Insurance firms should leverage new media

The Nigerian insurance industry contributes a ‘whooping’ one per cent to the National GDP. What a contribution from an industry! The insurance gap today is 96 per cent. In other words, one insurance scheme covers less than five per cent of the entire population. Customers tend to paint the insurance business in the country so badly.

When a customer shares his bad experience with another  potential customer, the ‘virus’ spreads. Your foot marketers may not be able to correct the impression the industry has created; which affects serious businesses.

For insurance companies, their destiny is in their hands. So, let them create their own impression. Let them start with their existing customers on a platonic basis. Indeed, the place to do that is the social media.

Selling is the most difficult aspect of marketing and the insurance business is all about sales.

Even with a bad reputation it is impossible to make ‘good’ sales.  Often, companies forget that today’s marketing is all about relationships. For every relationship, communication is very important.

Both parties must  always share their thoughts, views and ideas. That is where word-of-mouth advertisement comes in. Customer’s word-of-mouth advertisement has painted the insurance industry bad. Chief Executive Officers of insurance firms should come to terms with the fact that when their customers have had bad experiences, they share it like every other party do in a relationship. What is the solution? Here:

– Follow marketing properly (be honest).

– Develop your strategies (maintain your relationship).

–  When you get there, strive to keep your customers.

To make the industry better, you can use the social media platform to your advantage. Let us look at two common social media platforms for this exercise:

Facebook: This is the most common social media platform in Nigeria – with over 15 million users.

Your customers and prospective customers make a great percentage of the 15 million people. Since many people are doubtful about anything insurance in Nigeria, then switch your approach to make them friends like those that I said earlier.

Discuss a wide array of topics, including maintaining vehicles, home safety tips, life insurance tips, healthy living tips, current event-themed posts and more.

This draws them closer and then they can listen to other things you want to say. It is not a hidden truth that Nigerians are skeptical about anything insurance; so your friendship matters.

Twitter: You can use the Twitter platform to link pertinent information and push quick updates. Due to the 140-character limit, posts typically comprise hyperlinked resources or other relevant pages for additional information. Twitter is one of the fastest growing social platforms in the country.

Its users quickly share information via this platorm because of its concise nature. Likewise, you can share your policies information through this medium.

Many insurance companies in the country have come up with different insurance products. Recently, I came across such a product called ‘Takaful insurance’. Another insurance firm called its own ‘Micro insurance.’ Great products!

Though the packaging of these products differs, customers still have their fears. Like almost every company executive will say, “We are social. We have social platforms on our websites.” How well are you using social media? Can you boast quality engagement? What is your Return on Social? The insurance companies should note these:

Being social is about simplicity: A typical insurance policy document is not simple. The terms are difficult to explain. They are ambiguous. Customers are not interested. Being social helps your customers to understand the documents; though, the insurance companies prepare these policies deliberately. Make it brief.

Make it simple. Today’s customers need answers; let them ask you via your social platforms and answer them socially.

–  Invitation to treat/bargain: The business of the 21st century is customer-centric. You need social media to get there. Do not throw your advert message on social expecting your customers to start using your product, reach out to them first.

Imagine telling someone who is tracking or towing his broken-down vehicle that it is free on your motor insurance. It brings them closer and then they want to listen. Your helping hand had preceded your selling hand.

If a policyholder is insuring his fear to minimise his risks, then insurance company should take more risks by going social to salvage the company.

 If you are not scared of insuring you own fears, then, go social.

 

 

Source: Punch (by Bankole Adedeji)

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