What You Need to Know
- Tech companies would like to compete with you.
- You already have customer relationships.
- The value of those existing relationships will depend on how smooth they are.
If you’re an agent, planner or advisor who offers products like insurance and annuities to help customers manage their health and wealth, you’ve no doubt seen alarming reports about big tech companies sizing up your industry.
After significantly disrupting sectors like financial services, tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are eyeing the $6 trillion insurance sector.
A McKinsey & Company overview on trends shaping the future of the industry describes the threat in stark terms, noting tech companies have voluminous consumer data, deep customer relationships and proven digital competency.
They also have all the technical skills they need to integrate rapidly and take full advantage of their massive datasets. With the ability to launch new products or businesses instantly, as the report puts it, “They’re here to stay.”
So, tech company market entrants are formidable competitors, but you have an asset you need to defend as the industry landscape shifts: brand loyalty.
You’re not a new player in this space.
You’ve got customer relationships, and you’ve earned your clients’ trust.
You also have the commitment to providing services that led you to this profession in the first place.
Let’s review what it will take to maximize these advantages going forward.
1. Know your customers.
Customer expectations have shifted in important ways, and their needs have likely evolved too.
It’s safe to assume something in your customers’ lives has changed due to the pandemic.
These changes provide an opportunity to anticipate their needs and be there for them, making it simple and streamlined for them to get the services and products they need as their circumstances evolve.
Tech companies like Amazon have unimaginably huge sets of data that provide unprecedented insight into people’s lives.
For example, if a woman in Boston buys a swimsuit and beach gear in February, she’s probably going on vacation, and tech giants use this data to suggest other items she might need.
You will also have to find ways to anticipate customer needs to remain competitive.
Partnerships with other businesses that can share relevant information can help you maximize your data to build brand loyalty.
2. Improve efficiency and transparency.
In another major shift, customers are more likely to look beyond just price.
They want to do business with companies who share their values — like a commitment to diversity, sustainability and ethical sourcing — rather than looking exclusively at price.