One of the greatest threats to any brand or category is the loss of relevance. Any number of forces can impede future growth, but it’s possible to clear these hurdles. The one solution guaranteed to fail? A silent retreat into irrelevance. That is the driving force behind PIMA’s latest research, “Affinity 2030: Exploring Our Blind Spots for a Brighter Future.”
Companies have long used the affinity insurance model to drive steady growth. For the model to evolve, however, we must be vigilant in looking at our own relevance. To provide more insight into the affinity insurance market, we reached out to one of the “Affinity 2030” contributors: Jona Moore, vice president of technology at frog. About Jona Moore
Since her first consulting job in 2000, Jona Moore has been passionate about user experience. Back then, she was a developer/pseudo-designer on the first electronic court records system for King County in Washington state. As she worked with her team to design the system, Moore realized what a huge impact technology could have on people’s lives if processes were more efficient and user-friendly.
Throughout her career, Moore has sought similar positions that allowed her to use technology to solve real human problems and enhance the customer experience. She’s now the vice president of technology at frog, a worldwide design, strategy, and technology consultancy focused on creating exceptional digital (and physical) customer experiences that help transform businesses.
Moore knows that technology is a powerful problem-solving tool, but she also knows it can’t solve human problems alone or in isolation. Working at a place like frog helped her see the role tech plays in a larger story that includes design, business strategy, and customer experience.An Assessment of Today’s Affinity Insurance Market
One of the more significant problems facing Moore’s financial services and insurance clients is customer engagement. Offering cash and other incentives doesn’t work because people typically don’t trust free lunches — they want to know what they are giving up in exchange. Moore believes companies should give their customers important information that provides other kinds of value, such as education or advocacy, to strengthen the relationship. She recommends giving your customers solutions to help solve their critical needs.
Another issue for the sponsored benefits sector is trust, which ultimately must be earned. Moore says you can do that by creating a seamless and smooth experience that simplifies the lives of your customers. Give buyers a great experience by combining easy-to-use digital tools with exceptional customer service that they’re able to access online, offline, or over the phone.
Both of these issues can be resolved if you understand your customers’ needs. When you create a product that people value, trust and engagement will come. What’s more, brands that have a customer mindset (e.g., USAA) are leaders in the space. Companies in the affinity insurance market need to develop that mindset to drive engagement, satisfaction, and adoption, which is how they’ll grow revenue and brand recognition.Going Above and Beyond to Improve Customer Experience
Moore’s advice to companies in the affinity insurance market is multifaceted. Start by creating a solid customer experience strategy that provides your customer base with immediate value while positioning you well against potential disruptors. It’s essential to be aware of potential disruptors because many of the emerging straight-to-consumer startups can beat the prices of more traditional companies while also offering amazing digital experiences.
Moore suggests getting an outside perspective on what your customers want, especially if you’ve been in business for a long time. Be willing to look beyond your industry because your customers operate in more areas than insurance. This will allow you to view your user experience with a new lens and revamp accordingly.
One of frog’s clients, a large healthcare company, had great success with this approach. None of this client’s users completed its long forms, even though they were paid $500 to do so. Moore and her team created forms with a more enjoyable and gamelike experience that allowed the client to achieve greater engagement and better educate its customers.
PIMA® (Professional Insurance Marketing Association®) is a member-driven trade association focused exclusively on the group-sponsored benefits market.
The research from “Affinity 2030: Exploring Our Blind Spots for a Brighter Future” is available for no cost to PIMA members. For more information on becoming a member, click here.