The findings of Ernst & Young’s 2014 Global Consumer Insurance Survey highlight a need for insurers to improve customer engagement, and suggest the action of those that address this concern will lead to clear market advantage “through stronger relationships and optimised cross-channel experiences”.
The survey asked 24,000 individuals in 30 countries about their relationships with insurance providers, and what matters most across the insurance customer lifecycle.
Key findings for Australian Insurance companies include:
Australian consumers trust supermarkets, banks and car manufacturers more than insurance providers - Australia recorded one of the lowest levels of trust in insurers of the 30 countries included in the survey, at just 53% compared to a global average of 70%.
“Alumni consumers” offer potential for brand advocacy and returning sales – as EY puts it “just because they leave you doesn't mean they don't love you”:
Traditional notions of loyalty and advocacy don't necessarily apply to insurance consumers. "Advocates" are not necessarily loyal, meaning that "likelihood to recommend" metrics are largely irrelevant. That "alumni consumers" may be open to purchasing new policies in the future underscores the need for deeper, more detailed customer intelligence across segments.
Customers want to hear more from insurers - the study showed the frequency and relevancy of communication with insurance provider as one of the contributing reason for closing and replacing a policy. 57% of global insurance consumers, across all product types, prefer to hear from their providers at least semi-annually. Today, only 47% receive that level of contact. As EY writes:
“In an era when many consumers feel bombarded by push communications and suffer from information overload, it is particularly interesting for survey respondents to express a desire for more communications”.
The findings of EY’s report re-enforce the importance of strong customer relationships for insurance companies. Whilst digital alone cannot build these relationships, it can facilitate communication between insurer and customer and open new ways to build brand affinity. Companies investing in digital initiatives to drive customer engagement, can benefit:
- From an increased level of trust and customer satisfaction – by providing customers with enhanced online services and user experiences
- By communicating product value more effectively through digital marketing initiatives, and
- By making it easier for both their new and existing customers to provide feedback and make contact, by opening up new digital communication channels.