Customer expectations for brand experience are rising. The age of technology has made instant gratification the norm–consumers want 24/7 convenience and availability, delivered when and how it fits their schedule and lifestyle. They also expect that the companies they do business with know them well enough to deliver a personalized experience. A winning strategy requires data and analytics as fuel to power the engine of a customer-driven organization.
Through partnerships with AAA clubs in 23 states and the District of Columbia, CSAA Insurance Group offers automobile, homeowners and other personal lines of insurance to AAA members. Over the past several years, we have made significant transformational investments to replace our core systems, revamp our processes, and upgrade our skillsets. This effort was intended to facilitate a more robust view of the policyholder and a more customized experience. It is also central to our mission of creating members for life by fulfilling our promise to be there when they need us.
An important part of our strategy is attaining a deep understanding of the market and our customers. This enables us to connect product, marketing and distribution to deliver exceptional member transactions, and we closely analyze data to derive insights which inform our activities, experiences and insurance solutions.
While demographic makeup is important, understanding customers goes deeper to include their product and channel preferences. With a wealth of insights and in-market findings from segmentation work we completed several years ago, coupled with fresh research data from more than 20,000 consumers, we developed a new approach that allows us to segment the entire insurance market. This new approach expands our data dimensions to now include shopping attitudes, shopping/switching/bundling behaviors, and risk profile.
The result of the new approach was four discrete consumer segments, which require two strategic approaches: one to protect and grow our core customer base, and the other to invest and innovate to remain strong through market shifts.
These insights and the strategies they drive allow us to continue delivering on the relationship and service needs of our base, while also appealing to the needs and desires of younger and growing segments. It also informs how we build out our channel, technology, and self-service capabilities, and innovate our processes, products, and services.
Our ability to utilize segmentation has also yielded good results by deepening relationships with existing customers, and identifying and targeting new prospects. In addition to a refined segmentation capability made possible through our transformation efforts and investments, we have evolved our approach through access to data, analytics and a full value chain view of policyholder activity.
These capabilities have allowed us to:
• Refine our Target Audience–Accessing both internal and external data has enabled us to create robust profiles and personas, allowing us to address segment needs and preferences, and leading to more efficient and effective communications with our members in their preferred channels.
• Deepen engagement–Analyzing customer data provides valuable insights that enable us to understand how we can deepen these relationships. Based on feedback and usage regarding service interactions, claims, enrollments, and website visits, we gain access to rich data for decision making that informs the products and services policyholders need and want, as well as their expectations of the transaction experience.
• Deliver a consistent, seamless cross-channel experience–The path-to-purchase is no longer linear. Consumers demand the ability to interact and conduct business seamlessly across channels—on the phone, face-to-face, online—at their convenience. We strive to proactively interact with customers when, where and how they want.
• Reduce attrition–Regardless of industry, all businesses struggle with churn/attrition, and understanding the root cause is critical to designing effective retention strategies. Basing the formulation of these activities on available data enables the targeting of ‘big wins,’ while protecting book stability and creating quantifiable outcomes.
The results of these activities reinforce that understanding and meeting customer needs and preferences is not only good for the customer, but good for the overall relationship. For example, key territory findings in the first year following implementation included:
• Reduced cost per policy by 13 percent
• Improved quality of business by 9 percent
• Increased product ownership by more 5 percent
• Improved retention by 3 percent
These positive measures are encouraging, and motivate us to remain committed to understanding customers and leveraging data and analytics throughout the consumer lifecycle. The more we can learn, the better we can prioritize insurance prospects, drive media mix, determine personalized messaging, and leverage preferred channels. Maintaining this focus creates new efficiencies, and ensures continued policyholder relevance.
While the data and analytics journey is never-ending, it is also critical to business success. Even as the bar for performance continues to rise, by taking the time to understand and leverage available marketing tools, platforms and capabilities—always in service to policyholders—it is possible to readily and reliably deliver consistent value and a superior customer experience.