When Benjamin Franklin wrote, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” he left out the need for customer service. And the need for customer service is never more certain than in times of crisis.
According to goMoxie research, 33% of U.S. customers have used their financial institution’s website and/or mobile app more frequently since the beginning of the pandemic. It would be nice to think that their visit provided a welcome moment of sanity and reassurance — a smooth and successful experience that helped them feel more in control of things.
(Related: 3 Top Ways to ‘Touch’ Clients in a Pandemic)
Unfortunately, that’s often not the case. The research also discovered that 37% of respondents ran into problems transacting online with a bank or insurance company.
That’s not only a problem for the customers: When faced with difficulty, 30% of customers switched to a competitor, making a company’s inability to meet customer expectations a real business liability.
Doing a better job means meeting a very particular set of preferences. Waiting for customers to reach out for help isn’t good enough; it’s better to intervene before there’s an issue rather than after, something 43% of customers identified as important for a successful online experience.
When it does come to that live interaction, customers expect to be able to deal with a real person. Next to text messaging, chatbots are the least preferred method of getting help, given chatbots limited scope of ability and questions they can respond to. Unfortunately, customers find this out after they wasted time asking questions that result in a frustrating service experience. Respondents indicated they preferred email and live chat.
Understanding and meeting customer expectations has never been more important for life insurance organizations. The popularity of digital channels and products was already on the rise in recent years, with many customers turning to apps and websites in place of traditionally in-branch tasks. COVID-19 didn’t just accelerate this trend — it made it the new normal virtually overnight.
With many physical retail locations closed for weeks or months at a time, even less tech-savvy customers were thrust into a crash-course in digital life. As spring turned to summer, then fall, online insurance tools settled into a more familiar zone for all types of customers. And this change is likely to be a lasting one, as the convenience of anywhere, anytime interactions makes the thought of standing in line at a branch when it’s not absolutely necessary seem ridiculous and old fashioned.