Comparison sites are filling the gap when it comes to customer experience – and insurance providers need to up their game
Compared with other shopping experiences the buyer relationship with insurance is a particularly unique one. Namely because people buy insurance products in the hope that they never actually have to use them.
This creates a commodified marketplace where customers have very simple needs. Shoppers want to buy their insurance quickly. They want it as cheap as possible, and they want it to cover everything they expect it to cover.
To address this demand, the past few decades have seen a huge growth in comparison websites. These marketplaces successfully service a customer base who find very little joy in trawling through various providers to find the best deal.
The process on the surface appears quite simple. The customer fills out a form that generates an array of options, and then – more often than not –they pick the cheapest option which covers all their needs.
The issue with the insurance customer experience
For insurance, the issue seems to manifest itself in certain scenarios. First, customers abandon forms before submitting them to find a quote. This could be due to distractions, unclear questions or complicated terminology. Recapturing these abandoned forms is no easy task either. Customers will often revisit the buying process later, but there is no guarantee they’ll see the same quotes they did last time.
Second, customers can purchase what they think is the perfect package for them, only to find that the cover they thought they had doesn’t exist. This leads to major fallouts when it comes to the event of a claim for which customers aren’t covered and are hit with losses and the sunk cost of inadequate insurance. This negative experience will likely end the customer relationship with the insurance provider, as they naturally associate the insurer with low transparency and poor coverage.
Finally, customers in certain cases accidentally submit incorrect or inaccurate information which makes their insurance policy null and void. Although at times a deliberate attempt for the customer to lower their quote price this can still be an honest mistake. This again makes for a disastrous claiming experience if the need arises.
Most of these issues stem from the fact that insurance isn’t something most shoppers fully understand. They don’t spend time shopping on each site, or hours perusing policy terms and legal permutations on the off-chance they need to make a claim.
Insurance shopping is rarely fun, and neither is it frequent. Compare this with buying food, something an average shopper does every day, or buying a car – something many find a pleasant and exciting purchase.
Co-browsing is becoming standard practice
With the rise of online insurance comparison websites insurance buyers have become well versed in looking online for insurance as opposed to calling a broker. However, the online experience is still not where it needs to be, and customers still don’t see shopping for insurance as a straightforward purchase. This is where tools such as live chat and co-browsing can come in.
Co-browsing is effectively a better version of screen-sharing, particularly useful for online customers looking to complete jargon-filled transactions. Using tools such as Upscope, insurance support agents – either on the phone or via live chat – can jump on a co-browsing session and assist customers’ online journey as if they were sitting next to them.
Through a simple integration, insurance support agents use co-browsing to help high-value transactions reach completion and lower abandonment rates. Customers don’t accidentally fill out forms incorrectly, voiding their policy, nor do they sit there confused by jargon when an agent can highlight and quickly explain terminology in a way that each individual customer can understand.
For lower-end insurance, the time cost of co-browsing with prospects, for the most part, doesn’t achieve a return on investment. But those at the higher end of the insurance spectrum who regularly deploy support agents to help fulfill quotes can use co-browsing as a tool to provide an exceptional customer experience.
Co-browsing can also be used to help customers understand the fine print and legalities when it comes to claiming and what they’re entitled to. This may help alleviate any issues and complications when it comes to the already stressful process of making a claim.
Click here to see how companies such as Delta Dental (California) use Upscope to help their customers select the best dental insurance policy possible.
by Cameron James, Head of Marketing, Upscope