Although consumers prefer to communicate with businesses over text message, some industries have been slow to adopt the technology. This is especially true in the insurance space where phone calls and emails are heavily relied upon for tasks such as gathering photos to resolve claims, reaching out to existing customers to renew policies or scheduling appointments.
There are some insurance companies, however, that have become early adopters of texting, which means they’ve already taken the steps to offer customers a better experience throughout the insurance process. Where does your insurance company stand?
To improve customer communication, text messaging needs to be a part of the customer journey. Here’s why it’s the best option to help your insurance company win over customers and keep them from switching to your competition.
Is text messaging really what insurance customers want?
These days it’s not uncommon to see a text message from a business pop up on our phones. With 76 percent of consumers reporting that they’ve received some kind of text from a business, we’ve grown accustomed to the exchange. In fact, 73 percent of consumers say they wish more businesses would use texting to communicate with them.
With such high demand, the insurance industry is starting to understand the positive impact that texting can have on their business. For example, 47 percent of property and casualty insurers plan to incorporate SMS texting into their digital communication options through 2020. This is great news for customers, but your business could take a hit if there aren’t immediate plans to follow through on the trend. When insurance companies reach customers through texting, customers are likely to stick around because they know it’s going to be fast and easy when communicating with their insurers. Instead of playing endless games of phone tag or missing important emails because they were sent to a spam folder, sending and receiving a quick text ensures the message will get across fast.
Why texting works for insurance companies
Texting has a nearly 100 percent open rate and an average response time of 90 seconds. With the 20 percent open rate of emails and the rising number of ignored phone calls being sent straight to voicemail, the two mediums can’t compete with the visibility and response time of text messaging.
Not only is texting the easiest and fastest way for both parties to get a hold of one another, but it’s the medium that feels the most natural to customers. We text more than we email or call, so we’ve come to associate texting as more friendly and approachable. Texting will help establish a customer-focused reputation for your business, leaving customers feeling good about sticking around.
Text message use cases for insurers
Incorporating texting into your existing workflow is easy and will offer a huge boost to your customer experience. Here are just a few examples.
For insurance agents:
- Send and receive pictures to collect important information. Customers can send photos of their provider cards, VIN numbers or declaration pages.
- Send reminders. Whether you’re letting insureds know their policy is expiring or you want to remind them of an upcoming appointment, texting is a great substitute for emails or phone calls because it elicits a sense of urgency.
- Text quotes. Close deals faster by texting quotes to customers over text. You can answer questions quickly if they have concerns and adjust the quote as needed.
For claims adjusters:
- Create a calming first point of contact. Introducing yourself with a text lets you explain who you are and what insureds need to do to get the ball rolling. This can be a huge relief and keep customers calm during an otherwise hectic situation.
- Expedite the claims process. File claims faster by requesting photos of important documents and reduce the need for phone calls by texting quick questions instead.
- Keep customers from switching providers. A study found that 41 percent of insurance customers are likely to switch providers within 12 months of filing a claim. An unsatisfactory customer experience could be part of the reason why, so it’s essential that insurance companies offer smooth and personable communication to reduce the chance of insureds going elsewhere.
- Maintain oversight of communication between employees and insureds. With the right business texting software, insurance companies can oversee communications between customers and employees and maintain a record of conversations.
Zipwhip texting improves the customer experience for insurance companies using their existing 10-digit landline, VoIP or toll-free number
Personal phones should not be used to text insureds. It eliminates the opportunity for oversight or the capability for maintaining a record of communications. Instead, connect with customers in their preferred method with Zipwhip texting-for-business software. It’s an affordable option with same-day installation and no system integration required. In about 15 minutes, we can text enable your existing 10-digit phone numbers so you can start sending and receiving texts from your computer and mobile devices right away.
Become an innovative insurance company and offer text messaging to your insureds with Zipwhip. Try us out with a free trial or read more about Zipwhip’s benefits here.