With multiple hurricanes, wildfires, and mudslides in the last year, the insurance industry has been hit hard. It now faces the stress of trying to return to being profitable. One of the keys to reviving the industry is investing in customer experience. New technology and customer insights can help insurers better reach and serve their customers.
Here are 10 insurance companies doing great work and tips they can teach the rest of the industry about customer experience.
Allstate: Listen to Customers
Allstate thought its innovative Drive-In claims centers with short appointments for appraisals and claims were a good solution for customers, but surveys revealed customers didn’t agree. Even 30-minute appointments still required customers to take time off work, travel to the center, and then wait a week for their claim to be processed. Allstate listened to its customers and created the QuickFoto appraisal app. Now, customers simply send a few pictures of the accident to a claims adjuster through the app, and the claim is processed within 14 hours. Instead of just creating something it thought would work, Allstate listened to customers to find an even better solution.
Canadian insurance company Manulife needed a website that could better understand and serve its customers. Analytics showed that customers couldn’t find what they were looking for on the website, so Manulife simplified things to provide a customer-first experience. It consolidated 1,200 web pages to just 250 and centralized web production for greater efficiency. The new, streamlined service allows for scalable, personalized experiences to drive business and satisfy customers.
No one likes filling out repetitive insurance forms, so London start-up SPIXII made it easy and even enjoyable to get insurance coverage. SPIXII is a chatbot that is designed to communicate with customers just like a human would. It asks conversational questions to help find the right insurance package for each person and then connects them with potential insurance companies. By understanding what is important to customers and what their plans are for the future, the chatbot builds lasting relationships.
Liberty Mutual: Go Where the Customers Are
At Liberty Mutual, getting a quote or learning more about insurance can be done from the comfort of your own home and just by speaking up. The company created a skill for Amazon Alexa, which means customers with Alexa-enabled devices just have to ask to use the Liberty Mutual skill and they’ll be instantly connected to answers about insurance, estimates, or to an insurance agent. There’s also a glossary of important insurance terms. The Alexa skill makes it easy for customers to have a conversation via a device they likely already use to learn more and get the insurance coverage they need.
Geico: Be Available 24/7
Geico took the standard insurance mobile app one step further with the addition of Kate, a virtual assistant who connects with customers through the app to answer questions via text or voice recognition. Kate is programmed to answer general insurance questions, as well as specific questions about a customer’s account. Kate helps customers with everything from knowing when their next payment is due to checking balances and fetching documents. Instead of having to search online or call the contact center, Kate makes it even easier to use the mobile app and get answers 24/7.
Next Insurance: Automate
Small business insurer Next Insurance has taken the middleman out of insurance by automating much of the policy and claims process. The company relies on AI and machine learning to create targeted policies that meet customers’ specific needs. The goal of the company isn’t to become a faceless organization, but rather to use technology for the more mundane tasks so that agents are free to interact with customers in a more meaningful way. It’s the best of both worlds: customers can get a quick, automated estimate and then talk with an actual person for customized service.
USAA repeatedly receives top marks for customer experience for a number of reasons, but it all comes down to how the company cares and empathizes with its customers. Many USAA customers are military members stationed abroad, and the company uses technology to make their lives and their families’ lives easier. Customers can easily text or use biometric authentication to access their accounts from anywhere in the world. USAA also helps customers stay in touch with their families while they are deployed with a cloud-based app. USAA is about its customers, not just insurance, and it shows.
State Farm: Give Customers the Right Tools
Most drivers want to keep their insurance premiums as low as possible while still having protection for their vehicles. State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save program uses a telematics device to track customers’ driving patterns. Drivers who are safer can get discounts on their insurance premiums. The device also connects to a Driver Feedback app that gives drivers tips on how to improve their driving to be safer and more fuel-efficient. State Farm’s dedication to giving customers the tools to be safer and smarter is paying off—customer satisfaction for the company reached an all-time high in 2017.
MetLife: Create a Cohesive Journey
At MetLife, customer experience isn’t just about a single interaction with the brand. The company works to create a cohesive omnichannel experience so that customers are pleased no matter how they connect with the company. Customer experience is a team effort, and everyone from the brokers to the contact center agents are given tools to help customers. A cohesive digital experience means that no matter if it is on the phone or through the app, customers know that MetLife will always provide the same, high-quality experience.
Not every customer needs insurance all the time. Metromile offers a revolutionary pay-per-mile car insurance policy that allows customers to only pay for insurance as they need it. It’s a popular solution for drivers in urban areas who aren’t behind the wheel all the time. The service can be set and updated via a mobile app, which makes it easy to stay safe and insured on the go. Metromile shows the importance of specializing and finding unique solutions for certain groups of customers.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, author of More Is More, and keynote speaker. Sign up for her weekly newsletter here. Go farther and create knock your socks-off customer experiences in your organization by enrolling in her new Customer Experience Scho