The Human Client Experience in Life Insurance
There’s been a lot of talk (and investment) in client experience – but the weird part is it never seems to encompass actual human interaction. That might work in certain categories like credit cards and books, but not advice and insurance. The data shows most customers don’t want to choose one or the other – they want a seamless omnichannel experience which sometimes means looking up their account balance through a mobile app without having to talk to anyone, and other times means being able to get their advisor on the phone when they lose a loved one and need the life insurance payout for funeral expenses.
The issue too with digital-only experiences is that they quickly become commoditized table stakes. Every insurer’s mobile app these days basically has the same functionality (make a payment, file a claim, look up your insurance card). Digital has become table stakes – you need mobile apps to stay in the game, but having a mobile app doesn’t score you any extra loyalty because everyone else has it too. Typically, it’s a race to the bottom where firms compete on price alone.
What still commands a premium, and is priceless, is the human experience. The Holy Grail is, as Steve Jobs said in 2000, “the intersection of computers and humanism” where technology can be used to enhance human connection. This is the Advisor Cloud manifesto.
But getting advisors to embrace technology is hard. For one, there is regulation and supervision burden. Advisors are also, annoyingly, human beings – set in their ways, resistant to change. But more than ever, because of the seismic shift in consumer expectations, advisors must change.
Around the world, the average adult spends over two hours each day on social media, and a total of six hours engaging on a digital screen. In this era of Google and constant connectivity, consumers prefer to do their own research and validation – CEB/Gartner estimates that 57% of the buying decision has been completed before a prospect is willing to speak to a rep. This means content marketing and being findable online are more important than ever. Since most individual advisors don’t have the ability to manage content marketing and SEO, corporate marketing teams play a critical role.
Introducing Hearsay Lead Follow-up for Life Insurers, powered by Advisor Actions
For the last five years, premiums for U.S. life insurers have fallen 4% annually on average, and return on equity has been flat. To make things more challenging, customer satisfaction is low; the average net promoter score is just 4.5%. And while the commission and distribution costs for advisors have risen 5%, productivity has slumped.*
In a time when every lead counts, a study found only 37% of insurers could route and prioritize leads to specific advisors. An additional 21% of them were able to route leads but had no ability to prioritize them.** Based on our experience with the top insurance and financial services enterprises, this doesn’t take into account how long it takes for those leads to get to advisors. Follow-up is also extremely poor and inconsistent. Even the best advisors don’t always consistently and systematically follow up on leads because there are too many steps and everything is manual today.
Hearsay’s new configurable Lead Orchestration Engine changes all of this. It allows every advisor to behave as the very top producer does, and automates 90% of the manual steps.
Today’s next best action AI efforts typically fail because advisors are not incentivized to manually report back to corporate whether or how they performed the suggested action. Without the closed-loop feedback, machine learning cannot occur. Hearsay addresses this problem by closing the loop with built-in tracking on Hearsay Social, Hearsay Sites, and Hearsay Relate texting and calling.
As we tackle these field execution gaps, starting with Lead Orchestration, we expect to shift the typical normal distribution of low-, mid-, and high-performing advisors to a new world where everyone can easily behave as the best advisor would. This will completely change insurance, with a human client experience that is also data-driven. We can enable every advisor to go from transactional product pusher to high-tech, right-touch advisor!
* Forbes, Breathing New Life into Life Insurance
** Aite Group, “Lead Generation in Insurance: In Search of the Golden Leads”