Increase Adoption and Reduce Costs with DTC
The Direct to Consumer (DTC) model has been notoriously successful for countless brands across practically every sector of the economy. Technology has made it not only possible but profitable to speak to customers on their level, skipping the middleman and streamlining the experience across the board.
There has never been a better time for insurance carriers to explore this option as a means to both increase adoption and reduce their costs. The virtual tools available become more sophisticated by the day, allowing for more flexibility to account for different carrier needs.
Of course, this doesn’t mean there won’t be serious challenges ahead in terms of customer acquisition and retention. We’ll look at both the pros, cons, and how you can get the edge above your competition.
Better Adoption Rates
Getting more customers starts with thinking about their needs. For an insurance carrier, this means offering an easy enrollment process and providing stellar customer support. But executives know all too well just how simplified this statement is. While it sounds easy on paper, the reality is messy enough that some carriers won’t even consider a DTC option.
How can a carrier really simplify the customer experience when the products are inherently complicated?
This is clearly not an easy balance to strike, but if you’re seeing reduced or stagnating sales, DTC may be your best path forward. When companies fail to innovate, they’re paving the way for a sales rut. While there’s something to be said for sticking with a process that has served you well in the past, there are too many companies getting left behind as the times change.
The main caveat for executives is that it’s almost certainly not worth their energy to transition alone. To successfully implement DTC, you need an in-depth understanding of how your customers are really interacting with the product. The right member management partner can be instrumental in setting up both the virtual and human touchpoints that allow you to bring more customers to the table.
Customers want to feel empowered by the options and features at their disposal, not overwhelmed and frustrated by the number of decisions they have to make and the complexity of the information they have to absorb. To avoid this, carriers need to focus on how to better engage with customers both online and off. Smarter payment tools, straightforward action steps, and concise explanations can go a long way toward forging a direct connection.
The Advantages of a Single Platform
DTC success begins with a single platform. This foundation allows carriers to consolidate information, bringing everything under one umbrella so fewer things slip through the cracks. A smarter platform can also support sales efforts by building in better business management and customer support.
The right system will include advanced functionality and integrated payment solutions. But more than just having the right technical tools, there will also be a healthy mix of human customer service and billing. The latter benefits are what will begin to give people a more emotional connection to your brand and the products you offer.
Most customers feel detached from their insurance products. They pay for the service because they have to rather than seeing it as a valuable investment. But when you shake things up a little, you can start shifting people’s attitudes about what insurance can mean for them. The online functionality of a solid platform will make it easy to automate certain tasks, so the staff can focus on matters that require more finesse.
So if people have questions about a billing charge or wonder if a specific service will be covered, they don’t have to cringe at the thought of finding the answer. If a catastrophe occurs, they’ll find representatives on the other end of the line who are not only competent and knowledgeable but also empathetic to what they’re going through.
Finally, platforms give sales teams the opportunity to cross-sell and upsell different products. With one glance, a salesperson can get an overview of the customer and how they use their insurance. They can then apply this knowledge and anticipate how a customer would benefit from additional coverage. It all boils down to your sales team making relevant suggestions that are in both the customer’s and carrier’s best interest.
Most of your customers are unlikely to look forward to an upselling speech, especially if they’re used to being offered products that really have nothing to do with them. But with the right platform, these speeches can turn into conversations that actually move the relationship forward rather than leaving a bad taste in the customer’s mouth.
Implementing DTC is a proven way to maximize your resources. Not only are you saving money on outsourced services, but you’re limiting the amount of time spent on unnecessary matters. Instead of wasting hours on rote chores like answering simple questions about voluntary benefits, your staff will be able to leverage the platform to better prioritize their schedules.
With the help of the right technology, DTC can also move obstacles out of the way so it’s easier to make long-term financial decisions. Your reporting will be more detailed, making it easier to draw a line between events. Marketers can see which campaigns people are responding to and which are falling flat.
And if you’re having problems with your billing, the right DTC service can quickly begin to address these discrepancies. If you have a strong partner at your side, you can rest easy that documents are being issued, invoices are being sent on time, and questions are being answered.
Finally, a DTC option can actually minimize the amount of software you need. When you have just one platform, you can start doing away with piecemeal solutions you may have used in the past. Optimizing your technology stack doesn’t necessarily mean funneling more and more of your budget into IT, it can be as simple as finding a solution that works right from the word go.
The Promise of Genius Avenue
Our company has made it our mission to partner with carriers and give clients the smartest ways to connect with their customers. We think about things from their perspective, so we can build technical solutions that work without discounting the need for human interaction. Change is always going to come with its fair share of challenges, which is why we’ve designed the learning curve for our products and services to be as level as possible. It’s a promise that our clients have seen reflected in their rising revenue.
There are a lot of reasons why carriers would elect to stick with their old business model, some of which may be entirely valid. But the risks of the status quo and the benefits of a successful DTC approach are too great to be ignored. Acquiring and retaining more customers means stronger bottom lines, and your margins will be fortified that much more with reduced operational costs. Click here to learn more.