Digital Customer Experience: Designing for Personas

One of the hottest topics in P&C technology today is customer experience – and how digital engagement can put carriers on equal footing with the consumer brands that have fundamentally changed customer expectations. However, too often I hear vague, general discussions about customer experience rather than a focus on specific customer expectations. To create digital customer experiences that provide real solutions, we need to be thinking in terms of each customer’s persona or role.  In our world, this comes down to individual consumers, business clients, and brokers.

Much progress has been made on the mechanics of the consumer experience, such as giving insureds the ability to pre-populate all the details about their cars by simply entering their license plate number into a quoting app. Intuitive user interfaces are becoming the new normal, with the use of chatbots on the rise and mobile applications reaching ubiquity. Huddle Insurance ( is a good example of a fresh, intuitive, and rich user interface in Australia powered by Duck Creek solutions.

User experience and support for brokers is an area that has seen significant evolution globally. One good example is Ztrade by Zurich UK, an online portal that reduced quoting time to a broker to 60 seconds; see it in action here. It gives brokers the ability to provide rapid indicative quotes, process new business, and make mid-term adjustments without needing to involve Zurich where product underwriting rules allow, all while including excellent online support.

One group that is ripe for improvement is business clients, users looking for more self-service – especially in small and medium enterprises. Possible advances here could be similar to the ones highlighted in the Ztrade example. Furthermore, more work can and should be done to streamline data exchange between businesses and brokers; carriers treating corporate insureds more like individual consumers will go a long way toward winning and retaining commercial lines business.

While consumers, businesses, and brokers are a good start, increasingly segmented and refined user types are clearly the way of the future. Accenture published a great study in 2017 on various customer segments and their expectations of insurers. From this research, Accenture identified three primary customer types; Nomads, Hunters, and Quality Seekers:

  • Nomads: A highly digitally active group, ready for a new model of delivery
    • They want flexible, personalized models
    • They are ready to transition to a new digital model
    • They want to do more on their own, with agents involved later in the buying process
    • They want insurers to go beyond indemnification and offer more value
    • They will migrate to non-traditional insurance firms and models readily
  • Hunters: Value-oriented customers searching for the best deal on price
    • They want to use specialist insurers
    • They are primarily driven to seek maximum value for their money
    • They believe that human advice is vital at key stages
    • They are drawn to carriers that add value through data
  • Quality Seekers: Loyal to insurers that deliver on brand integrity and service excellence
    • They are driven by service and trust
    • They will share more personal data, but only on their own terms
    • They are open to computer-generated advice if it enhances their insurance buying experience

Starting with a high-level understanding of the differences between users you serve is a good first step towards transforming your digital presence, but drilling deeper to identify more precise personas as Accenture did gives a much more detailed view into the wants and needs of your potential customers. The more understanding a company has about the people interacting with it and buying its products, the better positioned that company is to inform the development of its products and the design of its customer experiences. As carriers use more fully-developed personas to inform their digital transformations, expect to see exciting developments at every user touch point.

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