What (Insurance) Customers Want

What do customers want?

I suggest that customers want to:

  1. find if a company sells the product or offers the service that they need at the moment quickly and easily
  2. purchase the product or service they want from a company quickly and easily
  3. consume service related to the product purchase or use of the service quickly and easily.

That’s it.

Customers don’t think of themselves as part of a value chain; an extended value chain; a mobile, digital commerce platform; or an ecosystem. Customers have an objective or a problem and they want a product or a service to enable their objective or resolve their problem. Quickly and easily.

The notions of value chains, extended value chains, value webs, commerce platforms, or ecosystems are filters or frameworks for companies to view their target marketplaces in order to more effectively and more efficiently go-to-market and get-and-keep customers.

Customers don’t think of themselves as part of a customer relationship management system or being the object of a customer experience system. Sure, customers have experiences while purchasing a product or service but the capture and management of those experiences are all done by the companies conducting commerce with customers.

Customers are not creating and managing a ‘Company Experience System.’ Maybe in their minds; maybe jotting down some reminders of which companies to never buy anything again and possibly why.

Are the various frameworks necessary for companies to create and manage? I say ‘YES’ but companies have to keep in mind that customers have needs they want fulfilled easily and quickly. Accomplishing that requires companies to have a portfolio of skills and resources: technology? Of course.

But much more than that. Companies also need people, people who have more than a slice of humanity and understanding and empathy when interacting with customers before the purchase, during the purchase, and after the purchase of the company’s products and services.

Turning to insurance companies, specifically P&C insurance companies.

We need to keep two truths in mind:

  1. P&C insurance companies (whether personal lines of commercial lines) do not want every possible prospect as a customer.
  2. P&C insurance companies don’t want to keep every one of their existing customers as a customer.

These two truths have significant implications for what customers want that I discussed above.

  1. Depending on the P&C insurance company’s risk appetite, the insurer may not offer the insurance coverage the prospective customer needs.
  2. Depending on the P&C insurance company’s underwriting strategies and procedures, it could take longer than a prospective customer may want the process to take to complete the purchase.
  3. Depending on the P&C insurance company’s fraud algorithms, it may take longer to adjudicate and resolve a claim than the customer / claimant may expect.

Customer wants (and expectations) meet the realities of the P&C insurance industry = not always quick and easy.

One challenge for P&C insurers is to discover where in its processes to get-and-keep customers are the areas that they can make quick-and-easy for customers. Without sacrificing profitability; without maximizing fraud; without sacrificing their fiduciary responsibility to all of their clients; without sacrificing their ethical responsibilities to the P&C insurance industry.

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