The competition remains high in the insurance industry, and insurance companies need every edge they can get to maintaincustomer loyalty while attracting new clients. Advancements in technology drastically changed how customers engage with their insurers. Many expect omnichannel communication options, and failing to meet this expectation can lose their business. Customers have a notable preference for real-time communication, such as chat and text messaging customer support. Here are several trends that emphasize the importance of chat and text customer service:
- Over half of customers (around 60%) expect a rapid response to their customer support questions. When an insured initiates first notice of loss (FNOL) or needs an update about their claim, they don’t want to wait several hours or days for a response. They are experiencing a stressful event and view long wait times for a response as poor service. Text and chat FNOL services provide rapid answers and soothe concerns.
- Only about one-third of businesses think text and chat services are important to customers. There is a notable incongruity between what communication channels customers want and what businesses think their customers want. Insurance providers have a ripe opportunity to improve their service by meeting customers where they want to engage—via text or chat.
- Customers between the ages of 18 and 49 indicate live chat is their preferred customer service channel. Millennials are 20% more likely to use chat services than baby boomers, while over one-third of Gen Z prefer chat services. Gen Z particularly dislikes making phone calls for their service inquiries, and over half of them avoid calling customer support altogether.
- Chat services are the most satisfying communication channel for most customers. Nearly three-fourths of customers that use chat services for their customer support questions report a satisfying result. This percentage tanks to 51% for email communications and 44% for phone calls.
- Chat services are an effective lead generator. Potential customers are wary of providing their contact details. Some are concerned about security, while others don’t want to receive a barrage of marketing emails, phone calls, etc. However, when customers decide to provide their information, over 40% prefer to do so through chat. Insurance companies need a chat or text option for customer service to maximize their leads.
Implementing text and chat services is critical to meet customer expectations and retain their loyalty. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about the benefits of text and chat customer support.
Customers contact their insurance provider through a variety of channels; however, chat support is dominating the field. In the next year, experts project that chat support will increase by 87% across all sectors. Certain industries may see even higher growth as consumer demand rises. Consumers prefer to engage via chat and text over all other digital platforms, and insurance companies can’t afford to overlook these tools.
The single greatest reason customers prefer chat interactions over email, web portals, and other digital communication channels is the convenience. However, their interests and preferences are more nuanced than that. Here are several reasons why customers prefer chat and text support:
- Instant access. Chat and text support connects the customer with an agent immediately. The customer doesn’t need to navigate an app, a convoluted phone tree, or wait 24-48 hours for an email response.
- Short wait times. Nothing is more infuriating for a customer than finally getting through to an agent just to be put on hold. Customers have a low threshold for frustration, and chat and text support circumvent this by providing fast service.
- Historical data. Recording a call for quality assurance is great in theory, but it’s tedious in practice. Agents or managers have to listen to the call or rely on voice translators to find the information they need. With text and chat, the data is easy to find with a simple search.
- Fast resolutions. Customers usually contact customer service when they have a problem. They expect rapid solutions, which isn’t typically possible with other digital platforms like email or social media.
- Time considerate. Customers hate sitting on hold, as it takes up time they could use to complete other tasks. While chat and text wait times are much shorter than other communication channels, customers can have another browser window open or return to their work while waiting for a response.
- Immediate answers for policy- or claim-related questions. Waiting on hold or going through multiple transfers to receive answers to basic questions is frustrating. Customers want instantaneous answers when they have questions about their policy or want an update on their claim, which isn’t possible without chat or text communication channels.
Meeting customer needs and expectations is critical to securing their loyalty. Providing chat and text communication allows customers to engage with their insurance provider when and how they prefer. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about implementing chat and text communication channels.
The pandemic forced companies to change how they do business as stay-at-home orders limited how they could interact with customers. As people adjusted to working from home and shopping online, their expectations for digital interactions evolved. Customers aren’t as forgiving of clunky digital experiences, and companies need to keep up with the latest trends. Here are a few pivotal elements companies can implement to enhance the digital customer’s experience:
- Business conduct matters. People are no longer content to purchase products and services without knowing how they’re rendered. If a business claims to be eco-friendly, it needs to show proof. Showing customers how the company produces its goods and services establishes a positive character and culture. Gaining customers’ trust goes a long way toward earning their business.
- Measurable differentiation. Companies often boast that they’re innovators in their field, but the words fall flat without proof. With a flood of competition, companies need to work harder than ever to show how they are different and why a customer should choose them. Companies can do this by investing in causes that align with their values or producing unique solutions for customer’s pain points. Telling customers how the company is different is easy, but showing it will be critical to securing customer loyalty.
- Chat programs. Offering chat services isn’t new, but customers’ expectations of it have changed. Customers want rapid solutions. They don’t want to sit and wait much as they would on a phone call. Chatbots can provide immediate answers based on the customers’ inquiries, which eliminates a previously frustrating experience.
- Omnichannel communication. Customers want the option to connect with a company through a variety of channels. Some prefer traditional phone calls, while others want to use a contact form. Customers want modern options as well, including chat, text, and social media interactions. Companies need to be available when and where their customers need them, which means expanding the available communication channels.
The digital customer experience has become more nuanced in the wake of the pandemic. Companies need to be able to pivot and keep up with customer preferences and trends. Investing in a chat and text program can help bring your company in line with customer expectations. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our chat and text solutions.
As technology evolves, customer expectations rise with it. Traditional business hours can hamstring an insurance organization, especially if their competition offers 24/7 customer support. While most organizations can’t afford around-the-clock customer service agents, offering text and chat support is an affordable alternative.
Here are a few ways text and chat support improve the customer’s experience:
- Availability when customers need it most. Accidents and losses can happen at any time, with many occurring outside the typical nine to five operating hours. Most insurance customers want to start the first notice of loss (FNOL) process right after the incident occurs. If the insured has to wait the entire weekend to begin their claim, they’ll be in a state of high stress and agitation by the time they reach an agent. Offering text and chat support allows the customer to start the claim process, receive answers for their coverage and policy questions, and keep them up to date on their claim as it progresses.
- Less frustration. Customers hate calling customer service and encountering a pre-programmed phone tree. When customers experience a loss, they don’t want to navigate a convoluted voice response system to reach their destination. While text and chat services operate in a similar routing method, they can react to customer responses. Whether answering questions about policies, offering solutions based on historical data, or asking for clarification, text and chat services aren’t limited to the rigid structure of a phone tree.
- Better information intake. Filling out a long form is the last thing a customer wants to do after experiencing a loss. Text and chat support can ask questions to obtain the information necessary to start the claim. Answering one question at a time is less daunting than a form littered with fields. These services can even autofill known answers, such as the insured’s name and address, to save time.
- Superior service. Text and chat support help expedite the claim process, but they can improve the customer experience in other ways too. Insureds don’t know the nuances of the industry and may have coverage gaps without knowing it. Text and chat services can answer their questions about policy and coverage options while also making recommendations for compatible products. For example, many insureds don’t realize their homeowners’ or renters’ insurance doesn’t cover expensive items like engagement rings. If a customer asks about adding a spouse to their policy, text and chat support can inquire about their valuable personal property as well to ensure they have the coverage they need.
Text and chat services are transforming how insurance companies interact with their customers. Providing these additional communication channels eliminates pain points and provides a better customer experience. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about implementing text and chat services.
Today’s customers have a significantly different approach to purchasing insurance than customers a decade ago did. They’re more likely to shop around online and they expect superior customer service and products. They also place a premium on transparency, which has forced many insurance carriers to overhaul their processes to remain competitive.
One of the simplest methods insurance providers can take to build a positive rapport with their customers is to implement chat support. Having the ability to receive customer support through text or chat programs can provide the following benefits:
- Provide faster solutions. Customers who need help understanding their policy or a claim don’t have the patience to navigate a confusing website or phone tree. They need to find the answers to their questions quickly to gain peace of mind or resolve an unpleasant situation. Having access to chat support can provide timely information and superior service.
- Improves transparency. Many phone trees inform customers that the insurance provider records calls to improve customer service. However, it’s not often clear how those calls help the customer, particularly if they have to repeat themselves every time they call in about a claim. With a chat service, the insurance provider has a text log of the conversation. Providing customers with this exchange via email or their customer portal enhances transparency efforts and improves trust.
- Decreases average handling time. Chat support programs often allow customers and insurance representatives to upload images or screen share. This cuts down on confusion and can allow chat support to resolve a customer’s questions faster as visual aids are usually easier to understand than verbal instructions.
- Suggest relevant or complementary products. The average customer has a basic understanding of their insurance needs, but they may not be aware of risks and coverage gaps in their existing policies. Having chat support can allow insurance representatives to suggest different policies or additional coverage options based on the customer’s existing products and questions. For example, a customer may inquire if their renters’ policy covers jewelry loss due to a covered peril. While many policies do offer coverage for jewelry, it often caps at a certain dollar value. As a result, many insurance companies offer separate policies for valuable property such as engagement rings. These policies are usually inexpensive and providing customers with information can help them make informed decisions regarding their insurance.
Chat support is a rapid, effective means to assist customers as well as build better relationships with them. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about implementing chat support.