Insurance
April 18, 2024

8 Ways to Elevate Customer Engagement in the Insurance Industry

customer engagement in insurance

Working with our clients I've seen customer expectations shifting sector-wide in the wake of mass digitalisation. This has led to a new era where consumers value personalised experiences, a major part of which is consistent, real-time interaction between brands and their customers on multiple platforms.

These expectations are gaining traction in the insurance industry too. But before we consider eight innovative ways to improve customer engagement in the insurance industry, let's take a look at how to cover the basics.



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Key takeaways

  • Customer engagement in the insurance industry is lagging behind other sectors, presenting a unique opportunity for insurance companies willing to master the basics and implement innovative strategies.

  • Mastering the basics involves providing user-friendly, secure, and convenient omni-channel support, as well as keeping communications simple and clear.

  • Eight innovative ways insurance providers can drive engagement include:

    • Rewarding loyalty through incentives and fostering appreciation.

    • Offering great customer service with prompt responses, active listening, and empathy.

    • Providing exclusive access to events, products, or services.

    • Offering personalised communication based on individual needs and preferences.

    • Simplifying the claims process using digital tools and automation

    • Providing educational resources to position insurers as trusted experts.

    • Offering community support through online forums and social media groups.

    • Gamifying engagement with fun and rewarding experiences

  • With these strategies, insurance companies can create more engaging, rewarding, and customer-centric experiences that set their brand apart and drive long-term success.



General Overview of Customer Engagement in the Insurance Industry

From my experience, customer engagement within the insurance industry varies from company to company, sub-sector markets, and customer segments. J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study suggests engagement levels in the auto insurance industry have fallen. This is due to fewer interactions between insurers and customers, leading to poor connection.

Similarly, their article on health insurance providers found that engagement with digital communication tools "remained flat" and satisfaction declined. Only 22% of customers agreed their health plans were innovative, with an overwhelming majority expecting a personalised experience to help them understand the complex healthcare system.

Compared to other sectors, engagement rates in the insurance industry are lagging behind. However, I think this is a unique opportunity for insurance companies willing to master the basics.

 

Omni channel support

In recent years, we've seen insurers turn to omni-channel support, including mobile apps, chatbots, email, SMS, phone, and social media. But just providing these channels is not enough to boost engagement. 

Insurance companies must also ensure their omni-channel platform is user-friendly and secure. In addition, it must be a convenient access point to policy information, claims processing, and customer services. These factors build solid foundations of trust, which must be maintained for long term engagement.

 

Keep communication simple 

Various channels like those listed above should also be subject to the preferences of every customer. You’re showing that you’ve got all bases covered by giving customers the choice to pick their preferred channels.
 
Information about policy terms and conditions or any updates and changes, should also be clearly communicated. Customers want to feel confident that their insurer has their best interests at heart. Clear and concise policy documents explaining complex clauses in simple terms, tells customers transparency and honesty stand centre stage in your ethics and values.  

Yet, there are even more ways insurers can drive customer engagement. 

 

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8 Innovative Ways Insurance Providers Drive Customer Engagement 

Various channels like those listed above should also be subject to the preferences of every customer. You’re showing that you’ve got all bases covered by giving customers the choice to pick their preferred channels.
 
Information about policy terms and conditions or any updates and changes, should also be clearly communicated. Customers want to feel confident that their insurer has their best interests at heart. Clear and concise policy documents explaining complex clauses in simple terms, tells customers transparency and honesty stand centre stage in your ethics and values.  

Yet, there are even more ways insurers can drive customer engagement. 

 


 

1) Reward Loyalty 

I believe loyalty and reward programmes are one of the best methods of driving customer engagement. Customers are incentivised to interact with the brand in return for rewards, ranging from: 

 

  • Discounts on premiums.

  • Freebies to exclusive access.

  • Cashback and other rewards that offer tangible value.


Consistently rewarding loyalty fosters a sense of appreciation, which cultivates positive brand perceptions amongst your customer base. 

A study showed that 83% of customers pay more attention to how brands treat them as opposed to what products or services they offer. 

Naturally, people are more willing to engage with others, whether that be individuals, groups or brands, that offer positive interactions. It’s the unrivalled ability of loyalty programmes to drive overwhelmingly positive sentiments that make them a great way of engaging customers. 

 

insurance-loyalty-programme-guide-cta

 

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2) Offer Great Customer Service  

Great customer service is an essential tool that generates more customer engagement. That’s not exactly an earth-shattering revelation. Yet, the way we communicate with customers has changed. Quick responses have always been appreciated by customers, and efficient responses to inquiries and claims ensure no customer slips between the gaps.

But its active listening enmasse from brand representatives that builds trust and engagement. That’s achieved in a number of ways:

 

  • Implementation of technology such as CRMs.

  • AI-driven solutions that handle basic queries and internal procedures, freeing up human agents to deal with more complex issues.

  • Customer data to paint an individual picture of the person, their needs, preferences and requirements. 

Listening to customers and quickly responding to their concerns provides representatives with incredible insights that can be implemented as company-wide improvements to services. Not only would these improvements retain customers, they could be optimised to engage between purchase cycles too. Empathy is also a critical part of effective customer service. 


Consumers from the UK and US overwhelmingly (96%) agreed that empathy makes for better customer service.

Compassionate support through tough times, like processing claims, leads to stronger relationships and emotional connections with customers - both of which are crucial for more engagement.

 

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3) Gamify Engagement

We've seen insurance providers successfully engage customers and increase their loyalty with gamification, offering them fun and rewarding experiences such as challenges, quizzes, and other interactive activities.

VitalityUK has improved engagement rates with their customers by gamifying positive behaviours like exercising more, booking annual health checks, and giving up smoking. Their app lets customers check their progress towards health goals, receive personalised insights and tips, and engage with gamified content. 

As a result, VitalityUK reports their customers are 34% more engaged. The high levels of engagement perhaps are owed to the leaderboard feature that taps into their customers’ very human natural desire to compete.

Gamification in Loyalty Programmes

 

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4) Provide Exclusive Access

Providing exclusive access to certain events, products or services is a fantastic way of driving engagement, particularly for insurance providers. For example:

AXA Insurance, a UK-based health insurance provider, offers members priority access to events like concerts, theatre performances, and sporting events.

Customers receive exclusive access in return for engaging with the brand, whether that’s registering to their loyalty programme or taking out multiple policies.

The central theme of the exclusive access is to incentivise customers to maintain higher engagement, creating a sense of exclusivity, community and loyalty amongst customers. These unique and memorable experiences also lead to overall improved customer satisfaction. 

Blog Insurance Engagement AXA

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5) Offer Personalised Communication

Regardless of the industry, every business needs to personalise the way they interact with customers. The unique needs and preferences of every customer, offers insurance companies a great opportunity to differentiate from competitors, mainly due to the lack of personalisation within the industry. Therefore, communicating with customers in a personalised way gives you the chance to stand out.


A study by SmarterHQ found that almost three-thirds (72%) of customers only engage with marketing that offer personalised content. 

Without personalised content, the majority of customers won’t even entertain the thought of purchasing from insurance providers. Meeting customer needs, expectations and preferences instantly leads to better engagement.

Approximately 63% of US marketers report personalised messaging and offers drive more customer interaction with their brands. 


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6) Simplify the claims process

A seamless and hassle-free experience can really boost customer engagement and satisfaction in the insurance industry. It makes a huge difference when insurers simplify the claims process for their customers. 

It’s no wonder so many insurers are always looking for ways to streamline the claims process. We've found that digital tools and automation are game-changers. These applications make it easy for customers to submit claims, track progress, and get updates on their preferred communication channels. When insurers provide this kind of user-friendly claims process, it sets them apart and helps build those long term customer relationships that are so important.

US-based insurance company, Lemonade, uses a bot that, with natural language processing, asks customers a series of questions to determine claim validity. If the claim is approved, the bot can instantly process payment to the customer’s account. This led to average resolution times of just 3 seconds for around 30% of all claims. Overall, this led to high levels of satisfaction and improved customer engagement. 

 

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7) Provide educational resources

When it comes to engaging insurance customers, educational content is a real hidden gem. 

 

you might be surprised to learn that nearly 84% of customers are more likely to buy from brands that offer educational resources. 


It's no wonder there's such a growing demand for informative content. In my experience, when insurers provide valuable content to their customers, it positions them as trusted experts and does wonders for their brand reputation. As customers perceive insurers as actively trying to mitigate their risks and reduce their policy costs. Now, you don’t exactly need a loyalty programme to achieve this. But if you do have one or plan to, it makes the end result all the more impactful.  

I’d also encourage any insurance company to get creative with their content. Think blog posts, videos, webinars – anything that helps your customers understand your insurance products and coverage options. Above all, make the content easily accessible. Just to reiterate my previous point – if that’s done alongside a loyalty programme, even better! Not only does this improve the customer experience, it builds trust and positions your company as one that looks after its customers’ interests. 

 

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8) Offer community support

Community engagement could be the next go-to strategy for insurance providers. Especially for those creating educational content. Consumer surveys within the insurance industry suggest people want to learn about insurance policies from other customers. 


According to an article on V3b,
84% of brand advocates report that leads want them to answer their questions as opposed to salespeople.



Most prospects are wary of ulterior motives from salespeople. But hearing firsthand from other customers reassures them that the advice, tips, and reviews of ease of access and usability are genuine. 

Community among customers is a powerful way to drive engagement. Online forums, social media groups and other platforms allow customers to connect, giving them a chance to share experiences, offer support and advice.

US-based insurance provider Allstate offers highly engaged customers to interact with one another with their Allstate Community. The insurance provider kicks engagement into fifth gear by bringing the community together, hosting regular contests and challenges, as well as rewarding high levels of engagement. Participants in the Allstate Community who help other customers are rewarded with gift cards and prizes for engaging with others. 

The feeling of the brand having ulterior sales motives is eliminated, since content is produced by customers for other customers. For this reason, the Good Hands Advice programme is excellent at driving engagement and accessibility. In the end this results in a community that’s built on trust, transparency and better engagement. 

 

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Empower Your Brand with Innovative Engagement Strategies

As the insurance industry continues to evolve, it's clear that meeting shifting expectations of the modern consumer is the only way forward. Staying attuned to the challenges and opportunities, and implementing the strategies discussed above, will result in a customer-centric, resilient, and sustainable business model. See you in the next one. 

Just to recap:

  • Reward desirable behaviours and loyalty with incentives.

  • Provide exceptional customer service that pays attention to the individual using technology and digital tools.

  • Embrace gamification.

  • Offer exclusive access to events, special services and even rewards for the most loyal customers.

  • Personalise communications at every stage of the lead, prospect and customer journey.

  • Streamline the claims process.

  • Share educational resources.

  • Encourage community support. 

You can create more engaging and rewarding customer experiences that sets your brand apart and drives long-term success simply by applying these strategies. 

 

Find out how insurance loyalty programmes can drive retention and engagement in our guide.


insurance-loyalty-programme-guide-cta

 


 

FAQS


Q: How can insurance companies improve customer engagement through data-driven strategies?
Insurance companies can enhance customer engagement by leveraging data analytics to gain insights into customer preferences, behaviour, and needs. Data leads to personalised communications, optimised customer journey, and targeted marketing campaigns. 

Q: What role does personalisation play in improving customer engagement in the insurance industry?
Personalisation is crucial for improving customer engagement in the insurance industry. Tailored communications, offers, and experiences based on individuals unique needs and preferences, demonstrate a deeper understanding of customers and build stronger, more meaningful relationships.

Q: How can insurers use customer journey mapping to enhance engagement?
Customer journey mapping helps insurers visualise and optimise the various touchpoints and interactions customers have with their brand. Identifying pain points, opportunities for improvement, and moments of delight, creates smoother, more engaging experiences that meet evolving needs and expectations.

Q: What are some innovative ways to engage insurance customers through digital experiences?
Insurers engage customers through innovative digital experiences such as mobile apps, chatbots, and interactive tools. These digital platforms allow customers to easily access policy information, submit claims, and receive personalised support. Gamification elements also make digital experiences more engaging and fun.

Q: How can insurance companies leverage customer data analytics to drive engagement?
Insurance companies use customer data analytics to gain a deeper understanding of their customers' needs, preferences, and behaviours. Data from various sources, such as claims history, social media, and customer interactions, help insurers identify patterns and insights that inform engagement strategies. 

Q: What are the benefits of offering customer-centric insurance policies?
Customer-centric insurance policies prioritise the unique needs and preferences of individual customers. Offering flexible coverage options, personalised pricing, and value-added services, insurers can demonstrate a genuine commitment to their customers' well-being.

7: How can insurers use interactive customer engagement strategies to build stronger relationships?
Insurers use interactive engagement strategies, such as surveys, quizzes, and social media polls, to gather valuable customer feedback and insights. Actively listening to customers and involving them in the decision-making process, is an interactive engagement strategy that fosters trust and loyalty. 

Q: What role does customer segmentation play in improving engagement in the insurance industry?
Customer segmentation allows insurers to divide their customer base into distinct groups based on common characteristics, such as age, lifestyle, or risk profile. It allows for tailored communications, products, and services to the specific needs of each segment. 

Q: How can insurance companies use customer feedback and insights to enhance engagement?
Insurance companies can gather customer feedback and insights through various channels, such as surveys, reviews, and customer service interactions. Actively listening to customers, insurers can identify areas for improvement, address common pain points, and develop solutions that meet customers' evolving needs. 

Q: What are some best practices for customer journey mapping in the insurance industry?
Best practices for customer journey mapping in the insurance industry include involving cross-functional teams, gathering data from multiple sources, and focusing on the customer's perspective. Regularly updating and refining journey maps ensures they remain relevant and actionable. 

 


 

Author Bio, Written By: 

Mark Camp | CEO & Founder at PropelloCloud.com | LinkedIn
MarkCampProfile-1

Mark is the Founder and CEO of Propello Cloud, an innovative SaaS platform for loyalty and customer engagement. With over 20 years of marketing experience, he is passionate about helping brands boost retention and acquisition with scalable loyalty solutions.

Mark is an expert in loyalty and engagement strategy, having worked with major enterprise clients across industries to drive growth through rewards programmes. He leads Propello Cloud's mission to deliver versatile platforms that help organisations attract, engage and retain customers.

 

 

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