Vinit Kapahi, Head of Marketing, Aviva India highlights various ways to ease the customer purchase journey through integration of newer touchpoints such as quality content, financial influencers, and automated chatbots.
The world has changed dramatically in the last year. We have all had to learn new terms and concepts – isolation, antibodies, shelter in place, social distancing, and more. And so too when it comes to the customer journey, the pandemic has been pivotal in its transformation. The in-person buying experience came to a grinding halt leading to all industries opting for digital or phygital selling. As the medium of purchase is evolving, the customer journey is bound to change with new content formats and plug-ins at play.
In the Banking, financial services, and insurance sector, the customer journey has always been complex in comparison to other industries like consumer goods or FMCG, especially since customers are skeptical when it comes to the matter of money. The experience largely depends on the customer segments and the specific journeys they are on. Customers with more complex insurance needs might want a higher-touch approach during sales and onboarding, while younger customers might prefer digital experiences that include advice but remain non-intrusive and available on demand.
Customers are becoming aware of their individual needs and hence look for tailor-made products and services suited for them. With the plethora of options available, customers are attracted to a provider who understands their needs and offers them relevant products.
As they enter the purchase decision phase, the customer experience becomes more integral. With multiple options like buying through an agent, intermediary, or the insurer’s website, customers look for an insurer with an easy process and personalized options. Customers now expect companies to have robust digital channels, but personal consultation cannot be undermined.
In the transaction phase, customers mainly expect three things – easy, fast, and trusted process. Thus, Insurers must integrate trusted familiar payment options.
As the popularity of digital modes of payments is increasing, insurers are expected to provide them with options from which they can choose as per their wish. In the post-purchase phase, which is the claim settlement and renewal phase, it is important to ensure customers have a hassle-free experience as this phase determines retention. To improve the customer experience, it is necessary to seek feedback and work on it.
The new content formats and plug-ins enhancing the customer journey are:
It is being observed that personal finance information and advice are now often coming via social media rather than through the formal financial services industry. Financial influencers offer well-intentioned, generic advice through their content which surely has helped in increasing financial awareness amongst the young generation leading them to understand the significance of financial planning at an early age. As financial influencers are still relatively new, it will be exciting to witness how they evolve and are utilized by insurers to impart financial knowledge.
People who were used to one-on-one interaction with agents and financial advisors to make informed financial decisions are now resorting to bite-sized snackable video content. Videos or infographics that are jargon-free and can be accessed as per one’s wish are becoming a popular content form to gather information to make an informed decision. Such content formats are also helping brands stand out for customers who have a plethora of options to choose from.
Digital engagement via chatbots is gaining industry momentum. Automated chatbots are being used to take care of lead management, claims management, customer service, etc. Chatbots can also enable product discovery by conversing with the customers and helping them arrive at the perfect product as per their insurance needs. While text and audio services have brought skyrocketing changes in the industry, the new wave is set to come through more video solutions and video collaborations tools.
To put customers first, at every step of the way, insurers need to focus on personalizing interactions with customers on diverse channels during the purchase phase and create a blend between personal contact and digital tools to elevate support and claims services. To attract and retain customers, insurers must seek opportunities to innovate their service approach to address customers’ needs and drive positive experiences during every touchpoint along the customer journey.
This article piece has been authored by Vinit Kapahi, Head of Marketing, Aviva India