How Good is Your Insurance Company- What is your Opinion?


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Ever since Amazon popularized them, reviews have exploded about hotel, books, appliances and even cars. But, can they provide any value when applied to complex products such as insurance?

What would you expect to find in insurance policy review? Is it about the claims process, the agent, the call center or the policy language? In fact, they can be anything at all, ratings and reviews captures experience. Consumers can choose to write about whatever stimulated an emotional response strong enough to pick up the keyboard. Common sense might persuade us that reviews would be heavily weighted towards negative statements; after all, it is an opportunity to vent and complain but by far the majority are actually positive.

The business reason to allow reviews in the retail industry is simple, consumers trust consumers and positive reviews stimulate sales. Social media has made the customer experience more transparent and the public perception of the overall experience will increasingly matter. Look at Zappos, a company that sells shoes, about as much as a commodity as you can get. Zappos are rarely the cheapest but have a stellar customer experience reputation and that helped them to $1 billion annual revenue within 10 years.

Already, the list of insurers encouraging customer reviews is long and growing; the list includes Nationwide, GEICO, Progressive, AIG Direct, PEMCO, Prudential, Allstate, USAA and Liberty Mutual. USAA are one of the few to speak to the results. With reviews, they recorded an increase in consumers that moved from viewing product information to starting an application in the same session. Across 35 products that allowed reviews, an incremental 15,978 policies were purchased in the first full year.

Consumers are increasingly seeking advice and opinions from people they know and trust and customer experience is a critical differentiator. Whether opinions come in formal reviews hosted by the company, as comments on Facebook, as tweets or in a blog post, customer experience will be public. Social media is here to stay – it is word of mouth on steroids – understanding what your customers might say is becoming vital. Mass Mutual is just the latest insurer to employ a Customer Experience Officer to recognize the trend and they will not be the last.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Terry Golesworthy
As the president of The Customer Respect Group for 7 years, I focus on the online experience of consumers. Online experience has always been bigger than the company website, from the response to email to integration to other offline channels. It has now grown to include social media.


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