In what context did you carry out the study “Insurance: why and how to adapt relational models to new customer expectations?” (1)?
We are very frequently questioned by insurance companies on the evolution of distribution methods because these are “jostling”. Traditionally, market players are part of a long term, with the habit of scrutinizing the past in order to predict the present and a little the future, which generates a lack of anticipation on their part when changes in customer uses are brutal.
In terms of customer relations, the organization of the sector revolved around the agency and it was the customer who pushed the door! The insurer camped on a reactive position which corresponded to the structural organization of its activity – the member only contacting his company in the event of a claim – and the desire to preserve the physical networks.
Gold, the pandemic has transformed the way adherents interact. Insurers have witnessed a collapse in branch visits in favor of a remote mode. The telephone imposes itself as the 1st channel, e-mail explodes… which poses operational problems.
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We have therefore commissioned this study in order to respond to our customers looking for a new relational model.
What are the main lessons?
It confirms the evolution of uses. 72% of French people favor a remote channel. 70% say they are ready to communicate by video, but 60% want to talk to a referent advisor. 38% of respondents place the telephone first, followed by the branch visit and e-mail. Among the youngest, the e-mail passes in second position in front of the agency. We see a harmonization of behaviors whether in rural or urban areas. Everywhere, the passage in agency declines. The figures are eloquent: before the Covid, all generations combined, 37% of French people said they never went to an agency, today it is half.
In a large company, e-mails have been growing by +30% per year for two years.
The customer space appears in the top 3 of the channels used, but only in certain areas such as damage insurance, health and retirement savings.
Read also: Customer relationship & Insurance: why data is a key element?
What recommendations can be deduced from this to breathe new life into customer relations?
Insurers must move from a reactive model to a proactive model that uses all channels.
Priority must be given to the personalization of routes depending on the uses and the reasons for contact to provide a contextualized experience.
In agencies, the advisor must shine through all channelsand why not expand its territory.
On the other hand, it seems useless for the moment to develop new communication channels (social networks, chatbot, etc.). They mainly interest young people and do not concern the core target of insurers. We note here a real generational divide.
(1) Vertone – Dynata study. Online questionnaire and field survey on a representative sample of the French population (1,600 people).