Winning in small commercial insurance will require carriers to create compelling digital experiences for customers across the buying spectrum.

What was the last big or innovative purchase that you made? Think through the experience. How did the company help you make the decision? Did they offer tools?  Did they reach out to help you? Did they make you feel confident as you went through the buying experience? Did they help you feel good about your buying decision?   

For the best companies out there today, the answer would be “Yes” to all of the above. They look to engage the customer before the customer even realizes they need the product, and then look to hold them all the way through the buying experience. Now, think of how carriers sell small commercial insurance. For the most part, carriers don’t even consider you a customer until the agent sends across the application, and at this point they simply provide price and coverage for the customer to decide.  

This changes as small commercial goes digital and carriers have the ability to create compelling experiences across the buying spectrum. Think back to Progressive in personal lines. Part of its success was due to its ability to create compelling buying experiences for different types of shoppers with: a comparative shopping tool to entice people to start with their site; a name-your-own-price function to allow buyers to feel in control of the sale; and multiple discounts to persuade buyers that they got a good deal. Everything was designed to help at the different steps of the buying decision.   

So, where are we in small commercial? Let’s look at the main steps a customer goes through today and the role that the carrier currently plays, versus the role digital carriers can have in the future. 

In my next post, we will discuss how digital experiences can help carriers not only make the sale, but also retain the customer. In the meantime, you can contact me with your comments, questions and feedback. Make no mistake, as small commercial becomes more digital customers are going to expect and move to more compelling experiences around the buying process. What remains to be seen is who will provide those experiences. Will it be online agencies, new startups, or competitive carriers who are first to embrace digital in the customer sales experience? 

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