digital communication, actually prefer to work with them.

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