Insurance and Brand loyalty

Jan Lindeboom |

Can you create brand loyalty in a consumer-driven, price-surfing marketplace?

How well do you know your customer?  In fact, do you know who your customer is?  Many insurance companies are still struggling with the fact that in today’s market, their customer is no longer the agent who writes business for them, but the consumer, who is time-pressed, mobile and tech savvy.

Brand loyalty in the agent-driven market was about providing products and services that supported the agent’s business.  In the multi-channel digital world of online shopping, it is more difficult to define who the customer is, how to reach them and what priorities they have beyond low prices.

For many time-pressed consumers, so-called aggregator or price comparison websites are a first port of call to identify the insurance providers that are ‘in their ballpark’ price-wise.  These aggregator websites harvest valuable information about the customer, which is then used to build an on-going relationship.  Having invested heavily in building their own brand awareness, the aggregators claim ‘ownership’ of the customers using their site.  Where does this leave the insurance vendor?

Opportunities for direct contact may be limited.  Once a policy is issued, there is little interaction between vendor and policy holder.  That means there are also few opportunities for the vendor to build a relationship with the customer or impress them with the quality of its service.  Vendors need to rethink how they reach out to this new profile consumer in an intensely competitive environment.

Some powerful tools are available to help in this process:

Search engine management – keyword analysis, web analytics and website saturation are some of the methods used to keep your website at the top of the search list.  Recent analysis from accountancy firm, Deloitte, shows that a 10% increase in a vendor’s relative share of web search hits can result in an increase of total sales by 2.1%.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – cloud-based analytics that include information gathered from all internet, email and social media sources allows the vendor to understand consumer behaviours, design customer-centric products and services and develop targeted marketing campaigns.  Benchmark studies from IDC show customer retention improvements from the use of CRM systems of 27%.

Social media –   new channels are being used to understand, interact and communicate with the consumer. Research by marketing software firm, Hubspot, showed that 80% of marketers surveyed in 2014 said that their use of social media as a marketing channel increased traffic to their website.

Innovate – develop the products, services and online presence that the consumer wants, ahead of your competition.  A study of the European insurance industry by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants found that the highest performers in the sector, achieving double digit annual growth (2008 – 2013) were those companies that pursued a strategy of innovation through online business platforms.

Keylane offers SaaS solutions to supports full multi-channel consumer interface from quotation through policy management, enabling the vendor to respond to customers in the way they want.  Data harvesting and analysis supports best in class customer relationship management, faster decision making and more flexible, targeted innovation.

Brand loyalty is more than winning on price; it’s about providing the best in class products and service levels consumers want, when and where they want them.  In this world of 24/7 online communication, word will get out.

About the Author

Jan Lindeboom

Jan Lindeboom works as Principal Consultant at Keylane and has been involved at the cutting edge of business and IT in the insurance sector since 1998. As well as working as consultant, he gives lectures and regularly publishes items on new technology and its impact on business and society.