For decades, insurance agents were able to operate the same because for a very long time the needs of their customers never changed. But since the mid 2000s, the Internet, smartphones and social media have caused customers to think about insurance much differently. What’s surprising is that most insurance agents haven’t changed along with technology, and now many agents seem outdated and out of touch with their customers. Since insurance customers now have different expectations, it’s important to know what they want and how to respond to their new needs.
A recent insurance industry study that looked at customers’ expectations when dealing with insurance agents found that technology has created a highly competitive environment, and that customers are looking for genuine information and great customer service. Specifically, the study found that the following factors influence customer choice the most:
- The changing economy
- Less free time
- Lower disposable income
- The convenience and breadth of information available on the internet
Although one would think that price is the leading factor of any customer’s decision making, it’s not. Price is certainly part of the equation, but trends are showing that since customers have the internet at their disposal to do side-by-side comparison shopping within similar price brackets, value-adds like technology integration and great customer service are what drives customers to buy. Also, online reviews and social media have a big impact on how a customer thinks about a brand before they buy, so agents who put a good deal of effort into customer service, social media and online review sites have a much better brand authority than those that don’t.