More than two years ago, I gave a keynote speech at the ACORD LOMA event in Las Vegas, during which I suggested that the life and health industry, and all its participants (agents, insurers, etc.) “Go Social.” My basic message was that life and health is a personal matter. And because the matter is personal, advisors have the unique opportunity to engage customers in conversations that are meaningfully important to all involved.
The result would be: better products and services, innovative solutions and enhanced relationships among and between all of the industry’s participants based on trust, participation and real collaboration.
Since my speech, the world has definitely gone social. Individuals are conversing and leading companies are beginning their social journey by connecting customers to each other and to their brands. As proof, there are now 550 million Facebook members, 150 million Twitterers, 100 million-plus bloggers and hundreds of organizations that have built their own online communities. In addition, well-known businesses, among them Zappos, IBM, Nike, GE and AXA Equitable, are now using social media as a major source of business insights about what customers and employees want and how they want it.
In short, going social is “social intelligence” about your constituents’ wants and needs directly and cost effectively from them and in their voice. That is where the opportunity exists for life and health agents to become more socially and business intelligent by connecting us with each other so the industry can prosper.
The big question I hear from our companies and their leaders in this industry are: Where do I get started? What are the rules for success? And what are the benefits? To help your organization get started, below are three principles for success, as well as some case studies and some pitfalls to avoid.
FAQ’s from Industry Professionals
Q: Where do I get started?
A: Customer support is a good place to begin. In today’s socially networked world, the best way to provide support to your constituents is to let customers and agents support themselves.
As a customer of your industry, I know I would like to belong to an online community where I can learn from others about what they’re doing, which products they’re purchasing and which companies are the best so I can meet my family’s health and insurance needs. Allowing me to interact with others like me would engender trust. The good news is that companies like AllState, Prudential Financial, and AXA Equitable are already paving the road for others in this industry to go social. Check out their communities to see what they’re doing and what you can learn from them.
Q: What are the rules for success?