How Friction Hurts the Customer Experience

April 17, 2019

Today’s consumers are used to having their needs met when, where, and how they want. Having an excellent customer experience is becoming more common. What does this mean for your insurance agency? ITC CEO Laird Rixford explains in our latest episode of Operation Agency Success.

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Video Transcript

Today’s consumers are used to having their needs met when, where, and how they want. Having an excellent customer experience is becoming more common. In fact, consumers have come to expect it.

And, each time a business, service or device meets a consumer’s needs, their expectations rise a little higher.

What does this mean for your insurance agency? First, it’s more important than ever for agents to invest in customer experience. And, conversely, poor customer experience stands out even more than it used to.

Customer experience isn’t just another term for customer service. Customer experience refers to every interaction someone has with your agency. Sometimes that involves customer service.

But often, it involves a variety of other exchanges.

Here are a few situations that would be considered a poor customer experience:

A prospect researches insurance from their phone. But, your insurance agency website isn’t mobile-friendly. So, they go to a competitor’s website, which is mobile-friendly.

A prospect emails your agency and gets a response two days later. But, they’ve already received an answer from your competitor.

A customer can’t find your phone number. They must dig for the information in a file cabinet because when they Google your agency, nothing shows up.

A poor customer experience has friction at many points along the customer journey. This friction may seem like it is made up of small details, but the details can quickly add up and discourage people from choosing you. And, each of point of friction could be avoided with some consideration for what consumers experience at your agency.

So what happens when a business makes customer experience their priority? According to a study, companies that offer best-in-class customer experience tend to grow faster and more profitably. They are also 80 percent more likely to retain customers.

That’s not all. Over the next decade, up to 25 percent of full-time positions in the insurance industry may be consolidated or replaced due to automation. Putting the customer experience first can help protect your agency from automation.

And on a larger scale, companies that prioritize the customer experience can drive disruption within entire industries. This is why you see insuretechs focus on convenience and the customer experience. 

So what will your agency do? Insurance is competitive. You know you can succeed with a focus on customer experience. Why not take the next step?
Let’s revisit the examples from earlier.

A prospect researches insurance from their phone. Your website is mobile-friendly, so they can easily tap to the page they want.

A prospect emails your agency. Since your agency’s inbox has automatic replies set up, they receive a reply immediately.  

A customer can’t find your phone number. They Google your agency and call the number in your Google My Business listing.  

To win at customer experience, remove the friction. Think of something that could be a pain point for customers. Then, implement a solution that removes that pain or annoyance. Some of these changes may seem daunting at first. But, they’ll pay off as customers see that your agency values their business and happiness.

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