The insurance customer of the future part 3 – How will they want it?

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The insurance customer of the future will want their products, services and propositions delivered in a very different way from earlier generations.

In part 1 – Who the insurance customer of the future will be, we looked at the characteristics that define the insurance customer of the future compared to prior generations.

Then, in part 2 – What the insurance customer of the future wants, we focused on what the insurance customer of the future will want from their providers, including their insurers, in terms of the propositions on offer and the way they are sold and serviced.

For the final part of this series, I’m going to offer some thoughts on how the insurance customer of the future wishes to be served.

These are the trends that I see as most important for insurers to take into account.

1)     Cross-channel

The next time you see a teenager juggling more than one device, take a good look at what they are doing. As their needs from each device change, they will switch between them. If they’re using a messaging app on a tablet, but now want to check a website using that device, they can go to the messaging app on their phone and continue the conversation without pause. It just works.

And if they can seamlessly switch between devices when talking to friends, they’ll expect to switch seamlessly between devices when communicating with their insurer. If they can’t hop during a conversation (or customer journey) between web, mobile, phone, and email, they’ll figure that the insurer doesn’t deserve to be in the conversation.

Providing an omni-channel, or cross-channel, experience for them isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity.

2)     Forget face-to-face

Extending this example, you’ll also notice that despite interacting with their friend (or perhaps multiple friends concurrently) that teenager is physically in the same room as you. They don’t need to be face-to-face to maintain a rich interaction. That doesn’t mean they’ll never want to be face-to-face with their friends, but it does mean that a business that assumes they want face-to-face interaction is going to seem a little weird to them.

There will, I am sure, continue to be reasons why some insurers might want to retain an agent channel – but the provision of face-to-face experiences is unlikely to be a significant driver.

3)     Scrap the screens

If face-to-face isn’t important, then what is? Over the last decade or so, the answer has been computer screens – for text, graphics, web chat, or video communication.

Yet even that is now changing. Technologies such as smart glasses and virtual reality are already replacing screens with a richer, more immersive, visual experience.

And that’s not the only change. Back in 1968, the film “2001: A Space Odyssey” envisaged a computer (named HAL) that responded to voice commands. At the time, it seemed fantastical. Yet now, 50 years on, we have Siri, Alexa, and Google all taking instructions by voice and acting on them. And the ability to engage in “Conversational Commerce,” rather than interacting through screens, is rapidly becoming another expectation of the millennial consumer.

4)     Privacy? Pah!

The final “how” trend I’d like to highlight is the trend away from requiring privacy.

Ironically, as legal and regulatory privacy standards continue to ratchet up (with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being but the latest example), millennials’ interest in privacy is heading in the opposite direction.

Many in this generation have spent years as individual publishers, broadcasting many aspects of their own lives on Facebook, Instagram, and other social channels.

This is not a generation that has been brought up to value privacy. And, having ascribed a relatively low value to privacy, millennials are more than happy to give it up in exchange for perceived value in return. Indeed, if an insurer hasn’t made use of the data that their millennial customer has made freely available to them – that customer will wonder why.

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As ever, all comments, builds and disagreements welcome! You can connect with me via my profile.

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