We operate in a fascinating and complex industry, selling intangible products and services that are built on ideas about the future. Yet while they may be intangible, our services have a very real impact on the lives and well-being of our clients.
When choosing an insurance company, people think about their families and how to protect them, about their children’s schools, about how well their company is doing. In future, they will be even more focused and meticulous in doing so, as they take advantage of the benefits of the digital economy.
Of all possible partnerships, the partnership with our clients is the most crucial.
In 2013, we launched our Client Centricity project, which continued this year with surveys enabling us to better understand our clients’ behaviour and the key factors that determine their preferences and influence their purchasing decisions. To better understand how to improve our client relationships before, during and after a sale, during 2014 we interviewed 20,000 clients across 21 countries to assess their knowledge and approval of the Generali brand.
The survey revealed a number of important points:
- of the five key factors influencing a client’s willingness to choose us, four are directly related to the service our staff provide and how they conduct themselves;
- interactions with clients during the purchasing process have increased exponentially thanks to the spread of digital technology;
- the growth of the internet has given clients low-cost access to information and more choice in terms of price and service;
- buying habits are now based on engagement and trust;
- the main factor contributing to a final buying decision stems from recommendations and advice from family members or friends based on previous experiences.
Putting the client at the heart of our business means going beyond simply listening. It means drawing on our competitive advantages through stronger and more focused brand positioning, as well as understanding the attitudes and segmentation of our clients, so that we can invest resources in developing digital tools able to satisfy even the highly digitally literate “hybrid” consumers.
Understanding the “hybrid” client’s buying habits
For “hybrid” clients, although agents and traditional sales networks remain a key contact point during the various phases of the purchasing cycle, the client and the insurance company are in direct contact in the moments before and after a policy is taken out.
The final purchase decision is no longer purely based on price, but is strongly conditioned by perceptions and opinions formed during the information gathering process.