Insurance, like every other industry, is racing to make sure it is technologically “superior.”
Apps are created, dashboards, developed, AI integrated into business processes and machine learning utilized, attempting to better understand the business as it is today and how it will change over the next decade.
HOWEVER, are you taking the time
and making an effort to listen to your clients?
You have set up chatbots and social media listening posts, gathered data, analyzed it, made assumptions and then moved forward with a business plan, but, have you taken the time to listen to your clients?
Insurance, in the end, is about people, their wants, needs, hopes, fears, aspirations, and desires. They purchase from you because they are afraid of the alternative, the unknown. Each has their reasons why they purchase insurance and have justified their purchase based upon how they feel it will take care of them and those they love.
None of this can be understood by an algorithm, a chatbot or artificial intelligence. It can only be understood by humans. Taking the time, and making an effort to talk to human beings, understanding what their circumstances and needs are and developing solutions that best fit their individual needs.
Yes, technology will continue to play a part in the insurance industry, but it needs to play the right part. Technology needs to be used, not as a crutch, or as a way to offload real engagement, but rather to enhance it. To help quickly segment the policyholders, understand their basic needs and feed that information to agents and brokers who can take that information and utilize it to help the end policy owner make decisions through real engagement and interaction.
Technology should be the first step, to get people down the right path, but it should not be the only step.
Individual policy owners truly do not understand the insurance industry, nor frankly, do they want to. They do not understand the nuance, the details or the benefits of spending another fifty dollars per year just to make sure the insurance truly meets their needs. They want instead, to rely on people, who can explain to them the details of the policy, before it is purchased, making sure they are purchasing the right coverage and by doing so, it helps them solve their real concerns.
The value of the broker and agent network is derived from listening and understanding. It is about being empathetic, understanding the individual concerns and the creativity of the agents or brokers that enable value to be created and long-term, profitable relationships to be formed. These are all things that cannot be emulated effectively by machines, no matter how amazing their programmer may be.
Listening and caring about your customer is what differentiates one agent or broker, or carrier for that matter, from another. Realizing that in the end, we are all human beings, complex and varied, and only through understanding requirements, not in the aggregate, but individually, can people be served effectively. Only through listening, empathizing and deriving individualized solutions will the industry cease to be viewed as one large price-based commodity, but instead, full of individual companies who care, add value and are worth loyalty.
To your success.