Ian Ferguson, customer solutions director at Aviva, explains why a digital focus is essential.
What does digital mean for you? For me it means speed and choice.
I can go online and search for information any time day or night, transfer money, order, buy and receive items all on the same day - even travel 'virtually' around the world, and all through a variety of channels.
So if those are my expectations and I am a consumer then why would our customers' or brokers' expectations be any different?
It's why at Aviva we continue to focus on delivering a strong digital strategy because if we are to be the insurer of choice we need to be agile and adapt to provide the sort of service our customers and brokers want and that includes providing multiple ways for them to engage with us, whether that is phone, web, App, Live Chat or anything in between!
And it is important that brokers embrace the opportunities the digital environment offers too.
It is no longer enough to simply have a telephone listing online. Customers want to 'see' who they are dealing with, understand what the company stands for and what it offers.
They expect to be able to find that information online so it stands to reason that anyone without a website is clearly missing out on an engagement opportunity with potential customers!
Whilst there are significant numbers of brokers embracing digital opportunities there are also a number who are not there yet.
My advice would be that if you don't already have one then now is the time to consider putting together a digital strategy, looking at how you want your customers to engage with you.
Time-poor and techno-savvy customers want instant access to advice so having a website is only part of the story.
Think of the number of times each day you probably use an App or search engine.
So it's a good idea to make sure any website is built around customer needs, for example providing an opportunity for the customer to ask questions online, offering advice on the different insurance options and providing risk management advice.
It is an excellent way to demonstrate the value you can bring.
As part of your strategy consider whether social media can play a role.
The chances are your customers are already on the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn so could you use that route to share information such as bad weather advice or any other practical tips that they'd find of value?
Of course the key to successful social media engagement is to remember that it is constantly operating 'in the moment' so there is no value to just dipping in and out - it is important to keep the content updated regularly and respond quickly to any queries or requests from your followers.
In summing up, the key to a successful digital strategy is to make sure you know what works best for you and your customers, review your plans regularly to keep them current and really embrace the digital opportunities that exist.
Ian Ferguson is customer solutions director at Aviva and part of the Insurance Age digital broker growth campaign FinTech Futures.
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