Article | Business Relationships

Insurance Companies That Show Empathy Will Win Hearts ... and Customer Loyalty

Mariah Olson
Insurance agent meeting with customers at desk
Insurance agent meeting with customers at desk

On the surface, insurance seems to be about risk, compliance, and regulations. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that it’s really about protecting people during some of their more important moments. Knowing this, you have a wonderful opportunity to establish stronger connections with clients by leaning into empathy to improve their insurance customer experience.

What is empathy in business? Empathy helps us understand one another’s emotions and circumstances. In business environments, it can be tempting to ignore emotional aspects in favor of processes. But consumers are humans (and so are you!), so developing an emotional connection is important to building relationships with customers.

Recently, empathy has arisen as a powerful brand differentiator. McKinsey research shows that customers appreciate it when companies take their needs into consideration. When you care about their interests, they respond by rewarding you with immediate purchases and long-term loyalty.

Of course, improving customer experience in insurance via a boost of emotional intelligence won’t happen without a plan. For starters, make plans for your associates to spend more time with the people they serve. Whether over the phone, email, text message or in-person, human interactions bring the people of your company to the forefront of the buying decision. And people still buy from people they know, like and trust.

3 Empathetic Ways to Improve the Insurance Customer Experience

Try the following strategies to bring more empathy into the insurance customer journey.

1. Make connecting simple.

The insurance world is filled with tons of disruptive technology. Nevertheless, you can’t count on bots to drive unparalleled customer experiences. Sometimes, customers want to reach another human, and they want to do it effortlessly.

Think about the many ways and channels that customers reach you. Are there any that could be sped up or streamlined? Are there new technologies that should be considered for quick information or answering FAQs? When someone wants to speak with someone directly, have you made that easy, or have you hidden behind a questionnaire that frustrates customers? Revisit your customer journey maps to make sure you have accounted for how customers want to find information and when and how they want to interact with real human beings. Make it simple for your customers so their effort is minimal when they need you.

2. Encourage associates to make clients feel special and important.

Few insurance companies make a big deal about their clients’ big days. You can be the exception by sending a birthday card or email, or making a phone call just to say “Good job!” or “Congratulations!” Make no mistake: Your insurance brand will stand out.

Brainstorm with your team about special touchpoints to connect with customers. A great example could be to send out well wishes on the anniversary of your customer buying their first policy with you. Or let’s say a number of your customers are military personnel and veterans. On Veterans’ Day, why not remember them with heartfelt, mailed greetings? Other holidays that can work as well are Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or even fun recognitions like “We love having you as a customer” on Valentine's Day.

Worried this may be too hard to master? Hallmark Business Connections can help by creating a custom website filled with the customer connections tools of your choice. We heard back from one of our partners whose employee sent a card in the mail to a client having a tough time. The client wrote back saying the card made them cry “to know someone (outside of the family) cared.” It is truly amazing what an unexpected card to do for your customer experience.

A. Smith

[My agent] always remembers us on special holidays. Great to know what a kind and thoughtful agent and company we have. It’s the little things that matter :).

Floyd's Designs

You know you have the best insurance agent when you get a Thanksgiving card!! No, not Christmas, but Thanksgiving–just saying thanks for being a customer. #thankyou #alwaysagoodneighbor

3. Find partners to help with your customer experience marketing and support.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of adding empathetic gestures, know that you don’t have to go it alone. Instead, join forces with partners that can help you pull off a more customer-centric approach.

Hallmark Business Connections would be happy to make it simple for you to dash off greetings, cheer, and condolences to customers. Our proprietary platform can give your agents access to a wide variety of business greeting cards. We can even help with printing messages in our proprietary handwriting fonts, plus addressing and mailing. Cards go out in a timely fashion, and no one has to find stamps! Best of all, you could see a 10% bump in performance by making Hallmark cards part of your insurance customer experience.

Life isn’t always easy for your customers. However, you can make sure their interactions with you are simple and rewarding — just by showering them with some well-deserved empathy.

Want to hear more about how to improve customer experience with our exclusive, unforgettable partner solutions? Learn about Hallmark's Customer Care solution now.