A recent study by Accenture shows that customer loyalty is at an all-time low in the insurance industry. The research evidences that we have entered a “switching economy,” or a mindset where the majority of insurance consumers will move business at the drop of a hat…cutting out the intermediary for direct writers or online service providers. This study shows that:
- Only 22 percent of clients are strongly loyal to their insurance providers, and
- Only 27 percent of consumers regard providers of insurance as trustworthy
Think of the statistics as a wake-up call to reinvigorate the customer and associate experience journey within your firm. In a fast-paced world where consumers are researching and buying online instantly, a potent strategy for generating client and employee loyalty and fighting attrition is creating a personalized experience based on corporate empathy.
So, what is empathy and why is it so important to you? Empathy is best defined as the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another person.
Henry Ford once said, “If there is any great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to put yourself in another person’s place and see things from his or her point of view.”
Far too many business leaders do not appreciate the value of empathy. They view empathy and programs that support the concept as overtly feminine, touchy-feely, soft, and unnecessary add-ons rather than a core business strategy. Sadly, these well-intentioned professionals see empathy as an intangible quality that is difficult to measure and quantify. This is so unfortunate as the need to engage in authentic, face-to-face dialogue supported by empathy has never been more important. To put it simply, without making empathy part of your business model, your future success is at risk.