Buying insurance is an ever changing game, especially in a world increasingly influenced by the internet and the ease of shopping online. In fact, several retail giants are wielding their persuasion tactics, attempting to cross-sell to insurance customers and claim their stake in the world of insurance sales. A report from London-based risk and consulting firm, Finaccord, notes that approximately 281 retail brands are offering insurance products to consumers.
You may have heard of some of the companies who have offered consumers another outlet for their insurance needs: Overstock.com, Costco, Walmart and Google (Google Compare’s U.S. insurance comparison website closed its operations in 2016). Another growing trend is the ability to purchase an insurance policy through an insurance kiosk. Those who use an insurance kiosk think of it as “insurance in a box.” With today’s “instant everything” society, it could appeal to a certain demographic of insurance consumers. The customer can get a quote, bind and print out the policy in less than five minutes.
What does all of this mean to the independent insurance agent? All of these alternative shopping tools should be looked at closely. What you can take away from all of this is that your customers are looking for a shopping experience that is quick, simple and convenient. You should strive to provide this experience for your own customers and improve your customer relationship strategies. With today’s modern customer relationship management software, agents can automate processes and improve the customer experience.
No, the independent insurance agent isn’t going anywhere and will survive competition from alternative insurance sources. Why is this? Insurance is complex, and there will always be a place for qualified and licensed insurance professionals to provide guidance and instruction to insurance consumers when making a purchasing decision. Your customers are looking for a friendly face and helpful advice that makes them feel at ease. It’s all about customer service. After all, when is the last time you saw an insurance kiosk give anyone a handshake or a pat on the back?