Customer acquisition and retention have always been some of the greatest challenges for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) at insurance companies. In a hypercompetitive industry that is beginning to transition from being product-centric to one focused on consumers, you need to reimagine your customer engagement strategy.
Why? Because brand differentiation remains a major business goal across the insurance industry since customers no longer consider price as the only attribute to consider during the purchase decision of a commoditized product. In fact, it is influenced by a bouquet of factors, such as brand awareness, simplicity of decision making, customer experience, advocacy, feedback/reviews, and more. The task of managing all these variables is compounded further by the fact that many people are now purchasing insurance via aggregator websites, instead of reaching out to your company directly or your agents. Almost 50% of customers in developed markets hardly had any interaction with their insurers over the annual policy term!
Given this context, how can you transform the way you market insurance products and services to digitally empowered buyers, who are increasingly seeking high-touch, personalized experiences? The answer to that is CRM and marketing automation.
How Can CRM and Marketing Automation Drive Customer Engagement?
1. Embrace Insurance Marketing Automation
Before elaborating on the impact of this option, let’s first understand what is marketing automation in CRM? As the name indicates, insurance agency marketing automation through CRM allows insurers to set up rule-based actions that are triggered through inputs like customer behavior.
For example, consider a situation where a user downloads an insurance policy document from your website after filling up the contact form. You can then send them welcome emails and share a list of similar products that may interest them.
In the same manner, you can use it for tailoring communication for individual prospects and existing customers. The fact that 52% of consumers would weigh changing brands if a company fails to personalize communication is a push in this direction. It’s high time your agency migrates from using manual business processes for this purpose and adopts automation tools for scalable customer outreach initiatives, lead generation programs, etc.
Similarly, you can leverage automation to adapt your marketing programs to the respective stage of the buyer journey and deliver customized content. With predictive data analytics tools, you can now extract tangible insights from internal and external customer data – both structured and unstructured – quickly, and build bespoke paths for individual leads. Moreover, adaptive marketing can be applied to various engagement channels including email, SMS, mobile apps, social media, and websites.
2. Implement Next-Gen CRM
Many of your peers are overhauling their customer relationship management (CRM) systems to transform the customer experience (CX). A 2016 report released by Strategy Meets Action underscored the renewed interest in CRM, with 85% of North American payers citing CX enhancement as a strategic goal.
The new-age CRM can help you understand each of your policyholders in a granular manner, and equip your staff with the requisite contextual insights to help anticipate customer requirements, and proactively address the same. A versatile CRM for Insurance Agents increases the efficiency of the existing workflows by automating mundane tasks such as lead follow-up and tracking about-to-expire policies.
You can use these advanced systems, which are underpinned by cloud computing, mobility, and analytics, to incorporate new dimensions like location, delivery preferences, and social networks into your customer relationships. By harnessing contextual customer data intelligently, you will be able to market personalized, relevant offers to the consumer, resulting in better retention and increased up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
As marketing, like other business functions, undergoes a fundamental transformation in the 21st century, you need to leverage disruptive technologies effectively, if you are to deliver on your core mandate. Be it boosting product awareness, enhancing lead generation and nurturing, or maximizing customer lifetime value (CLV), you will be able to achieve these goals only by orienting marketing around data-driven insights and scalable, flexible processes.