How can insurance companies use SMS to create more business?
Over the years the insurance industry has come to view SMS as a reliable and cost-effective communication channel. It is used for everything from quickly sending one-time passwords, to keeping staff updated about daily operations or system errors.
Increasingly, insurance companies are seeing the possibilities that texting offers for improving dialogue with customers. It has gone from just being a tool used to streamline internal communication, to a key part of business development.
Relationship building and business expansion
Texting offers many opportunities to find new customers, strengthen customer relationships, and increase 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 a chance to automate and streamline the work these departments do. We’ve seen a steady increase in the use of two-way SMS by marketing departments to improve the impact of their campaigns. This delivery channel is both strong, and affordable. SMS is a great channel to combine with other, often more costly methods.”
An example of how Molnár’s advice can be used is in pairing a pricey telemarketing campaign with an inexpensive, intelligent, SMS campaign. By starting with an SMS campaign, you can establish the focus of customers’ and leads’ interest. When you know that, you can make sure your follow up campaigns have the right message for the right target group.”
When it comes to SMS and customer communication, sales teams and advisors often send meeting confirmations and reminders. This small action can saves countless hours over time. It also increases productivity because employees aren’t wasting time waiting for meetings that customer don’t end up showing up to (whether they forgot, or just neglected to cancel).
Other ways SMS services are used include:
- in customer service communication
- as channel to push up-sales to existing customers
- to send reminders as an insurance contract is running out, and to send a new agreement if the customer wants an extension
- to quickly and easily send out customer questionnaires
SMS makes your offer more attractive
Sales and marketing aren’t the only departments that can benefit from SMS communication. Leading insurance companies also incorporate the channel directly into their service offer.
Insurance companies are constantly looking for new ways to give their customers preventative tips. This is helpful for their customers, and can reduce the number of claims they receive. For instance, customers can subscribe to an SMS based weather warning service. Subscribers receive information about extreme rainfall, upcoming snowstorms, avalanches, or other extreme weather or natural events. This means that they can be more aware and better prepared, decreasing their chances of getting injured or having 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 still call their insurance office 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 an SMS confirmation is sent, they know that their claim filing has gone through. SMS 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.”