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P&C Insurance: Optimize Your Onboarding Experience

Authors Photo Precisely Editor | February 20, 2024

First impressions are important when onboarding new P&C policyholders. A new customer’s experience with your company might well have started with an independent agent or broker, but once the sale is complete, the insurance carrier is responsible for delivering a satisfactory onboarding experience.woman revising the onboarding experience

This critical process often leaves a lasting impression. Aside from routine bills and renewal notices, onboarding may be the only interaction that a consumer will have with your company. Effective onboarding presents an important opportunity to impact each customer’s overall experience of your organization. It can have a major effect on overall satisfaction and customer loyalty.  That, in turn, has a clear impact on your company’s bottom line.

Experts estimate that in most industries, the cost to acquire a new customer is approximately five times the cost of retention, but that in the insurance sector that multiplier is closer to 9x. That puts the industry at the very high end of the spectrum for customer acquisition costs.

For a new customer, a positive onboarding experience can create a powerful first impression. According to independent research, over three-quarters of consumers will remain loyal to a business that offers a welcoming onboarding process.

Conversely, companies that start on the wrong foot face a significant risk of non-renewal, with drop-off rates estimated to be as high as 40-60%. That translates directly into missed business opportunities and challenges in attracting new clients. A smooth and personalized onboarding journey can foster brand loyalty, boost renewal rates, and potentially win over a customer for life.

The Impact of a Poor Onboarding Experience

Customers cite multiple reasons for dissatisfaction with the onboarding process, including insufficient human contact, and slow or cumbersome processes. Many express frustration at being asked to provide the same information multiple times.

Customers want:

  • Personalized communications that are consistent, efficient, and highly connected. 
  • An end-to-end process that uses their time effectively, delivers the exact information they need, and makes it easy to get answers to their questions. 
  • Unified communications with a highly personalized approach.

For companies struggling with legacy technology and disparate systems, that can be a challenge to deliver. According to research firm Verint, 46% of companies cite legacy systems as the single most significant barrier to providing a unified digital customer experience (CX). Insurers are often saddled with systems and processes designed to accommodate multiple channels and customer data sources.

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How to Optimize the P&C Insurance Onboarding Experience

Regardless of your sales approach, whether direct-to-consumer, captive agent, or broker-led, responsibility for onboarding new customers typically belongs to insurance carriers. Post-sale onboarding is a critical moment with long-lasting impact. Read this white paper to learn more.

Cumbersome systems and legacy technology can make it especially difficult to change standard communications, tailor versions for each channel and geography, and so on. That, in turn, makes it hard for insurers to adapt quickly to changing needs and customer expectations.

young woman enjoying her onboarding experience

Essential Elements of a Successful Onboarding Strategy

A world-class onboarding experience hinges on consistent, seamless, and deeply personalized customer communications. That starts with a welcome email, personalized using data that the customer provided with their application.

Next, personalized interactive video helps each customer to clearly understand their new policy, without necessarily poring over all the details in printed form. Personalized features about a homeowner’s policy, for example, might mention special coverages, exclusions, or riders. Interactive video can collect additional input from the policyholder, such as adjustments to coverage or add-on services.

Insurance carriers can also use video to familiarize users with self-service portals and mobile apps, as well as to select their preferred methods of communication.  To make self-service a positive experience, many carriers are implementing intelligent chatbots, integrated with relevant customer information and communications history, and capable of seamlessly handing off inquiries to a live agent.

Proactive follow-up is also critical. Text messages to policyholders serve to confirm that each customer has the information they need and knows how to get answers to any remaining questions. Personalization ensures that each client receives the messages, reminders, and educational content relevant to them.

Integrated digital customer communications management (CCM) delivers undeniable value to the bottom line.  When UK-based Geoffrey Insurance Services implemented personalized interactive videos as part of their CCM strategy, 74% of customers reported a positive experience, saying that the videos made them feel that the company cares about them.

Integrated CCM is driving higher customer retention rates and helping carriers reduce their operating costs. A large P&C insurer consolidated its communications processes, automating print functions and streamlining in-house services to achieve $1 million in annual savings. The company reduced the number of wireframes used by over 90%.

Let Precisely Help You with Proactive Tools

From a customer’s perspective, the onboarding process often defines their relationship with your company. Companies that deliver a fully integrated, personalized customer experience will stand apart from the competition, winning long-term customer loyalty by making a strong first impression.

EngageOneTM Customer Engagement Solutions from Precisely provide everything you need to optimize your policyholders’ onboarding experience.

  • EngageOneTM RapidCX provides a unified CCM platform to personalize, automate, and audit customer communications in data-intensive, highly regulated industries, including insurance.
  • EngageOneTM Communicate helps companies streamline the process of designing and delivering personalized, interactive communications across video, chatbots, email, SMS, and PDF.
  • EngageOneTM Compose helps you engage customers throughout their lifecycle with relevant, engaging, and consistent communications that always meet their needs
  • EngageOneTM Digital Self-Service empowers your customers to help themselves quickly and effortlessly. That’s what today’s customers want. In fact, according to Gartner, 85% of customers will never interact with your brand on a direct person-to-person basis.
  • EngageOneTM Enrichment is a print-stream engineering and output management solution that simplifies advanced distribution strategies, both for hard-copy printing and digital documents. With the ability to instantly control your active print streams, Enrichment makes it easy to change, update, and enhance your documents.

Want to learn more about getting started with integrated CCM for your company? Download our free white paper, How to Optimize the P&C Insurance Onboarding Experience.