How Hitachi Solutions helps Insurers Identify, Reach and Retain Millennials
It is official. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials have officially surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation (FACTANK, April 2016). Maybe this is the slap-in-the-face moment for some insurers that says “this is real, and this is now”. For those insurers who have seen this coming and have been diligently preparing, this is nothing but great news. Unfortunately many insurers have read about it and even acknowledged it but have not taken the necessary steps to actually prepare for it. And this isn’t intended to be a knock on those organizations that fall into this category. It isn’t easy stuff.
As the leader of Hitachi Solution’s Insurance practice I spend five days of every week talking to insurance companies about their strategy for identifying, reaching and retaining customers as it pertains to the technology that supports those initiatives. Here are just a few of the typical responses I hear on a routine basis:
- We are pretty good at managing our customer list, but not so great at managing prospects
- We send out a lot of emails but we aren’t sure they are reaching the intended audience with the right message
- We are trying to do more with social
- We buy a lot of lead lists but we feel like many of them slip through the cracks in the sales process
Five or ten years ago these sort of comments were concerning, but not a five-alarm fire. That’s not the case anymore. In fact, according to a recent report from Effective Coverage regarding renters or homeowners insurance, “18-29 year olds are 50% less likely than their parents to purchase from local representatives (agents)”. Newsflash: 18-29 years old are now the largest living population in the country! So where do they purchase? Answer: from whatever is the most convenient place to buy, which is likely on their mobile device, and from whatever aggregator site presents them with the policy that most closely fits their needs and is the cheapest option. They don’t feel as compelled as prior generations to establish a relationship with an agent to make a purchasing decision for what they feel is simply a commodity purchase. Don’t shoot the messenger…a customer’s perception is reality and we just have to deal with it – in every industry, not just insurance.
As mentioned, for some insurers this is a welcomed challenge because they have been preparing themselves for this new reality. They have adjusted their strategy, assembled the technology, and jumped out ahead of the competition. Others will frantically work to catch up, much like YP (Yellow Pages) did in the late 90’s when the internet was born and they were introduced a serious threat to their revenue model. As of 2014, more than half of YP’s revenue comes from digital. That same wake-up moment is now here for insurers. It is a new world of buyers and if you want to be part of it you have to adapt and overcome like YP has done.
A properly deployed CRM solution can help organizations address these challenges. With a CRM system capable of maintaining customer profiles, interacting with social media, and integrating with the policy data there should be no technical barrier preventing insurers from optimizing their reach to the millennials. However, if you try to tackle each of these issues independently (without the CRM “hub”) it is a daunting challenge indeed. The number of niche solutions to help identify, segment, aggregate and connect with leads is simply overwhelming to most insurers. Facebook, LinkedIn, netQuote, SalesGenie, Compare.com, Twitter, Hearsay…the list is endless. Regardless of the source, just know that all of those leads need to be in a centralized location (ideally CRM) so that the insurer is in control of how to best utilize them. And no, you can’t really afford to ignore any of them, and you better have a strategy for them if you hope to reach the millennials.
Hitachi Solutions will be exhibiting at the 2016 IASA Conference coming up in June in San Antonio, TX. Drop by our booth to learn how we are helping insurance companies address the technology challenges necessary to compete in a rapidly-evolving buyer’s market utilizing Dynamics CRM based solutions.