Millennials are fast becoming the largest market demographic in the economy, outstripping previous generations not only in size but in spending power. Companies in all industries from retail to insurance are now scrambling to understand and cater to this significantly different consumer.
Millennials not only have the ability to almost instantly search for, compare and find peer reviews on potential purchase decisions, but they have lower levels of brand loyalty than any generation before them (according to Forbes Magazine as little as 7% of Millennials would describe themselves as brand loyal!) This stat, while perhaps shocking to you, is not to us. Over the past few years, my team and I have been cataloging a huge shift in the way consumers make buying and retention decisions specifically with regard to their insurer and insurance products. This shift is largely driven by the Millennial generations’ new, tech-savvy and empowered research and purchase processes. So, how do insurance companies, understand, sell to and retain Millennials? Below I have listed three key learnings which should form the foundation of any insurance companies’ Millennial marketing and retention strategy.
1. Know Your Customer- and do something with that knowledge!
Millennials want their insurance company to understand them: their needs, their aspirations and their pain points, beyond this, Millennials want their insurer to be proactive about servicing them as individuals, not as just a “number”. This customised approach should pervade their experience, all the way from the insurance products they are offered to the call-centre experience they have. My team and I have seen statistically significant changes in the Net Promoter Scores (NPS) of Millennial clients simply by changing small aspects of their call-centre experience. How did we know what to change? We asked them! We have found that Millennials want to be heard and will actually go out of their way to help companies improve, as long as they are given a simple and convenient way to provide feedback, we’ve found that the Smoke CI Voice of the Customer feedback management solution is particularly powerful at achieving this.
2. Show that You Care- and again, do something about it!
Here we are talking about brand equity – that warm and fuzzy feeling someone gets when they interact with your brand. The problem is, for insurance companies at least, building and maintaining that brand equity with Millennials is a lot more challenging than running some feel-good TV and radio adverts.
In order for insurers to cater to the Millennial generations’ need for genuine concern, they have to not only actually care – but show it! The old adage that “an unhappy customer, whose problem is solved becomes a stronger advocate for a brand than a customer who was happy in the first place” never held truer than with the Millennial generation. I have found that with small tweaks to our insurance client’s already existing systems we have managed to empower their teams to solve the biggest issues faced by their customers quickly and efficiently. How did we know what to tweak? That’s right- we asked them! The Smoke CI Voice of the Customer feedback solution and advanced insights allowed us to quickly and efficiently target the pain points of customers, giving our clients the ability to make informed and strategic focused changes to their business (many of which were inexpensive and painless).
3. Get to the Point- and Quickly!
We have all seen the proliferation of distractors in the market (smart devices, apps and mobile entertainment). The average Millennial can watch TV, play a game on their tablet and simultaneously chat with their friends on their phone.
This multitasking, however, has its price – their attention spans are significantly shorter than previous generations and their interest can only be held by clear, simple and interesting communications. What does that mean for insurers? Well, a lot! It means that the days of long application forms, wordy documentation and 48-hour approval processes are out of the window.
Just using a mobile phone, a millennial can search for a car, take a test drive and get finance all in the same day – it stands to reason that with the hundreds of insurance options at their fingertips they will go for the quickest, simplest and fairest option. Speedy and high touch service with tailored products just became the name of the insurance game!
The good news is that a lot of these changes do not require a complete overhaul of your internal systems (which could cost a lot of time and money) but rather a modification of your customer experience model through multi-channel feedback, real-time escalations and closing the loop by creating reporting that facilitates understanding and action.
While it can be easy to see this new generation as overly demanding, disruptive (and much easier to ignore than deal with,) a quantum shift in the way we view Millennials is needed before Insurers can even start to win them over.
They are not the enemy, they want us to succeed, they even want to give us the feedback to enable us to succeed.
All we have to do is give them a Voice.
Author Gustav van Pletzen