Colin Jowell

General insurance is a very competitive industry. Few can match it in terms of the number of players, and the variety of approaches.

Many will relate to the challenge of trying to break into a category with very established players who, for better or worse, are large and trustworthy.

New and innovative approaches are often seen as the way, and in Insurance, outside of the established brands, there is a clutter of new aggressive entrants. Allianz, Budget (or “Boo zjay,” as they like to say in their advertising), Bingle and more- no doubt you have seen them tout for your business.  This has just driven switching, with most customers not happy with their choice- new does not equal better.

But one standout from the pack is Youi. With some of the most positive attitude scores we measured in the study, a Youi customer in the 18-39 age bracket is twice as likely to recommend their brand highly than an Allianz customer, which is quite something when you consider the global pedigree of the Allianz brand.

To find out what might be driving these scores, we conducted a mystery shop into Youi – and uncovered an experience that holds some good lessons for any business:

  • A simple compelling promise beyond just price. Sure, Youi promises to be cheaper. But they tell you very clearly why they will be cheaper- because they ask more questions about you to ensure the premium is right for you. Not only does this justify the value, it actually does it in a way that protects the business. The longer application process and potential for greater exclusions is brilliantly sold as a benefit to the customers.
  • Integrate your channels. As soon as you start an online application, the call-centre will kick in and call you at a certain point.  It’s worth pointing out here that I personally believe they should capture more information online as it’s actually more convenient for the user, but the integration between the website and the call centre is to be commended. It gives the sense of a connected, responsive organization, right from the get go.
  • Follow up with care. An e-mail quote is followed up with a call and a further e-mail. This might sound like harassment, but the tone is set right - they remember things you asked for, how ready you were to buy, and pick up the conversation where you left off. So it’s hard sell sure, but done with a degree of recognition that makes all the difference

Things to think about:

  • Could you make a more transparent promise to customers?
  • Is what you are hiding really benefitting your business?
  • Have you thought about your customer’s journey- and how your online and offline world connect in a way that makes your experience more convenient?
  • Do you let your leads grow cold? Do you make sure you acknowledge prior contact and information if you do follow up?