Delivering an excellent customer experience has always been hard, especially for big businesses and health insurance agents.
t’s 50% “touch” and 50% “feel”, but we never know which half is which.
Today, despite all the technology and big data capabilities, it appears much work remains for large business, and that’s great news for independent insurance agents.
Forrester Research’s 2015 Customer Experience Index found that 73% of U.S. businesses surveyed said improving the experience is a strategic priority. As part of the same study Forrester also surveyed 46,000 U.S. consumers to get the other side of the story.
You know where this is going.
Health Insurance Agents Top List of Providing Worst Customer Service
Only ONE PERCENT of consumers said they received an excellent customer experience from the 300 or so big U.S. brands that were the focus of the study. There were a few bright spots. Financial Services (including insurance) and digital-only retailers were at the top of the experience ratings. At the bottom were the usual suspects: health insurers, TV service providers and the Federal Government.
Here’s part of the problem for companies of all sizes and a glimpse into the opportunity for insurance agents. Results from a benchmark study about next generation customer interactions by Ventana Research concluded there are at least 17 unique ways today that customers interact with companies, from telephone and email, to chat and social media, to retail and mobile.
Ventana found, on average, companies support seven of those 17 potential touch points. Managing seven touch points is an enormous challenge in itself, no matter how slick the technology underneath. Pile on customer expectations that all touch points will seamlessly speak to each other on the customer’s terms and it’s easy to see why big brands may be more focused on the “touch”, if for no other reason than to simply keep up with customers’ functional expectations.
Unfortunately, touch to a customer is like clean floors in a grocery store… you’re DOA if you don’t deliver their core needs.
Independent Agent’s Opportunity to Increase Customer Experience
No matter the industry, customers want touch and feel and the most successful independent insurance agents already do this. It’s a big reason why they have separated themselves from the pack.
Do a little market research of your own. As you meet with customers, get them to tell you about their service experiences. What companies do they like? What is it about those companies that separates them from others? Describe what an interaction with that company is like. Conversely, what companies have they had less than great experiences with and why? Do they continue to do business with them and, if so, why?
If you’re feeling frisky ask them about their experiences with you. Why do they work with you when there are so many large, successful insurance companies to choose from?
One of the Forrester executives summed up the implications from its data: “The emotion that an experience elicits influenced loyalty in nearly every industry. And making customers feel valued is the holy grail of customer experience emotions. Customer experience ‘leaders’ made customers feel valued almost twice as often as the ‘laggards’ did.”
I’m a serial believer that delivering the feel of the customer experience is our unique advantage.
Thanks for reading.
Call or email me if you’d like to talk.
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