Receiving customised recommendations and contents on-demand is the new norm, and that trend is prominent in the insurance industry too.

By Greg Gatherer, account manager of Liferay

Policyholders are demanding personalised services, but how can insurers equip their agents to respond to customer inquiries quickly and efficiently, prioritise urgent needs, and offer tailored competitive quote?

To meet these expectations, the urgency for carriers to adopt new digital technology is there more than ever, and failing to do so will cause insurers to fall behind their competitors.

Creating a customer-centric culture is a must, but where can insurers begin? Implementing an efficient portal can be a great place to start, making it possible for agents to respond to customer needs with personalised services at the right time.

Empower agents with customer data

Understanding your customers is imperative in providing great customer service. Agents must also acknowledge each policyholder and provide service that is quick, but also tailored to what the customer needs at that moment.

One way for carriers to ensure agents are able to meet and even anticipate these new demands is by equipping them with an agent portal that acts as a centralised hub of customer information throughout the customer service journey.

An effective portal can provide agents a comprehensive, “360-degree view” of data and activity that surfaces a customer’s interests, life changes, and needs – all necessary information in providing a seamless customer experience. This not only creates distribution efficiency, but also ultimately delivers better CX because the customer is getting information that is relevant to them in a timely manner.

Let’s take a closer look at three ways an agent portal can empower agents:

Agents can clearly see the customer’s activity

Modern businesses in all sectors understand that meeting customer demands requires detailed information about how customers interact with your website. Web analytics provide critical information regarding the content with which a customer has engaged.

Another layer of web analytics, form analytics, describes what area of a particular webpage form a customer has completed or abandoned. Forms are important data-gathering tools for enterprises. To best address customer needs and maximise potential sales opportunities, insurance agents need this valuable information to understand what interests customers and what turns them away.

When it comes to generating a “big picture” overview of a carrier’s customer base, assessing the customer experience often requires the use of consolidated, visualised data and graphs. Analytics dashboards enable agents to easily prioritise urgent and important tasks or follow-up activities that could generate new business opportunities.

Agents can personalise the policyholder experience

Insurance providers are equipped with critical customer information from the moment a customer completes their first product purchase. Some of this information includes income data, property purchases, and significant life events. This data is typically collected on legacy systems; a well-designed portal, however, can help surface and group this information into actionable insights that foster a personalised customer experience.

Agents can also promote products by offering personalised content. If a customer has additional questions regarding specific policies, agents can offer more information on risk and educate policyholders on what to do during certain situations. Car accidents, emergencies, natural disasters, fire preparedness, and preparing for marriage/kids are just a few events that require or could benefit from additional coverage.

Agents can move beyond simply upselling and cross-selling by anticipating customer needs

Insurance providers share a common goal: to increase their profit while still providing more value to their policyholders.

With access to a 360-degree view of their customer profiles, agents gain relevant, new insights into continually serving customers through cross-selling and upselling products.

For example, agents can take notice of customers’ life changes, such as a recent change of address. If a customer is preparing to move, this could signal a need for new or expanded insurance coverage. Agents can now either automate or personally reach out to see if this would be beneficial for the policyholder.

In summary, when agents are supplied with this critical information and web analytics, they can better target customers by tailoring upsell and cross-sell recommendations.