- Smart Messaging
How can insurance companies use SMS to create more business?
Over the years the insurance industry has come to appreciate SMS as a reliable and cost-effective communication channel. It is used for everything from quickly distributing one-time passwords, to keeping IT staff updated about daily operations, or alerting them to system errors.
Increasingly, insurance companies are becoming aware of the possibilities that texting offers for improving dialogue with customers. It has gone from just being a tool used to streamline internal communication to being a key part of business development.
Relationship building and business expansion
Texting offers a host of opportunities for finding new customers, strengthening customer relationships, and increasing sales. Dick Molnár, Senior Key Account Manager at Lekab, has worked with many clients in the insurance industry. He offers some of his first hand knowledge of the opportunities that are developing:
“Sales and marketing departments have a lot to gain from integrating an SMS service with their CRM. This is an opportunity to automate and streamline the work these departments do. We’ve noticed a steady increase in the use of two-way text messaging by marketing departments to improve the impact of their promotions. This delivery channel is both strong, and comparatively inexpensive. SMS is great for combining with other, often more costly methods.”
An example of how Molnár’s advice can be used is in combining a pricey telemarketing campaign with an inexpensive intelligent SMS campaign. By starting with a text campaign, you can establish where customers’ and leads’ interest is focused, making sure that your follow up campaigns deliver the right messages to the right target group.”
When it comes to how SMS is used in customer communication, sales teams and advisors often send text message confirmations and reminders for meetings. This seemingly small action saves countless hours over time. It also increases productivity because company employees aren’t wasting time waiting for meetings that customer don’t en up showing up to (either because they forgot, or sometimes because they just neglected to cancel).
Other ways SMS text messaging services are used include:
- Text message communications between customer service and customers
- A channel to push up-sales to existing customers
- To send reminders as an insurance contract is running out, and then often sending an agreement for an extension if the customer wants one
- To simply dispatch customer questionnaires
SMS makes your offer more appealing
Sales and marketing aren’t the only departments that can benefit from text message communication. Leading insurance companies also incorporate the channel directly into their service offer.
Insurance companies are constantly looking for new ways to provide customers with preventative advice and information – this help is good for their customers, and it can reduce the number of claims they receive. For instance, you can let customers subscribe to an SMS based weather warning service. Subscribers then receive information about extreme rainfall, upcoming snowstorms, avalanches, or other extreme weather or natural events. This means that they can be more aware and more prepared, decreasing their chances of sustaining personal injury or property damage.
Online claim filing is another good example of how the industry has strived to simplify things for customers. New opportunities, however, do provide new challenges. According to Molnár:
“Many policyholders will file a claim online, but then call their insurance office anyway to make sure the claim has gone through. Sometimes they have questions about what the next step is, or when they can expect to hear back. When a text message confirmation is sent, they are assured that their claim has been correctly filed. Text message communication is also a great way to give continuous feedback, through a channel that more than 90% of consumers open. In this way, texts can help you improve your customers’ experience and reduce the number of customer service calls you handle.”