Insurance companies often struggle with unresponsive or reluctant customers when the time for policy premiums rolls around. Making a timely payment – or even a payment at all – can be seen as an unpleasant experience.
But often, the unpleasantness does not arise from the actual requirement of making a payment.
Often times, the reluctance to pay is rooted in a negative experience that a customer has had with the company. In our interactions, we’ve found that some customers who are unwilling to pay could have felt ignored by the company.
Additionally, they could also have had trouble reaching a company representative in a timely manner or they couldn’t navigate their way through an online payment gateway.
Regardless, an unaddressed negative experience doesn’t bode well when it’s time to renew a policy, which then results in delayed or defaulting payments.
We know that each payment is a solidifying step for a long-lasting relationship with a customer. To that end, the relationship must be nurtured long before the first signs of trouble show up, making the final goal, i.e. on-time (and preferably online) policy renewal payment, a positive experience.
Here are 4 simple, easy, and actionable steps organizations can take to get customers to pay on time.
Have a Flawless On-Boarding Process
Your client servicing efforts will begin as soon as you’ve acquired your customer. At this stage, having a flawless on-boarding process is crucial because it will go a long way in building trust and reducing anxiety for your customers.
Taking care of granular details is extremely important at this stage.
For instance, your application forms and KYCs should be thoroughly checked and verified with the client. Train your representatives to answer questions and clear concerns as they arise.
A digital process to welcome customers can also go a long way to address any remaining gaps in the acquisition process. Many companies – especially in the finance vertical – are known to set up a welcome series of emails to address universal concerns right away.
Build a Strong Customer Experience
To build a strong customer experience, build frequent engagement within your nurturing processes. While your process will be fine-tuned after implementation and data analysis, the frequent check-ins will allow you to gauge the frame of mind they’re in.
This is where you can do early interventions with issues, and not just with the intention of renewing a premium at the end of the year.
You’ll build a strong experience when you:-
A) Address negative issues as early as possible,
B) When your customers genuinely feel taken care of, and
C) Engage with customers on a consistent basis and not just for specific situations – such as renewals.
Make Payments Easy
Too many of us have been on the receiving end of a long and complicated payment process, so there’s no denying how tiresome they feel.
A little usability testing goes a long way in paving a smooth road for your customers vis-a-vis payments, e.g. building in features like two-step payments and auto-fill forms for smoother payments.
Fit the Medium of Engagement to the Customer
Some people just don’t check their emails. Others don’t answer phone calls from unknown numbers. Still others prefer hearing a human voice and knowing they can reach an actual person if they have an issue.
Whatever your medium of engagement is, it must fit your customer’s needs and preferences. ATS Services works with companies to create digital engagement opportunities; these further lead to the creation of a knowledge bank about customer behaviors and preferences.
This knowledge bank can be harnessed to create positive customer experiences that go a long way in building strong relationships.
We applaud organizations that have these checks and balances in place before a policy renewal. However, sometimes customers face issues at the time of renewal because they’ve been misguided or because of gaps in the process.
These are important reminders to keep the full customer engagement process clean, simple, and, easily accessible.
Every portfolio is bound to have a certain number of people who simply do not want to engage any longer. But for most others, feeling acknowledged by having their questions and concerns addressed is the first step towards a long-term relationship.