In an age of algorithmic advertising, customers are used to being served content that is targeted and relevant to their lives. Today’s consumers are not only open to more communication from their service providers, but they expect it. For many, however, the only time they hear from their insurance agent is when policies are due for renewal or when something has gone wrong. Successful agencies have taken a new approach to how they communicate with their clients, making use of real-time data that unlocks valuable cross- and upselling opportunities and boosts per-customer product density.
An E&Y report shows that almost half (44%) of clients had not had any interaction with their agency in the past 18 months. In fact, clients clearly want to hear more from their agents, with a survey from Collinson, reporting that 63% of UK respondents saying they are open to more communications from the agency. In addition, 73% indicated that they were actively interested in receiving targeted recommendations, suggesting that agents are not taking advantage of the upsell and cross-sell opportunities that come with having organized and insightful data.
There are so many ways for insurance agencies to communicate with clients today. From the traditional printed letters and brochures in the mail to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. But when it comes to truly effective communication, it’s not just about how agents communicate, it’s also about what information they are sharing and when.
Having a good relationship with clients impacts sales and retention. A 2021 McKinsey study showed that when a multiline insurer embarked on a project focused on the cross-selling of life, medical, pension and annuity products, the company saw an uptick in gross written premiums of nearly 50%. What’s more, when agents cross-sold more Property –and Casualty (P&C) products, the company saw a significant jump of nearly 250% in normalized premiums.
While there will always be standard updates that apply to all policyholders, today's customer expects their communication to be tailored to their specific needs and include products and offerings that will improve their current situation. This requires an agent to know as much as possible about each individual client, at the time of the communication. Unfortunately, more often than not, the information required for great communication is locked in silos within their systems.
Today’s leading insurance agencies have relied on cloud-based systems to manage their data and stay agile. However, the significantly increased sources of data that come with all the new systems have made it more difficult to achieve a clear view and understanding of the client.
More particularly, with multiple sources of data and siloed systems, insurance agencies struggle to provide clients with the correct, relevant, and timely information that is critical to sell the right insurance products.
Ensuring that information is available, especially to agents and brokers who need to assist their clients quickly and accurately, forms the cornerstone of today’s customer experience. The solution lies in connecting the various siloed systems throughout the agency. This is where a Data Integration Hub (DIH) shines.
Insurance agencies looking to break application and data silos can rely on a Data Integration Hub to integrate all their customer data, giving them a 360-degree customer view. Quick and accurate access to data, added to seamless integration, will help insurance agencies to segment customers and prioritize solutions tailored to their needs.
Access to a 360-degree customer view can also facilitate effective cross- and up-selling. For instance, if a young couple has just lodged a claim with their health insurance for their first pregnancy scan, it would be a good time for their agent or broker to contact them about increased life insurance products or even suggest a full financial review to include more appropriate cover for their changing life stage.
When it comes to security of personal information, a DIH also allows insurers to manage and automate data integration, using established security protocols to safely and securely extract, transport, transform and store the data. Communicating this feature will help customers feel more secure and more likely to share confidential information, helping agents craft solutions that will satisfy immediate and long-term needs and optimizing lifetime policyholder retention.
While just a few years ago it may have sounded counterintuitive for clients to want to hear from their insurance agents, today, clients are used to companies contacting them to offer them products that are more suited to their needs. Prolonged silence from a client’s agent is likely to result in the client seeking better offers through another agency. A great communication strategy is the first step to ensuring insurer customer retention, but it must be built on a solid data foundation.
To learn more about how you can leverage your data to establish effective communication and improve your ability to cross- and up-sell insurance policies, contact Synatic today.