Immersive customer experiences and customer-first business models are making the buying of health care, education and even insurance – once long and labored processes – as easy as pressing a button, clicking a link in Facebook, or chatting on a messaging platform.
A change is due. Let’s take insurance as an example. Why not make the daunting prospect for first-time insurance buyers and comparison shopping for existing customers a more effortless and even enjoyable process? Dialing the phone to wait for an insurance agent in order to initiate a prolonged buying process can be a time-consuming and uncomfortable buying experience for many customers. 67% of consumers say they would not do business with an agent/advisor with an out-of-date website or disjointed buying experience.
These same buyers use e-commerce to instantly purchase other types of goods and services, without talking to a customer service agent. “Half of all adults visited a life company website and/or sought life insurance information online in 2017. Almost 1 in 3 purchased or attempted to purchase life insurance online.” As a result, the most successful Insurtech-focused businesses are finding ways to meet prospects where they are on their life journeys and creating immersive customer experiences for today’s always-connected consumers.
Now is the time to capitalize on an immersive customer experience
Customer-obsessed firms are transforming industries with technology. The trend customer experience becomes immersive is one of Forrester’s Top 10 Technology Trends to Watch: 2018-2020 (October 2017). It’s accelerating in the Awareness phase, “most firms recognize changes as meaningful trends that demand a near-term response,” according to Forrester, but, “most firms grapple with trends in the awareness phase for too long.” Now is the time to take managed risks to capitalize on this trend.
Customers are moving seamlessly across channels and embracing new interactive interfaces via mobile and other smart devices, explains the Forrester report. “This CX [customer experience] fusion promises competitive advantage for firms that get it right.”
What technologies will enable the CX trend? Bots, intelligent agents, natural language interfaces, augmented reality, real-time interaction management, facial recognition, text analytics, CX platforms – will be important, per Forrester.
These insurtechs are creating immersive experiences
VCs globally invested $2.6 billion in insurtechs in 2015, and 1.7 billion in 2016. The largest share of insurtechs, 37%, is focused on changing how insurance is sold, including the following firms who are seeking to disrupt the way life, property, and car insurance are sold, and how they are advertised.
- Fabric is working to make it easy for busy families to purchase life insurance – at the click of a button. Fabric offers a digital insurance-buying experience that is fast, affordable and easy. Fabric says it’s so easy, in fact, that two in three members who bought ‘Fabric Instant,’ an accidental death insurance policy, purchased on their very first visit. The insurtech also sells 20-year term life insurance, which is quoted on-site based on a short Yes-No questionnaire of risk factors.
- Cover lets consumers get insurance with a snap – literally, a photo of the item to be insured. A mobile-first insurance brokerage working with 30 insurance companies, Cover will insure most anything – from cars, drones, and houses to comic book collections and even pets – via it’s user-friendly app. They also automate comparison shopping for customers, sending an alert when it finds a lower price.
- Insurify has a virtual assistant on Facebook Messenger to broker auto insurance. By using natural language processing and artificial intelligence (AI) to assess the consumer’s requirements, Insurify can recommend a list of select carrier partners. The firm analyzed more than 20,000 car insurance chat conversations to train its virtual assistant.
- Denim utilizes a user’s content consumption to deliver ads based on life events that typically trigger insurance purchases. This startup says it can place a carrier directly in the path of a customer’s life journey event, where and when insurance is relevant and needed. Then, industry marketers can use the company’s platform to build and launch professional, micro-targeted mobile and social campaigns – at massive scale, in minutes, to a local market.
Millennials lead this customer experience trend
Millennials don’t purchase insurance via the same channels as previous generations. Instead, they are twice as likely as other generations to buy insurance online. Gen Z and Millennials show the strongest interest in using a messenger app on their mobile phone to get advice, a quote, pay a bill or manage policies. These and other connected consumers are leading a trend that insurers can capitalize on: immersive customer experiences.
Start building your immersive customer experience now
To capitalize on this trend, consider how an immersive customer experience would look in your market. Look for the large and small challenges faced by your current and potential customers as they navigate the sales cycle and when they consider an upgrade. Explore opportunities to deliver a more convenient, quicker (even fun!) buying experience that will rival the experiences these buyers seek on e-commerce, in games or on social media: a customer experience that will set your company apart from your competition.
Immersive customer experiences create opportunities to connect with buyers and customers, in the environment they find most comfortable and at precisely the moment they are ready to engage. As with any new business or technology skill set, however, capitalizing on this trend may initially be a challenge for your company.
Here at RGAX, we can help your customer-obsessed firm execute the transformation that today’s always-connected customers expect. By partnering with startups and companies like yours with a desire to deliver value through innovation in the insurance marketplace, we can assist in bringing your immersive customer experiences to life.