All too often in insurance, especially in commercial insurance, we think that we have won the customer when they have decided to purchase our policy. But that is a mistake. What most industries realize today is that you win the customer when you can create an awesome experience the first time they use or engage with a product.

Think about the last product or service you bought for yourself or for your company. What is your lasting impression about that company based on? Is it about how easy it was to buy it, how cheap it was? Or was your lasting impression based on when you got to use or engage with the product?

Learn from leading companies

Today, leading product services have amazing engaging packaging, websites, apps, and videos to help you get started. Everything is tailored to help make sure that buyer’s remorse is eliminated and that you as the customer are wowed by that first experience. Why do leading companies do this? Because they know it’s your impression with their actual product or service that will drive your review and your long-term use of the product.

Insurance has unbelievable retention numbers—often in the high eighties to low nineties. This means that it is hard to drive movement and growth in the industry, so winning the sale is critical. But it’s not the end of the customer journey.

Once we win the sale, we should be making sure we are winning the hearts of the customers with their first experience. This is especially true for insurance since many customers may never have a claim, so their only impression is what happens after the purchase.

What are common customer experience issues in insurance across post-sale activities?

  • High levels of confusion and uncertainty from customers about what they have purchased, especially in small commercial
  • The need to re-issue policies due to errors
  • Policies issuance that is delayed by months in some cases
  • Errors in initial bills have been known to be as high as 5 percent

The design, processes, and management of the onboarding experience remain some of the most dated practices in insurance today in the industry. Use of mail and paper isn’t uncommon. Rather than driving delight, onboarding has been the focus again and again of short-sighted cost cutting. And yet, we know that having a great on-boarding experience can help improve retention by 2 or more points.

Next steps

It is time to rethink when we have won a customer in insurance. It isn’t when they decide to buy our policy. It is about when that customer leaves their first experience satisfied they made the right decision.

If that isn’t how your company measures success today, maybe it is time to rethink or talk to someone who can help.

Do you have thoughts on how the industry can improve its onboarding? I’d love to hear them. I can be reached here.

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