Customer Experience

The Missing Piece for Customer Experience

Many people in the insurance industry fantasize about producing a customer experience that rivals the ones from other categories, like retail, or those of specific companies, like Zappos. However, many may the fantasy is just that. In the end, insurance and shoes are different with regards to demand, so we need to set our expectations lower. It is a valid point of view.

However, many things happen to be achieved in the world that, at one point, were regarded as just fantasy. Smashing the four-minute mile, achieved by Roger Bannister within the 1950s, is a favorite example. Bannister, who passed captured, always is going to be remembered for which he taught the corporate world. At Maddock Douglas, there exists a phrase that covers this lesson: “Impossible is only an opinion.”

Bannister took impossible from the equation by mentally visualizing that the four-minute mile was possible. This resulted in a series of behaviors and training that ultimately got him there. Then, once he broke through, many more did, too. In sports, most would agree that attitude is the best key to success – it was the missing piece.

So how does his breakthrough connect with the fantasy of the world-class customer experience within insurance? We have to first forget about the barrier of “impossible.” Which will provide us with the open mind to look at what's truly happening within the customer experience in another way.

A helpful framework for exploring the customer experience may be the Experience Cycle, produced by Dubberly & Evenson in 2008. In this framework, a customer's interaction with a service or product is broken down into five phases: Connect & Attract, Orient, Transact, Extend & Retain and Advocate.

Let's look again in the contrast between items like shoes and products like insurance. The largest difference between the 2 is demand: For the former, it's already there; for that latter, there's a need, but demand should be cultivated.

Further, you can't purchase insurance with only money as if you can with shoes. You have to also pay it off with two other currencies: information and time. Details are required to measure the risk, and, depending on what sort of insurance is being purchased, that can be quite extensive (e.g., personal financial data, credit data, health data). Then, in the event that details are away from the ready, it requires time for you to have it.

That's our missing piece.

I am not suggesting eliminating the need for data, because we know what happens whenever we take that out of the equation. Prices increase. Many attempts have been designed to offer higher-priced items that require little if any information, but uptake is generally not impressive. Rather, we have to help consumers understand why we need these details, enable them to get it efficiently and in a far more pleasant way – and maybe give them some thing immediate in exchange for it (e.g., feeding it in a valuable report about what this means for their insurance costs and how they can improve).

The area of the cycle that this activity falls under is Orient. The Orient phase is frequently skipped completely by insurance companies, expecting individuals to go from the Connect & Attract phase to the Transact phase. Then, when individuals are hit with all these requirements, they get turned off and even perhaps bail out. This can happen in an online environment, for sure, also it can also take place in a face-to-face sales environment when the agent hasn't set expectations correctly.

So how might we complete the missing piece? First, we should understand what questions must be answered within the consumer's mind to get oriented and eager for which happens next. Included in this are:

  • Do I truly need insurance?
  • If so, what kind?
  • How much will i need?
  • How are my costs determined? Just how much does it cost?
  • What will the process look like?
  • How much time and information will i really need to give?
  • How will you use my data? Could it be used against me now or in the future?

Next, we are able to take pages out of the lesson books of other categories. A few of my personal favorite examples of successful orientation are:

  1. Credit Karma: Here's a service that not only aggregates your various credit history but additionally breaks your score down into key behaviors that help people learn how to enhance their score, and just how it's used by credit card issuers and lenders.
  2. Domino's Pizza: The tension of being unsure of what's happening together with your order or if this will arrive can be maddening when you are hungry. So Domino's come up with “where's my pizza” function, enabling anyone to see exactly when it's being made, in the oven and in the vehicle on the way. For users, understanding that they will have visibility in to the process is extremely comforting.
  3. RealAge Test: This test, taken by millions of people, engages the consumer inside a series of questions and instantly delivers back a “real age” according to health and risk factors. For example, your calendar age might be 40, however your “real age” might be 38. This can be a socially engaging way to help orient people around the behaviors that cause longevity and health, while also leading these to understand risk factors.

While the above are somewhat elaborate digital experiences, orientation may also happen with simple FAQs, videos, chat and many other easy mechanisms. It is really an place to unleash your innovation team on for sure.

The key is, we should fill in the missing piece. Orient is undernourished in the industry, and the uniqueness from the heavy data requirement means it requires even more love than when we were selling shoes. Proper orientation means the transaction includes a much greater possibility of happening.