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Multi-channel selling – shaping the future of underwriting

Digital insurance, distribution solutions

Over the years, some of the surveys done in the insurance space have proved that social media, IoT and other advanced technologies [Multi access channels] have given customers access to information that they were not privy to otherwise.

There is also a shift in customer behaviour, which has caused a revolution in the insurance sales distribution model. Customers have embraced the changes, to a point where these technologies and platforms are part of their day-to-day activities. They now go online to research, read, compare and study products and services; form opinions and share the same online as well. Apart from these, customers expect nothing short of a seamless path to purchase journey with consistent multi-access experience across all the touch points. 

The essence behind “Multi-access” –

Enterprises and businesses have now roped in many more ways to connect with their customers, starting with the in person meets, phone calls and paper based communication that was the traditional approach to shifting online, using one of the many platforms and doing away with paper based transactions. This in turn has led to seamless transitions between platforms and offers the customer an Omni-channel experience as well.  

The current method of doing business is far deeper and intense, effective and efficient since the data gathered from a customer goes down multi-levels. Insurers have understood the customers need to engage across various access points, that includes the various digital platforms and is not just during the purchase, but seek continuous support. Since the focus has shifted from data to customer, insurers are in a better position to increase sales, build better relations with their customers and opportunities for upselling flow in.

Customers and their preferences

No doubt customers have taken to the digital media platform with ease, but that does not mean their demands have stopped growing. Today’s customers demand better services, high quality personalized products and real-time updates/support. 

The insurers dealing with private customers will need to adopt a multi-access approach. In order to achieve this, the company needs to have a strong distribution model in place. The insurer also needs to be equipped with knowledge about the various channels, and touch points, including competitive landscape. 

Source: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/the-multi-access-r-evolution-in-insurance-sales

This is what it looks like with customers demanding multi access points to engage and do the necessary research before making an insurance purchase related decision. With the number of touch points, it does make engagement complex but goes to show how the customer’s approach has changed over time. Some channels used to obtain information about policies, or obtain quotes, and others to clarify queries and submit claims. 

Insights into the world of Multi – access customer behaviour 
  1. Multi access is here to stay, and that is a reality that insurers need to accept and embrace. The number of customers who opt for this model is double that of those who prefer online transactions. 
  2. Human touch will never really fade away.  No matter how many digital platforms appear, customers will seek out human interaction somewhere along their journey
  3. City dwellers have been found to switch channels far more often than their rural counterparts. 
  4. The income and education of a customer does make a difference when it comes to using online channels.
  5. Age does matter- those who are younger tend to be serious and make decisions based on advice/suggestions given. However, they are also prone to jump between channels far too many times when compared to older customers. There is also a misconception that the younger generation prefers the online world. No, some have been known to switch to offline connection during their journey.   

Ways to achieve multi-access  

To cater to the needs of multi-access customers, insurance enterprises and insurers have three paths to choose from:  

  1. Digitization of the existing agent channel –

Transforming the business by digitization of the process is the best way forward. In this option, the insurer needs to be provided with adequate training and tools required to handle their customers over the various digital platforms. Setting up online meetings, follow up calls/chat sessions; real time dashboard with updates, mobile or web application to obtain quotes, and interact with the business is what the customers prefer. Being able to use any mobile device to interact and conduct transactions is known to provide an enhanced customer experience. 

  1. Integrating the agent and direct distribution channels –

Ensuring all products are available across the sales channels with the same pricing will help even if customers switch channels during their purchase journey.  Similarly, customer data needs to be made accessible across channels to ensure seamless flow, with human and automated systems placed strategically to handle any hiccups. 

  1. Human elements woven into sales channels –

While the direct channels remain at the center of it all, collaborating and using agents to offer advice to customers will prove effective. Similarly, being able to offer products based on personal inputs is another element to be incorporated. 

It is in the hands of the insurers to work towards understanding their customers better, identifying the gaps and choosing the right approach. This is what will help achieve sales, business growth and give the company an edge over competition.  

At Neutrinos, we are at the forefront of this digital revolution in the insurance industry, as we have recently developed the Digital Insurance Sales Solution. Offering in-built capabilities for the adoption of emerging and futuristic technologies such as IoT, AI, BPM, etc., Neutrinos’ insightful and incisive approaches to developing affordable business solutions ensure that clients are able to leverage the disruptive edge of technology while at the same time keeping an eye on their ROI. 

Bearing in mind that speed-to-market is of even greater value in today’s digital world, Neutrinos’ infrastructure is well equipped to quickly turn around client needs into market-ready products. The team at Neutrinos is constantly working towards adding more capabilities to the platform as the needs of customers are constantly evolving. 

At the end of the day, we are here to bridge the gap and help insurers sell. Connect with us now!

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