As robotic assistance slowly becomes the new norm, there are still customers who prefer to talk to a local, human agent, especially within the insurance sector.

Even though 72% of prospective customers prefer brand websites to peruse information about an insurer’s products and pricing, 71% still prefer to enroll with a local, human agent, underscoring widespread reluctance to complete enrollment online. To help match customers to the best-qualified agent across a range of criteria, 51% of brands tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Insurance have built expansive agent directories, spanning local, exclusive, and independent brokers.

However, not all of these services are created equal. While online appointment booking has reached majority adoption, brands are still more likely to promote an agent’s phone number versus their email address by a two-to-one margin. Additionally, only half offer profile elements that help personalize and distinguish one agent from another, such as a headshot or basic bio. Lastly, only Allstate, Farmers, and Nationwide have implemented customer ratings and reviews, establishing a mechanism by which to recognize and reward superior customer service and loyalty.

Fleshing out customer acquisition tools with personalized details can be a mutually beneficial move. It can incentivize prospective customers to reach out more often and more efficiently and it can motivate agents to make customer service and loyalty a priority.

 

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