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Life Insurance companies need to improve their websites, Forrester’s study finds

Life Insurance companies need to improve their websites, Forrester’s study finds

The number of people who conduct research online before making a purchase decision continues to increase each year. Your company website is more important than ever to your bottom line as digital touch points are continuing to reshape the customer journey and the way that Canadians are researching and buying life insurance.

In a recent study, Toronto based Forrester Research used their Digital Sales Functionality Benchmark methodology to evaluate the digital functionality of leading Canadian life insurance companies, and how well they are using digital touch points to win new business. The evaluations were categorized into three stages of the client experience journey:

  • Discover: Make it easy for prospects to find relevant coverage details quickly
  • Explore: Help prospects research and find the right coverage
  • Buy: Simplify the application and sale
Results of the Study

Overall, the study found that most of Canada’s largest life insurance companies are doing a poor job of helping prospects find adequate information online about life insurance. The study also found that these life insurance firms are less effective in helping consumers pick the right coverage and Advisor.

The study evaluated the public websites of four Canadian life insurance companies:  Great-West Life Assurance based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Empire Life Insurance based in Kingston, Ontario, and Toronto based Sun Life, Kanetix, and Manufacturers Life Insurance (Manulife).

Sun Life earned the top score of 75 out of 100 in the study. The report outlines how Sun Life communicates its strong value proposition, its ability to help clients navigate information to suit their needs and inform their choices, and the support it offers to clients looking for an advisor with a strong advisor locator tool. On the contrary, the study found that all of the companies have a ways to go to improve their websites, as the average industry score was only 47 out of 100. Forrester found that most of the other companies’ websites were inadequate in terms of providing tools to connect clients with local Advisors.

Given Advisors represent the most popular channel among Canadians to purchase life insurance, it is surprising that most websites fall short in terms of providing prospects with tools to connect clients with Advisors. A strong Advisor locator tool could help translate into more sales. One of the goals of a website is to take away the work from your prospects, making it as easy as possible to do what they want to do. The easier it is to complete an action, the more likely that action is to be completed.

Additionally, the report found the other areas of improvement include:

  • Tools to help clients and prospects get a quote and fill out an insurance application.
  • Information and tools to help prospects determine what type of coverage suits them, and how much.
  • After getting prospects attention, converting that attention into a sale.

The Forrester report explains that Life Insurance companies must address the cross-touchpoint shopping behaviors that exists in the life insurance market. Consumers are moving outside of the traditional buyer journey by changing the way they research and buy products. They are using digital touch points to research their options and move themselves through the buyer journey. Life insurance companies must respond to this new customer journey with a well designed, easy to navigate website, with clear calls to action. This is one of the most important factors in attracting and converting the new digital life insurance customer.