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How insurance companies can build trust with millennial customers

How insurance companies can build trust with millennial customers
The largest generation in the United States is also the most underinsured. Millennials are at conflict when it comes to insurance shopping: While they are twice as likely as other groups to purchase insurance online, they are also the group least satisfied with the online experience.
 
Millennials are born multitaskers who crave the speed and convenience of shopping on the Internet. At the same time, they want personalized experiences that recognize their individuality. On the surface, these seem like dueling concepts. In fact, only 24 percent of Millennials purchase insurance from local agencies. How can you get personal when you’ll likely never see your customers’ faces?
 
Strong customer relationships are possible in the Internet age; they just require a more creative approach. Here are four things insurance companies can do to better engage and build loyalty with Millennial buyers online:
 
  1. Be more than a brand. As the “social responsibility generation,” Millennials intrinsically distrust big brands. They won’t jump on board because of a familiar name; they want to align themselves with companies that view the world as they do.
 
Millennials have strong b.s. detectors, and they’re always on. They know when a company’s only goal is to make a sale. A deeper reason should exist for Millennial customers to see that being a part of your brand’s story will contribute to their own image and ideals. Maybe this policy is truly the best fit, or your company has better ethics than competitors — or perhaps when you say your customer service is unmatched, you really mean it.
 
  1. Educate and serve before you sell, but not too much. Because Millennials are inherently wary of the hard sell, don’t jump right to the close. Focus on the process — a moderate amount of education and relationship building will go a long way to both landing a sale and building long-term customer loyalty and trust.
 
However, be careful not to turn your website into a graduate thesis on insurance. Too little education puts you at risk for errors and omissions, but too much education devalues your purpose as an industry guide and can turn the consumer off with confusing industry lingo. Consider yourself a well-informed concierge — offer just the right amount of expert information in a way that’s clear to someone unfamiliar with the territory.
 
  1. Make your business approachable. Frankly, to the average person, insurance is boring. It will always be a to-do list item your customer would rather not do. It’s up to you to make the experience as simple, painless — and yes — even as enjoyable as possible.
 
“Because we’ve always done it this way” is the enemy of innovation. Be creative with how you approach customers and what services you offer. Design a more user-friendly website or mobile app, a fun approach to emails, or a lighter company voice — even the driest industries can have a little fun. Just be careful not to go overboard with the trendy ideas.  
 
  1. Build relationships for the long haul. Real relationships aren’t one-night stands. Stay in touch with your consumers over time — not with gimmicky advertising or blatant sponsorships, but with thoughtful and relevant touchpoints.
 
Did a young married couple just swap out a coupe for a minivan? Send them an article reviewing the best car seats in the market. Did a recent graduate purchase renters insurance for the first time? Offer content on the top 10 things all new renters need to know. Provide personalized value to your consumers, and you will naturally earn their engagement.
 
The Millennial generation is the insurance carriers’ biggest opportunity and biggest threat. With innovation, empathy, and thoughtful planning, carriers and agents can evolve to meet the needs of the digital generation.

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