In a modern world, with modern customers, Esurance understands that people prefer to receive help differently—whether that’s calling a knowledgeable expert or getting immediate assistance online through live chat.
In days past, insurance customers had no other option but to call or visit an insurance agent to enroll, manage their account or make a claim. That was the nature of the age-old industry.
But now, more insurance brands are paying attention to where today’s customers are. Consumers are “always on” their smartphones, online when ofFine. As they research and make purchases on the go, they expect easy access to self-service and live assistance. According to Forrester Research, 73 percent of U.S. online adults say “valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service.” Forrester also found that 53 percent of consumers will abandon an online purchase if they cannot and quick answers to their questions.
Providing self-service options is critical, but even the most independent customers may eventually need some human interaction, including when it comes to insurance matters. Past research has shown that although 46 percent of customers prefer self-service, half contact an agent 3 to clarify information or help them make the right choice.
So, should insurance brands then send these tech-savvy independent thinkers to a traditional channel for assistance? Today’s consumer wants instant gratification, and waiting on hold on the phone is not going to suffice. The necessary human contact can be provided efficiently in the form of live chat. In a blog post earlier this year, Forrester's VP and principal analyst, Kate Leggett, noted that online chat adoption among customers has risen from 38 percent in 2009 to 65 percent in 2015—a sign that customers are discovering how quickly they can be connected to agents with the right skills to answer their questions.