Industry Trends

Four 2020 Customer Experience Predictions for Independent Agencies

By Matt O'Neill, CXO

As 2019 comes to a close, it’s a time when many of us reflect back on the year we have had and forecast on the year to come.  Today, I thought it would be best to lay out four predictions that I see on the horizon in 2020.

After reading the list below, I would love to know, are there trends you think I’ve missed? 

Here are four 2020 customer experience predictions for independent agencies:

1. More focus will be put on the employee experience

With a tight labor market, and a shortage of millennials to fill the gap left by retiring agents, agency leaders will need to look inwards and begin to get creative with how they attract top talent.  Building a culture that is appealing to prospects, clients and current and future employees will lead to agency durability.

2. There will be an increase in marketing and advertising professionals entering the industry

One of the most common questions I get asked while working with agents and brokers is, “How do I fill my pipeline more effectively?”  I believe we can all agree that what has worked in the past, is not working so well today.  As consumers continue to be more wary of unknown callers and distrust grows between buyers and corporations, agencies will turn to marketing and advertising professionals to rebuild that trust and highlight the key points of differentiation and value at the agency.

3. Technology dependency will grow, but not effectively

A recent study by Salesforce states that 23% of service organizations used chatbots in 2019 but that number will increase to 53% in 2020.  That’s a 136% increase.  When technology is leveraged well, it means humans will have more relevant and customized data on each customer, leading to a more personalized customer experience.   Unfortunately, while organizations understand the importance of delivering a premium customer experience, many lack the desire to benchmark their customer’s experience.  This leads to buying solutions before diagnosing the problem.

4. Self-help solutions will continue to enter the market and become more popular

A report by Nuance enterprise says that 75% of customers believe self-help is more convenient to resolve simple issues, and 67% of consumers preferred self-help tools over human support.  As the demands on the agent increase from a new business and retention perspective, agencies are going to identify ways to meet the customers where they are and provide services and solutions that give the consumer more control when an immediate need arises.  This will come in the form of more web portals or mobile apps.

Based on the list above, what are you most excited for?  Like any industry, financial services continues to evolve bringing with it many opportunities and challenges.  Continuing to think strategically, offer a differentiated service, and leading with a commitment to serve your community first, is the best way to manage the wave of change that continues to transform the insurance landscape. 

Learn more about the author, Matt O'Neill.

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