During Unprecedented Times, How Can the Insurance Industry Adapt?
By Joy Justus on April 6, 2020
This piece is brought to you by Think HR SVP of Customer Experience Joy Justus.
The global health crisis has turned the world upside down, and the insurance industry along with it.
Brokers have pulled back from prospecting. Companies are practicing spending and hiring freezes, ceasing travel, trying to renegotiate non-essential contracts. And insurance agency M&A activity (which was at a record high until last month) has halted. Brokers are bracing to see a reduction in revenue as a result of their client’s actions and many estimate taking a hit in the 15-30% range.
Insurance is built on relationships. Deals are done face-to-face over business lunches, office meetings, and rounds of golf. Without the ability to meet in person, many insurance professionals were left with questions on how to even get started. So how do we adapt?
Start with the Essentials
Success starts with a solid foundation. Our company gave a stipend to each employee for internet hotspots, and mobile devices. We also trained our brokers to use Zoom or Go-To-Webinar for video calls in lieu of traditional voice-only calls to keep everyone more connected. This is a big change for brokers as well since virtual meetings were unheard of before the current pandemic. Company-wide updates from the CEO are shared via Zoom as well, so it’s an essential tool for keeping us connected.
Prioritize Human Connection
Despite social distancing, brokers still need to be thinking about prospecting–yes, even now. So many brokers aren’t meeting the needs of their clients during these times, so the ones who are, and who continue to prospect, will ultimately prevail.
Treat each situation delicately and each prospect with empathy and tact. Make sure to offer valuable resources first and ask for the business later. Try sending care kits to prospects, and keep existing clients top-of-mind by staying in touch through personalized experiences since those in-person lunches will have to wait.
Put those redirected funds from traditional golf outings and business lunches towards sending appropriate gifts to the home addresses of clients and prospects. (Some great suggestions here.)
Authentic Engagement is Key
Zoom meetings, webinars, and emails are all great, but going the extra mile by incorporating different means of communication keeps people from becoming desensitized to the digital noise. You must engage both customers and employees! Keep employees motivated not only for productivity but for their mental health, especially if they’re typically office dwellers.
For clients, engagement is critical because if you’re not engaging them, your competitor will. Be the company to be feared! Be the broker with incredible client referrals that the others all talk about. Stay relevant by offering solutions to pain points, providing valuable information, bringing additional resources to the table, and keeping essential relationships in-tact with thoughtful human connections.
After all, people rely on us in insurance to help and protect them through whatever life throws their way. It’s in our DNA.
Curious how other successful organizations are pivoting their strategy and engaging their audience when in-person interaction isn’t a problem? Register below for our virtual event on April 21!