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Customers aren’t receiving memorable customer experiences when dealing with large insurance companies, according to a recent study by sales automation software provider Velocify.
According to the study, 17% of online requests for quotes never received a response of any kind. A staggering 39% never received a phone call and more than one-third did not receive an email response. Just 44% of inquiries received at least one phone call and one email from the seller.
A few years ago, Velocify commissioned a secret shopper study to find out how effectively insurance companies respond to online inquiries. It recently conducted a second secret shopper study that focused on responses to online quote requests on 25 of the largest property and casualty insurance companies.
The companies in the study included direct-to-consumer carriers, insurance carriers that use captive agents for selling, and independent agencies who generally sell products from many carriers.
According to the report, it’s surprising that a higher percentage of inquiring buyers did not receive an email within seconds or minutes of quote request. Previous Velocify research revealed that the optimal time to email a new inquiring buyer is 20 minutes after a lead is received.
Therefore, insurance companies that email a prospective buyer within seconds or minutes are maximizing their marketing dollars. Nevertheless, of the 66% of inquiring insurance buyers that received an email, the average wait time was 22 hours, which is much longer than the recommended best practice.
Of 150 quote inquiries submitted to insurance companies in this study, 15% received an email within seconds, while 28% received an email within minutes. Almost 20% of inquiring buyers received an email hours or days after requesting a quote. A few inquiries went without email response until weeks later and one third never received an email communication from the seller.
There is much room for improvement when it comes to responding to online leads, the study shows. Advertising spend in the insurance industry is at an all-time high with more than $5.8 billion spent by the industry.
To ensure maximum return on marketing investment, the study says that proper lead response is more important now than ever.
“Top insurance companies have much to gain from improving their response strategies and smaller competitors have considerable opportunity to compete through better response to buyer inquiries,” the study says. “Ultimately, potential policy holders who show interest by requesting a quote or more information online, expect to hear back from insurance companies in a timely manner and with appropriate persistence. Given best practices and buyer expectations, responding two days and eight hours after an inquiring buyer shows interest should be considered unacceptable in any industry. Taking advantage of the insights gleaned from this study, insurance companies will be able to better meet customer expectations and make the most of their marketing investments.”
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