It's no secret that the insurance industry worldwide faces multiple challenges: price competition in non-life sectors such as motor insurance are driving down premiums and profitability; low interest rates in most western economies deter people from buying savings products; and more competition is popping up from banking, financial and even online giants such as Google and Amazon, who are increasingly dabbling in the insurance game.
As a result, many companies in the space have experienced a contraction in profitability. However, a silver lining does exist. Some companies, feeling that squeeze, have reacted by forcing greater innovation in the online space. And in fact, despite the challenges, the insurance sector has grown at an enormous 26% since 2010 from $4.1 trillion to an expected $5.1 trillion in 2015 - much of it due to online.
Online Insurance - The Gold Rush Frontier
Due to the inherent nature of the space which lacks a real 'shop' interface with customers, and thanks to the increasing scope of mobile and tablet devices, insurers are rushing to invest in their websites and their website customer experience.
This new gold rush frontier means that companies can quickly expand their pool of potential customers (using social media), make fast sales and develop brand trust (via the website), communicate and troubleshoot with customers personally (via online chat), and at the same time, keep costs reasonably low.
And that means that the customers' online experience is now critical to the business success of the insurance company.
Multiple Online Journeys & Challenges
The customer online journey for an insurance site is typically made up of 3 elements: 'find', 'choose' and 'buy'. In addition, these can be further broken down into a number of specific goals.
A successful insurance website must therefore provide superior user functionality and experience across all of these different goals:
- Provide a platform for direct selling of insurance products
- Provide a means of researching and comparing different policy products
- Viewing specific policy details
- Making changes to policies already acquired
- Paying premium bills
- Contacting customer support/company reps
To add to the already complex list of tasks above is the fact that online experience trends vary whether the user is looking for life-related products or non-life related products. For example, motor and home insurance products have become far more "commoditized" in recent years and therefore are more of an 'impulse buy' today. Conversely, life insurance continues to be much more a 'considered purchase'.
Implication: Carefully Study Your Customers' Online Body Language
The insurance sector will shortly be a $5.1 trillion business. And the key growth catalyst is the web, helping providers attract new customers while decreasing marketing and administrative expenses.
In light of the considerable challenges and range of goals that the insurance site must answer, developing a competitive edge is contingent upon a deep understand of online customer experience. Vendors have no choice but to evaluate the online body language of their web visitors to understand where they struggle and why they potentially leave.
Some Questions You Should Be Asking:
- Does the customer want to checkout quickly and easily on a specific product page? Or are they looking for further information to build trust?
- Was the customer able to compare policies easily? Or were they intimidated by too much text?
- Does the website provide a logical flow to the checkout? Or are customers getting frustrated way back on the home page?
- Is it easy to get a quote? Or is the online form too invasive and tedious?
The only way to answer these and many other similar questions is by using a Digital Customer Experience solution that shows you how customers scan, scroll, click and swipe across and within the different pages of your website.
Once aggregated into overall trends, this detailed view helps you to optimize your site for your different target audience needs - based on gender, demography etc. (by integrating with Adobe Analytics). Furthermore, it will enable you to apply these customer experience insights to more quickly make the right website optimization changes (by integrating with A/B testing tools).
Stay tuned for more on website insurance optimization and conversion, coming soon...
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