MAKING INSURANCE SEXY: INNOVATION TO RAISE CUSTOMER PULSES
By: Rupert Tottman
Few customers are excited by the prospect of buying insurance – in fact most customers are indifferent. It’s hard to make customers buy something they’re indifferent to. So how do you win their heart? Try building some non-insurance products. Here’s three ways to do that:
1. GIVE SOMETHING BACK THAT CUSTOMERS CARE ABOUT
Customers will never love your insurance – no matter how cheap and comprehensive it is. But they might love the features you build around it – even if this is just building on existing policy staples. A great example are no-claims bonuses. No-one gets excited about these. People like getting stuff, not money off, so offer them something! A great example of this is Lemonade’s ‘Giveback’ programme, which gives 40% of its collected unclaimed policies to social causes nominated by its customers. You could also give your customers a more selfish incentive. This could be anything from free cinema tickets (aping Compare the Market’s ‘Meerkat Movies’ offering) to flight discounts wrapped up in a travel insurance offering.
2. UNCOVER CUSTOMER NEEDS THAT EMERGE BEFORE AND AFTER INSURANCE PURCHASES
Customers are often indifferent to insurance because purchases are incredibly transactional – customers buy from, then forget about their providers. How can you address this? Think about what you could do to help a customer in their activities just before, or just after buying insurance. Here’s three examples:
Want to create a winning health insurance proposition? Look no further than Vitality. Through their rewards platform, Vitality has managed to get customers engaging with their health insurance on a daily basis. Through incentivising customers with Starbucks drinks and free cinema tickets by walking 12,500 steps (with half price gym membership offers to give them a helping hand), Vitality has achieved the holy grail of building an engaged customer base that loves the product – and incentivising healthy lifestyle behaviours that reduce their customers’ risk profile.
Why be just another insurer when you can be a complete security partner? Zeguro is exactly that. As well as being a cyber insurer for businesses, it also offers its customers ongoing employee training for their teams; preparing them for ransomware scams, password management, phishing scams and more. Rather than just protecting customers when the worst happens, Zeguro teaches them how to avoid risk in the first place. This creates a virtuous cycle of helping customers lower premiums and creates a culture of cyber safety (in which they’re a indispensable partner) which in turn breeds loyalty.
Outside of insurance is payment platform Wave. Wave offers a suite of accounting software built to meet the needs of start-ups and small businesses – free of charge. Easy to use, intuitive and welcoming to new business owners, Wave’s software is just the ticket for inexperienced entrepreneurs. Offering guidance every step of the way as their customers build their businesses (and build their businesses around Wave’s payment platform) is the perfect example of building loyalty through meeting key unmet needs. Even those that don’t have anything to do with your product.
The key lesson is to look after customer needs before and after insurance purchase – address these and customers are more likely to buy.
3. OFFER AMAZING CONTENT TO CUSTOMERS
Another way to escape the indifference trap, without changing your product, is to present some amazing content to customers (either your own, or via a partner). This will help you do two things. First of all, it will help you build leads with high intention – pulled in and incentivised by high quality and relevant content. Second of all, it can – if done right – help to build trust in your expertise, meaning customers of all types are more likely to buy. There are many examples of this approach:
Crunch, a provider of accountancy software and services, also provides free comprehensive guides on how to start a business, from registration to hiring first employees. These guides generate large numbers of warm leads for their core business. And you could imagine SME insurance providers using a similar tactic.
Watchfinder, a luxury watch retailer, provides short high-quality videos on watches and watchmaking – the best of which have millions of views. Their content demonstrates their expertise and raises brand cachet. It’s easy to see High Net Worth insurance providers using similar content to the same effect.
Redbull, the drinks giant, generates a huge volume of extreme sports content via owned media, purchased rights, events and even ownership of football and Formula 1 teams. This builds brand value and helps out compete similar and homogenised competitors. Providers offering Travel or Speciality lines of insurance could profit from a similar strategy .
Content is a powerful ally in the fight against indifference. So, deploying content in the right way is a potentially powerful way to differentiate yourself against the competition – and win.
Customers are indifferent to insurance products, so it’s difficult to make your products stand out. To transform your fortunes in the insurance industry, offer something that customers want, whether it is insurance or not.