Insurance Brokers: client service success in 2019

April 25, 2019

As an experienced insurance broker, client service has always been an essential part of your role. You have built your career offering exceptional customer service to your clients. They trust you to find the best expat health insurance and related products for them.

However it is now easier than ever for customers (individual or corporate) to switch provider. Insurance brokerages must work hard to retain existing customers, a key determinant for profitable growth.

To meet and exceed customer expectations, it is important to understand what today’s customer requires from insurance agents and brokers:

Research by Ernst & Young from 2014 shows insurance customers around the world want simple, personalised communication from agents and brokers. In 2019 you don’t need to wait for your customer to come to you. Reach out to them with useful information before they know they need it. This does not mean bombarding them with newsletters or social media posts. Instead focus on getting to know your customers and providing them with relevant content. There is some work involved in understanding your client's specific needs. You should:

  • Delve into your website’s analytics
  • Ask existing customers to complete a survey
  • Speak to agents in your brokerage

Use this information to understand customers pain points and provide answers to their queries before they get in contact.

The challenge with this approach is often scaling the service but technology like chatbots can help. It is estimated the global chatbot market will reach $1.25 billion by 2025. Research from 2017 shows the insurance industry is already heavily invested in this new technology. The advantages of chatbots for brokers include:

  • They are available 24/7
  • They can help customers with standard queries
  • They help simplify the claims and renewal process

Although chatbots are excellent at simple tasks like finding a customer's balance or enabling them to make a payment, they are often not capable of handling more complex queries like a disputed payment or complex question about a product. This is why finding the balance between technology and people is also important.

In 2019 it is important to strike a balance between technology and human contact. Research by Voxpro showed, consumers are willing to use new technology brands but they also need human interaction.

To understand when human contact may be needed Forbes suggest, insurance brokers should ask themselves the following:

  • What is your customer experience strategy?
  • How low- or high tech is it?
  • How do you want it to develop?
  • How will it change for different types of customers?
  • Will the contact they can access depend on the stage of the funnel they are at?

As the insurance industry becomes more and more digitised, personalising the experience for consumers becomes much easier.  Accenture recommend a phased approach to personalisation. Begin the process by segmenting your audience according to their demographics, needs and behaviour. Use this insight to tailor interactions. Over time and through behaviour analysis you should be able to:

  • Recognise customer’s demographics and shared interests
  • Recall customer history and how they have interacted with your business previously
  • Deliver the right promotion or content to them at the right time
  • Deliver relevant information to them when or before they know they need it
Consumers and governments around the world are recognising the value of personal data. Legislation like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means you must be accountable for the information you store. Ensure all software used prioritises data security. If your company holds personal data within the EU, you’ll need to be certain it meets all the requirements of GDPR.
These are only some of the steps your brokerage could take to retain clients in 2019. Another important factor is satisfaction with the products you provide. If you have questions about international health insurance plans that will work for you and your customers, get in touch. We are happy to help.