Know and Retain the Next Gen Policyholder

Younger generations including the Millennials and GenY are known as being driven by technology, they want less personalization, and are instant gratification-type generations. They want their information when and how they prefer, and tend to be able to get what they need in a flash. Their communications are based on social, mobile, and instant messaging platforms, and it’s an assumption that personalization isn’t a priority for them. But, is that really the case?

In an effort to better understand these preferences and trends, I pulled together a multi-generational panel that represented various types of policyholders during the insurance track at INTERACTIONS this year. The room was filled with insurance carriers of different types and sizes, and the goal was to give them a firsthand look at what their policyholders wanted and how they perceived the insurance industry. The conversation was highly amusing and just what I had hoped for. Some of the responses were just as one would expect, while others, primarily from the youngest panelist, were very surprising.

The oldest panelist preferred the carrier he had been with for years, had every insurance product through that carrier, and felt no need to research to find another as long as his coverage was cheap. The middle panelist really didn’t care about what was going on as long as he was covered, it was affordable, and he wanted no interaction at all with his insurance company unless he reached out to them. The youngest panelist was focused on the relationship that was built with the agent, and wanted as much education and interaction as needed to make her feel comfortable with her decision.

Both before and after the conference, I researched the topic of policyholder preferences. I ran across a detailed report from Deloitte that highlighted exactly what had been discussed in the panel…younger generations want options and they want technology, but they also want a relationship with the carrier. The key items that came from the report included that we proved to be true during the session were:

Younger generations are:

  • More likely to change carriers, and many will reevaluate instead of automatically renew
  • Very tech-dependent and want multiple ways to communicate, but implementation of these channels is key and personalization is important
  • Most likely to buy through direct channels, but don’t actually trust that they are getting the best deal from their insurer
  • Are very influenced by others in the buying decision, especially friends and family
  • Focused on trust and a relationship with the carrier

My advice? At the end of the day, the younger generation’s business is what will help your organization grow in the years to come. Technology and multichannel strategies are important, but insurance providers should look to ways to personalize their service and interactions to improve the overall relationship with policyholders.

Throughout the Deloitte report, one thing was consistent, and that was TRUST. Believe it or not, the younger generations are some of the easiest to please with the right tools. However, at the root of retaining their business is that trust. The contact, personalization, and overall customer experience will help build this trust in a way that will keep your policyholders leveraging your business for years to come.

How are you personalizing the customer experience for your policyholders and agents?

Jennifer Wilson-Peevey