According to Google Research, 98% of Americans switch between devices throughout the course of one day.
Technology is changing the buying patterns of insurance consumers, and not just among millennials. Every baby boomer has a smartphone and knows how to use it. This emphasis on ease, convenience and mobility has opened the door to new insurance competition from retail goliaths like Wal-Mart, Amazon, credit card companies and a host on insurance startups.
Meanwhile, large insurance carriers are using data analytics to leapfrog agents and sell directly to consumers. Mergers and acquisitions, perpetuation headaches and carrier-retailer partnerships are also putting the squeeze on agents.
In almost every service industry today – from banking and investing to local pharmacies and car dealerships – consumers want to interact on their own terms, whether that’s in person, via phone, text, email, social media or the Internet. They expect an Omni-channel experience that leverages a convenience cocktail of technology and customer service that provides them with access to products, services and information in real-time, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Aberdeen Group found that companies with extremely strong Omni-channel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers – compared to 33% for companies without it. Change is happening so rapidly that agents who don’t adapt soon will find their customers going where they can get the seamless service model they demand.
The nature of agent-client relationships has changed drastically from what it was years ago. Agents who gave smart, professional advice used to have the edge. Now, people still value consultation with an agent, but they also want the convenience of Omni-channel access to get their information or complete service activities seamlessly. Whether the customer is shopping online, by telephone or in a brick and mortar store, these are the options they want.