How to Improve the Customer Journey for Insurance Agencies

How to Improve the Customer Journey for Insurance Agencies

How to Improve the Customer Journey for Insurance Agencies
Tara Seboldt
Jun 23, 2022
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Stepping inside the mind of your customer and mapping the journey from prospect to a loyal client improves your agency. A customer journey map gives you a visual representation of a customer’s experience with your business at each step of the buying process.

In this article, we’ll look at why customer journey mapping is important and how it will benefit your business. We’ll also explore the steps to mapping the insurance customer journey and how technology can help the process.

What is the Insurance Customer Journey?

The customer journey is the process a person takes from discovering your company to becoming (and staying) a customer. Customer journeys focus on the behavior of a customer at each interaction with your agency.

For example, the owner of a pressure washing company is looking for insurance. An Internet search leads them to your agency. Then, they sign up for a quote. You’ll want to observe the customer’s behavior in this. You want to understand why they took specific actions. What factors encouraged them to contact your business? What factors may have made them hesitate to contact you?

The customer journey for insurance agents is important because it can show you how to attract and retain ideal clients. It gives you insight into how your customers think and act when shopping for insurance products.

The Benefits of Insurance Customer Journey Mapping

The goal of insurance customer journey mapping is to make the buying process as easy as possible for prospects. This, in turn, makes prospects more likely to use your business over a competitor. Here are a few more benefits of creating a customer journey map.

Better Understanding of Customers

Looking at your sales process from a customer perspective gives you a better understanding of your customers. You’ll know their pain points, so you can anticipate their needs throughout the journey. That way, you can customize solutions to fill those needs and close the sale.

Identify Gaps in Customer Experience

Mapping the customer journey for insurance clients can reveal any gaps in the customer experience. Generally, an insurance customer journey map includes five main interactions:

  1. Researching insurance companies.
  2. Comparing companies, agents, and policies.
  3. Signing up for a policy.
  4. Maintaining the policy.
  5. Becoming a loyal customer.

After mapping the journey – usually as a visually-appealing chart or diagram – you can look for touchpoints where prospects or clients are leaving the journey.

For example, your map may show you that prospects leave your website because they must call for a quote. You can remedy this issue by adding a submission form that sends a quote via email.

Improve Customer Satisfaction and Retention

According to a 2021 study from J.D. Power, small business insurance customers reported having to extract a “great deal of effort” to interact with their agents. Agents weren’t providing the accessibility clients needed.

A customer journey map shows you where clients are becoming unsatisfied with your service. You can then take steps to improve your customer service for better customer satisfaction and higher retention rates.

How to Map the Stages in the Digital Insurance Customer Journey

Effective journey maps include details of the customer experience at each touchpoint. To further organize your map, you should categorize these interactions into various stages. Let’s take a look at the customer experience at each stage of the journey.

Stage One: Customer Awareness

Stage one is all about brand awareness and perception. You’ll look at how potential customers view and find your business. This stage can help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

For example, you find that many website visitors find your site looking for auto insurance, but your specialty is commercial coverage. Your homepage and social media profiles may not be clear enough about what products you offer. As a result, you update your messaging.

Stage Two: Customer Decision

The second stage provides insight into the decision-making process of customers. It seeks to establish how a customer compares the different products you offer as well as comparing you to competitors.

This stage is ideal for identifying opportunities for up-sells. Let’s say a customer knows they want general liability insurance for their hotel. As they compare available policies, you can introduce additional coverage, such as cybersecurity insurance.

Stage Three: New Policy Acquisition

This stage of the customer journey reveals how easy or difficult it is for a customer to complete their purchase. Generally, the less effort a customer has to put into signing up for a policy, the more satisfied they are.

Clunky purchasing processes can leave customers fatigued, such as sending policy application files that must be printed and signed. Instead, you might upgrade to a digital signature software that lets you collect the required signatures in minutes.

Stage Four: Customer Experience During Product Ownership

Stage four of the journey highlights the service clients experience when using your products. You’ll look at this stage once a customer has had their policy. They may have made policy changes or filed a claim.

For example, you notice that many of your handyman clients request to increase their coverage limits as their business grows. The current process to request coverage increases is cumbersome and requires several back-and-forth conversations. To improve the customer experience, you introduce a digital solution so the customer can easily request the change from an online portal.

Stage Five: Customer Retention

The final stage of the customer journey seeks to retain your existing clients. You’ll look at the effectiveness of your current retention campaigns and use that to improve retention efforts.

Email newsletters are one example of effective retention campaigns. You can include helpful tips for using self-service tools, updates about products or services, and news from your agency. 

You can also tailor content to fit current initiatives or events. For instance, you can provide helpful cybersecurity tips for businesses during Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October. This content can open the door for a conversation about adding cyber coverage to a customer’s current policies.

3 Ways Insurance Agencies Can Improve Customer Experience Through Technology

A customer journey map can show you gaps in your customer experience, but you still have to fill them. Luckily, insurance technology and automation make it easy to bridge these gaps and give your clients the best customer experience.

1. Omnichannel Communication

Most customers want options for connecting with their agents. Omnichannel communication is the process of using multiple technologies to communicate with your clients. This strategy gives your customers the choice of how to contact you and lets them continue conversations on their desired channel.

For example, you might have an instant messaging chatbot on your website, social media profiles, and in-app messaging. Your clients can choose which channel is most convenient for them to contact you.

2. Instant Quoting

Getting a prospect an insurance quote quickly can make or break a sale. The longer it takes to get a quote, the more likely the prospect is to research your competitors. Providing instant quotes for policies helps you capture clients in stage two of their journey. Software like Pathpoint makes it easy to include instant quoting in your sales process. 

3. Automated Sales and Marketing Management

Approximately 97% of insurance agencies use some type of customer management software to organize customer data. However, only around 25% of agencies are using management software specifically designed for sales and marketing.

Adopting a sales-specific technology tool lets you stay in touch with customers through recurring marketing messaging. Rather than only hearing from you when it’s time to renew your policy, your customers can receive the latest news and insights from your agency.

Improve the Customer Journey for Your Insurance Clients

Mapping the customer journey can help you attract and retain your ideal clients. Get started today by analyzing your existing sales process.

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