Take note of these 5 tendencies and strategize accordingly
Advancement and adaptation are inevitable things that everyone needs to get acquainted with as the years pass by. If you refuse to do so, you face being grouped with dreadful designations like old-fashioned or dated. Technology, medicine and even means of travel are all advancements that we’d happily adjust to, but don’t forget about the most important one for your business – your customer base.
We’re currently in a time where new generations are progressing into, or are fairly new to, the insurance market – millennials and Generation Z. Insurance agents: now is the time to start developing new strategies and tactics to better speak to this younger crowd and to better address their unique needs. You can start by getting familiar with their shopping habits.
Know your audience
Before getting down to the nitty-gritty, you should know who makes up this group of young people. Millennials are a generation born between 1981 and 1996, while anyone born from 1997 onward is grouped into Generation Z. If we’re talking population, Bloomberg’s analysis of United Nations data shows that millennials will make up 31.5 percent of the global population of 7.7 billion this year. Gen Z will surpass their previous generation in 2019 and make up 32 percent of the global population.
Applied Systems and ORC International partnered together to conduct a survey in an effort to better understand what millennials and Gen Zers are searching for from insurance providers. The survey consisted of 1,002 millennials and Gen Z buyers and was conducted in June 2018. Here are 5 key findings your agency should know:
Why is it so critical to speak to younger generations now?
Generation Z continues to grow as the days go by, and they’re projected to make up 33% of the global population by 2020, while millennials have already become the largest U.S. generation in the workforce. As many of these individuals become business owners and company decision makers, they are bringing new expectations to commercial insurance. With a demand this high, shouldn’t you start directing your marketing and sales efforts toward these younger consumers?
What influences their purchase?
When shopping for the right insurance, these generations are greatly influenced by what their peers say. So, when strategizing to increase outreach to the younger crowd, don’t abandon the baby boomers and silent generation. Continuing to develop a strong relationship with older generations is crucial as they play an important role in younger consumer decisions, having served as peers and even mentors within the workplace.
Younger insurance shoppers also increasingly use the internet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to Google, Yelp or social media to do some research before grabbing my wallet. Be sure to manage your reviews, and don’t hesitate to ask for reviews when you come across a satisfied client. According to Ernie Feirer of Risk & Insurance, "Millennial business owners will increasingly demand--and expect--a better customer experience driven by digital efficiencies and the personal touch."
That brings us to your company's website. Younger generations will expect a streamlined process and a high-tech, efficient user experience. This can be difficult in the commercial insurance industry where lots of exchanging of information and evaluation is necessary, but staying tech-savvy is critical. Look for ways to gather customer data faster, with fewer tasks and touch points. To stay competitive in this market, many commercial insurance agencies are looking for ways to better streamline their quote and application processes.
As Feirer stated, "Today's millennial entrepreneurs are more likely to conduct business transactions while skimming headlines on a tablet, while also drinking a coffee they ordered on the coffee chain's mobile app, which they accessed using their smart watch." If personal insurance has evolved to be purchased within minutes from a smart phone, you are likely to see expectations continue to rise that commercial insurance will eventually meet this precedence.
How do they purchase policies?
The phone is the least used channel for purchases for both younger generations. The internet is the most popular. What does this mean? A combination of brick-and-mortar and digital outreach will help you reach a more broad client base.
What communication channels are popular?
Think of all the times you call a business and get an automated bot recording. It’s frustrating, right? It’s safe to say the hate is universal. Whether by phone or face-to-face, both millennials and Gen Zers prefer speaking with a human when they do try to call a company. Does your agency fall in line with this common desire? Customer service is still king, so if you feel you are falling short on being available, it could be time to make a few tweaks.
Are you providing the right features?
When asked about the importance of 24/7 customer service, 85 percent of participants considered this feature to be very or somewhat important. Mobile app access is also essential as 74 percent agree that it is also very or somewhat important. For younger generations, many business decisions are made on the go. If you’re missing features that allow for that, people will notice.
Use these findings to better perfect your outreach efforts toward young adults, understand their needs and offer them products that are right for their businesses. After all, the population of these generations continues to rise significantly and will without a doubt account for billions of dollars spent. The question is – will they be using their hard earned cash on you?
Richie Almeida, Integrated Marketing Specialist
Richie is an avid movie goer with an addiction to Sour Patch Kids. If he isn’t at the movies, he is at the gym or on a hike trying to make up for his bad eating habits.
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