The nation’s largest living generation is the first to exist entirely in the digital age, and is shaping up to be the most well-educated generation in history. Their expectations are based on the availability and ease that technology brings to all aspects of their lives, so it shouldn’t be surprising that Millennials like to do business with companies that are tech savvy.
But insurers are taking a big risk when they focus too strictly on that single aspect of that generational difference.
Lessons from retail
Accenture’s mythbusting research on Millennial retail shopping habits and expectations underscores the importance of attending to the basics, and holds important lessons for life insurance companies. “Although Millennials have earned a reputation for viewing the world through a uniquely digital lens, our results found some remarkable similarities between them and their predecessors: the Baby Boomers (born from 1946 to 1964) and Generation X (1965 to 1979),” the report notes. The three big takeaways from Accenture are:
- It’s not all about online shopping. Far from rejecting the physical aspects of shopping, Millennials and their Boomer counterparts blend online shopping with brick-and-mortar retail to find the right products at the best prices.
- Millennials are loyal customers. Among retailers, just shy of 40 percent said they were most concerned about the lack of loyalty among millennial consumers. “There is [something] about the product and its cost, but there’s also a big part about being treated like a valued customer,” said a Millennial respondent.
- Retailers misunderstand the influence of social media. This goes for insurers, too. Liking something on a social media site is far from a guarantee of intent to purchase or a reliable indicator of customer loyalty.
In Selling to Millennials Is Easy, insurance blogger Nikole McMyler points out that the basic formula for sales efficacy hasn’t changed in, well, millennia.
Sales = Speed + Pricing + Service.
A millennial customer herself, McMyler explains, “at the end of the day, it’s the same basic calculus: It’s not because you have a hip YouTube video or a Facebook page, and it’s not because you have cool apps or tens of thousands of “likes.” It’s because you are able to do the basics … faster, cheaper and with better service.”
Speed + Service = Ideal Death Claims Handling
Awhile back, we reported on another Accenture report that examines data capture issues in the industry. The challenge is hefty for established insurers, who, over time, have collected untold quantities and types of data that have become deeply siloed as a consequence of reorganizations, shifting priorities, and changing lines of business. Much of that data exists in static paper forms.
Paper works well for insurers because it remains the best way to collect complex information, and is a very useful tool for explaining detailed policies and other heavily layered concepts. Digital collection of that data has to be fast, accurate, and executed in such a way that enables the company to grow, change and adapt without disruption. Advances in data capture have moved beyond manual data entry and traditional OCR, but industry acceptance has been gradual.
Without a way to capture high-quality legacy data, some of the same firms that are deeply invested in reaching this diverse and potentially lucrative millennial market may also be leaving money and valuable resources on the table. Specifically, claims adjusters and operations people can readily point to “found money” buried in the search through legacy data.
Manually mining beneficiary data removes adjusters from the work they are trained and hired to do. Reducing the time and effort it takes to research, complete and process death claims can add significant labor savings to the bottom line.
While the corner office reaches for new prospects, they should keep back office ops at top of mind.
Deploying a straightforward data capture solution that overcomes the limitations of other capture methods and does not require a costly “rip and replace” solution or a complete ERP overhaul can be an economic, reasonable and forward-thinking for existing life insurers.
Vidado turns structured and unstructured data into the business-ready data that positions insurance companies for the evolving digital future. To discover how some of the country’s most influential insurers are using Vidado to unlock customer data, go here.