The excited young child rings the bell with trepidation and anxiously awaits a response, protected only by the magical question: Trick or treat?” Rewarded by candy, they trustingly run onward to the next adventure. 

Today, with commercial, group, and even larger carriers increasingly selling or servicing customers directly, a similar dynamic is being created across insurance. Without the agent as an intermediary, businesses are relying on the carriers to treat them with respect and openness, lest they wind up surprised with an unexpected trick. 

The tendency for carriers to seek to improve customer experiences, make things easy for customers, and provide seamless service is to be applauded. We are starting to see improved experiences across all areas of insurance including sales, onboarding, service, and claimsthough insurance as a whole, and especially group and commercial insurance, still lags other industries. 

The challenge, as the industry starts to focus on the customer experience, is that we don’t forget our customer responsibilities. We don’t just want customers to buy our products. We want them to know and understand what they are and are not covered for, so that we don’t leave them with a hidden trick of coverage when the unexpected happens. To do this, carriers should consider these four lessons as they build their customer treats to ensure there are no scary hidden tricks: 

  1. Layered Experience: Customers have different levels of knowledge and experience. We don’t need to drive everyone through a full learning journey, but we should create an experience where customers can go for more detailed help when needed.  
  2. Staged Experience: We don’t need to try to teach everyone all at once. We have different journeys with the customer from inform, quote and purchase to onboard, service and claim. Think through what the customer needs to know, and spread and reinforce key messages across the stages. 
  3. Channels: People absorb information in different ways and in different mediums. Deliver your most important messages to your customers in different mediums (formats) to help ensure they are getting the message. 
  4. Trust: Insurance is a promise. As you explain the coverage, service and offerings your product provides, don’t resort to tricks or gimmicks. In the end, the most important element of a promise is trust. Make sure your promises are well understood, explained, and believed. 

Do these things, and your customers will be delighted with the bag of treats you provide them, especially without any hidden tricks. 

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