7 steps to a user-friendly sales process in insurance and banking
It goes without saying that a user-friendly sales process is a critical differentiator, especially in competitive fields like insurance and banking, but sometimes it can be hard to judge where your company stands on the UX scale. What is certain is that there’s always room for improvement and new ways to provide your customers an even better experience with your company. It can be easier than you think—we’ve put together a list of seven simple steps that you can use to improve the customer experience in your sales process that can also help you retain your customers in the long term.
1. Understand your customer's needs
One of the most common mistakes that insurance and banking providers make is assuming that they understand their customers' needs without investing resources to verify their assumptions. That’s a huge mistake. You may end up investing significant time and effort in trying to sell customers an attractive product or service that simply doesn’t meet their needs, and end up driving them away in the process.
Instead of thinking of how to sell your customers everything that you have to offer, focus on pinpointing what your customers really need. Don’t confuse them with offerings that aren’t relevant to them, or burden them with providing detailed information about an offering before they have expressed interest in it. Try to make it easy for them to navigate to the information and offerings that are most relevant to them, streamlining information rather than overloading them.
Don’t forget that every customer is unique and there is no one size fits all, so it’s important to make interactions personal. Ask questions that will help you understand your customers’ unique needs, and build a relationship with them. Don’t send out general offers—use the information you already have about the customer or potential customer to personalize your offers and suggestions for them.
2. Streamline the process for customers to buy insurance or banking products
Buying insurance and banking products is usually a complex process that’s heavy on the paperwork. However, there are numerous ways you can simplify the process for your customers by eliminating any unnecessary steps. For example, don’t ask customers to provide the same information multiple times, in every step of the process. Instead, use smart defaults in your forms wherever possible to simplify them and prevent mistakes.
Transforming clunky paperwork into a digital process can also make things much simpler for your customers. For example, customers can easily sign documents electronically with eSignatures rather than printing, signing, and scanning documents. This is not only more convenient for customers, but it’s also more efficient for your company.
Think about a common form field like date—if the form has an autofill of today’s date it will be correct in the vast majority of cases, and save your customer the hassle of filling it in. It’s easy to change if needed, and you prevent the risk of the user making a typo or other type of error when filling in the field.
Active interaction is also important. It’s not enough to respond to queries that your customers initiate, you also want to build workflows that will help them get back on track if they get stuck somewhere in the process. For example, if a customer is filling out an online form and stops in the middle, but leaves the browser open, they won’t want to start from scratch when they return to the form. Having a feature that allows users to access saved versions of forms or autosave data automatically can do a lot to enhance user convenience.
Streamlining goes beyond the forms themselves—it’s also important to coordinate expectations. Customers may have a limited amount of time available, so let them know approximately how long each step is expected so they can make an educated decision regarding whether or not they have time to finish it at this moment and don’t waste time on processes that they can’t complete.
3. Use clear and concise language on all forms and documents
Your customer is on your website for a reason—they’re there to get something done, and they want to complete the process as quickly as possible. That means that the flowery, wordy language that many of us perceive as polite isn’t what they need. Rather, they need to understand exactly what they need to do with nothing to confuse them along the way.
Remember, your website isn’t a novel. Your customers aren’t there to be entertained or to expand their intellectual horizons. More is not better—text that doesn’t help them accomplish their goal is actually detrimental to their experience.
Also, keep in mind that your customers aren’t professionals in your field. Don’t assume that they understand industry terms and lingo that you use daily in your company. Instead, choose laymen’s terms that any person can understand. If you’re not sure, imagine a friend or family member filling out the form—would they understand it? If not, change your wording.
4. Make it easy for customers to navigate your website and find what they need
The more products and services your company offers, the easier it is for potential customers to get lost on your website. That’s why one of the most important things you can do is to make it simple for each customer to find what he or she needs on your website quickly and easily.
The best way to accomplish that goal is to address your customers' needs. Don’t start with showcasing all that you have to offer—that can confuse visitors to your website. Start by giving them 2-3 choices that lead them to the sections in your website where they are most likely to find what they are looking for. Ask them questions about their goals that will allow them to find their way according to what they need, not what you have.
5. Test your website and sales processes regularly with real users
Once you have everything set up, you can pat yourself on the back, right? Wrong. Even with the best planning, mistakes happen and things slip through the cracks. The only way to ensure that you’ve crossed all your Ts and dotted all your Is is by testing, testing, and testing again.
Testing isn’t just QA—ideally, you should test all your sales processes with real users. You’ll learn a lot from the feedback they have to offer and gain insights that will help you better meet their needs. Testing is key to creating a better user experience, so ideally, it’s something that you should do on an ongoing basis to continue to optimize and meet changing needs and circumstances.
6. Train your staff on how to provide excellent customer service
Websites and apps only go so far—there will always be circumstances in which a customer needs to interact with someone on your team. In some cases, that person will be a sales professional, but not always. Your customer may also work with staff members from your technical support team, your finance department, or other parts of your organization.
When that happens, you want them to experience the same seamless, user-friendly experience that they had in their digital interactions. In order for that to happen, it’s important to train all staff members, including those whose primary activity isn’t customer-facing, in the principles and techniques of excellent customer service.
7. Think digital journey—not one-time interaction
A digital journey is exactly that—a journey. That’s why your sales process shouldn’t be an isolated, one-time transaction that concludes with the sale. Instead, it can be helpful to think of it as the beginning of a relationship between you and your customer.
[.emph]The digital shift is critical to brand loyalty, keeping up with technology, improving their sales funnel, and making your processes more efficient.[.emph]
As you develop the relationship, it’s always a good idea to meet your customers where they feel comfortable by enabling interaction on multiple channels. Customers have different preferences—some prefer to connect on their favorite social media platform, others want to text or email, and others may want to chat on the company website. That’s why it’s important to be available on all channels.
A digital journey platform makes it easier to build the right digital journey for your customers. Instead of building every element from scratch, you can easily implement components like eSignatures and smart forms that meet the strictest levels of security and privacy. Even better— using a no-code or low-code platform for your customer digital journey enables you to leverage the talents of employees with minimal technical expertise and build an agile system without adding additional resources.
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