Listening To Your Customers May Help Improve Web Presence
Todays competitive marketplace demands that financial services companies communicate more effectively with their customers, both intermediaries and consumers, and provide information that is accessible for their personal and professional needs.
Over the past decade, companies have turned to the Internet to distribute critical customer information. Customers now expect the ability to conduct business online and the Internet is increasingly relied upon for two-way communication. In response, companies have begun placing a stronger emphasis on enhancing their Web presence and service offerings.
Yet many companies are developing their online brand in a vacuum, building a site and making large investments based on what they “think” the customer wants. The “if we build it they will come” attitude is extremely risky in an environment where customers and producers alike have endless choices and IT investments are more closely scrutinized than ever.
What Your Peers Are Reading
How can financial services companies produce a more thorough and organized Web site to ensure that producers and consumers are maximizing the Internet and gaining the necessary information they need to do their jobs more efficiently?
Before re-evaluating an existing Web site, companies must first obtain feedback from customers on how their sites can be improved to help them better connect with their clients.
Companies must look at their business from the outside-in and consider the voice of customer (VOC). Through a series of questions and using customer feedback, financial services companies are able to identify areas where they can add significant value and, as a result, create a better online environment.
Research indicates that financial Web sites outscore every other category in depth of usage, including the popular search engines, portals and online communities. With online usage for both consumers and professionals at an all time high, companies must effectively communicate with clients and agents to be sure they are offering a Web site that serves as both an educational resource and selling tool.
Traditionally, producers were forced to process everything manually, which left enormous amounts of paper records and filings to be processed. This system took agents days to complete, wasting valuable time that could have been better spent interacting with clients.
Companies must be aware of the pain these producers are experiencing, and what can be done to ensure they are working in the most efficient environment. With VOC data, companies are able to produce a cohesive and relevant Web site tailored to the customers personal preference and needs. An updated online work environment will enable producers to easily streamline sales and, as a result, ensure a quick turn-around time.
The Internet has allowed agents to store individual files and track information online, doing away with traditional filing systems. Along with an easier filing system, an online environment also allows agents to instantaneously target the appropriate plan for each client and then process a program based on that clients needs. Agents have quickly adapted to the changing buying habits of their customer base and the Internet.
Additional online features such as home office communications, news bulletins and easy access to clients policies and contract data, have been added to financial services Web sites based on insights provided by VOC data. These added functions now allow agents to focus their time and effort where they add the most valueprospecting and facilitating salesnot performing paper intensive application and fulfillment procedures.