As a Marketing professional with an #insurtech company, my eyes are now opened to all the intricacies that insurers endeavor to optimize to enhance consumer experiences. Working for an organization (Next Level Solutions) that implements software, we help support the integrity of websites; we code, we test, we manage, and we maintain the programs which make it easier for customers to interact with a carrier. Services like the ones performed at Next Level Solutions are responsible for ensuring that when a consumer needs to fill out a form, receive an insurance quote or access an account, the software is reactive, responsive and delivers a seamless, simple, digital experience. In some ways, this has made me more empathetic to the multitude of backend tasks it takes to ensure a website is easy to use. But, because I’m a technology user, I expect certain things when I visit a URL – particularly one that would help me make informed decisions for necessary insurance.
When we use technology, there are things we expect. When a company asks me to input my address, I want the convenience of autofill once I start typing in the street number. Because I’ve seen this magic on other sites, my mind expects it to show up whenever I need it. However, I found out from a developer here at NLS, that the address fill-in functionality is a specific integration from Pitney Bowes, and it needs to be paid for and integrated by a skilled person. The fact that I know this helps me understand the tech world a bit more – but since most of the population isn’t privy to such things, other people wanting certain functionalities on a website may just end up frustrated when their expectations aren’t met.
In a perfect world, if I were shopping for, let’s say, car insurance, I’d love to be able to hop around to different websites and get a quote – without having to hand over my email address. I know this sounds ironic, since I’m a marketer. It is, in fact, part of our job to collect emails and other contact information so that we can stay connected to our prospects. However, probably because I am a marketer, I want to gather information without giving away my own personal data. I want all the convenience and none of the hassle. So, while price will always be paramount, an insurance company that meets basic technology accommodations may end up with my business.
Want to make me swoon while I shop for an insurance quote? Promise me a digital insurance card I can easily access on my phone. Talk to me like a human because you ARE a human and not a chatbot that stumbles its way through a poor excuse for customer service. And most importantly – show me that you care – about my user experience on your website, about my future plans, about what I can really afford, and make me believe that insurance isn’t as daunting as a task to take care of as we’ve all been taught to believe.
Now that I work in insurtech and share office space with developers, I know that not all tech solutions are able to satisfy everyone all the time. As system integrators, we do, however, collaborate, communicate and conceptualize with our clients constantly, to help identify solutions designed to meet as many requirements and consumer demands as possible.
You may notice at times when you’re on the internet doing your thing, that a website may work perfectly one day, and will drive you crazy the next. Maybe you’re getting a 404-error page, or your shopping cart isn’t saving your items. Maybe the insurance quote you’re attempting to get is asking you questions about your property in Colorado, but you live in Maine. And this may cause you to close your tab and head back to Google to find a new company with a website that is operating on all cylinders. I’ve done it myself. As a culture, we want our information fast and accurate, and when something is hard to find, we know we can discover it elsewhere from a business site without bugs and glitches. I remember asking a Quality Analyst at work if a website was ever just done – without any more worries. The quick answer is always no. Technology is incredibly useful, but so far, it is never perfect. Humans at NLS are constantly testing functionality and looking for ways to enhance the customer experience. And, of course, laws and requirements for insurance change, state by state – and all scenarios must be considered.
So, what’s the bottom line? As a technology consumer (which includes all of us,) you should always be pushing for what you want. You don’t have to lower your expectations and grind through a frustrating website. You can keep in mind, however, that robots have not taken over the world (yet,) and while technology is beautiful, it is not fail-safe. For now, we can continue to empathize with the humans doing the legwork so that your page loads quickly, and drop-down menus display flawlessly. My teammates at NLS do this for a living, and from what I’ve heard, they love it.