Hybrid customers – And what they tell us about the most important trends in the insurance industry

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Oliver Hechler
CRM Community Manager bei BSI
#insurancetrends#crm#customerexperience#cx#insurance

For almost 50% of insurance agents, acquiring new customers was the biggest challenge during the Coronavirus pandemic (McKinsey, 2020). Digital channels and hybrid models will play a crucial role in the insurance industry in the future. However, the traditional, analog customer experience must be seamlessly linked with digital channels.

Compelling customer experiences will be the most important lever for sales in the future. Hybrid models help insurance companies both reach and meet new customer groups where they are, which means that companies must rethink their entire sales model. At the same time, they must detach themselves from many deeply rooted traditions and ideas.

Key points

  • Hybrid sales models combine analog and digital channels and increasingly complement agency sales;
  • Drivers such as speed, personalization and trust impact the customer experience;
  • Self-service options make cost-effective, top-notch service experiences possible;
  • The IT architecture can rely on ready-to-implement no- or low-code solutions;
  • Even in hybrid sales, the human factor continues to be of critical importance.


Insurance trends

Insurance companies no longer differentiate themselves exclusively through their products but increasingly through the service and customer experience they provide. This development is driven by the digital transformation of all industries and areas of life, and the pandemic has clearly accelerated it (McKinsey, 2020).

Ultimately, the insurance industry has one clear mission: It must meet its customers’ expectations. Because whoever does not keep pace will be left behind. Successful insurers combine digital experiences with the traditional on-site approach to create a holistic and delightful experience.

Making insurance digital: Hybrid and digital sales channels

The traditional agency model comes under pressure from channels that reach customers more easily and quickly. Young, eager InsurTechs are successful because they don’t wait for customers to come to them. Instead, they are present 24/7 where their customers are.

Traditional distribution and communication channels continue to dominate among the large providers. In addition, insurance trends such as the accelerated expansion of omnichannel architectures are a consequence of the pandemic.

Yet, the established agency structure is absolutely an advantage, too. 26% of customers prefer a personal conversation with their insurance rep (Limra, 2020). Consequently, hybrid models are better suited to meet various customer needs than entirely digital approaches.

The insurance industry of the future: Personalization vs. integrity and trust

There are various drivers of customer loyalty in the insurance industry: Fast, highly personalized, and mobile services are essential. But building customer relationships based on trust is important as well.

It can easily happen that a gain in one factor causes a loss in another area. Reconciling seemingly contradictory drivers is one of the most important challenges.

Self-service

Self-service options are among the most effective means to create a powerful CX. From the straightforward option of concluding or terminating insurance policies in the customer account on the platform to securely encrypted documents and applications for rapid processing: Chatbots and conversational AI, if they are properly integrated, can also improve the service while reducing costs.

Many insurers are going this route. Since they have only achieved low levels of satisfaction with digital services to date (McKinsey, 2020), there is a need to catch up in an area where industry leaders could differentiate themselves effectively.

No- or low-code solutions in the cloud with industry features

So far, many large providers have had their own solutions developed, which means they must solve the same issues every time. At the same time, the process becomes expensive and takes an exceptionally long time. One of the most interesting insurance trends is the increased use of no- or low-code solutions available as Software as a Service (SaaS) in the cloud, which can accelerate the integration of new functions and channels enormously.

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Four hybrid insurance rules

Following the rules below will help satisfy hybrid insurance customers:

1. Speed

Don’t make your customers wait even a second longer than necessary. Neither during the sales phase nor the processing of applications and requests.

2. Convenience

Meet all basic expectations consistently. Evaluate your customers’ feedback to find out where you need to do more work and where you can shine.

3. Consistency

A networked IT infrastructure requires a central storage location for your customer data (keyword: Customer data platform). Without it, you will lose track, and your customer will lose patience.

4. The human factor

When it comes to delicate questions, the advice provided by a chatbot should be only the first step. Your service employees should support people with complex issues directly (human handoff). In addition to professional competence, the personal approach, authenticity and sensitivity experienced agents have developed during their careers are also in demand here.

Conclusion: Hybrid models will shape the insurance industry of the future

Hybrid models are on the rise and will change insurance industry sales profoundly. The companies that succeed in integrating the strengths of man and machine into a delightful experience will be the winners of this development.

Would you like to know how to incorporate the hybrid insurance rules into your company? We would be happy to share with you our broad-based knowledge about important trends in hybrid CX and our many years of industry experience. We look forward to hearing from you.

Contact us


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Oliver Hechler, Creator of Customer Delight

+49 89 189 170 912

oliver.hechler@bsi-software.com

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