RSA has publically committed itself to becoming the world’s first truly social insurer, but what does that actually mean? What can our customers and partners expect to see from us, and how do we plan to do it?
First of all it’s not about getting the most likes or followers on Twitter and Facebook. These are things that might happen as a result of delivering great service and engaging with customers, but if you chase the numbers themselves, that could be all you get. Nor is it about sending out more adverts and ‘content’ to customers via new channels, just to get eyeballs. Advertising and brand awareness are important, but only if it’s targeted at the right people at the right time and delivering a relevant message that helps customers to actually engage.
Engagement is the point. Social media is about building connections and developing relationships: things that people don’t tend to do with an insurance company outside of the conventional renewal cycle and claim scenario. And that’s where we can make the biggest difference. We want customers to think of their insurance company not as an just emergency service or financial compensation when something goes wrong, but as someone they can talk to about the things they care about, before, when and after it happens.
To do that requires internal investment first. We’re building a social culture, investing in tools such as Yammer to get our employees communicating, sharing and co-creating organically within the internal environment, ready to translate that way of working to include external partners and customers.
Ultimately we’ll be measuring ourselves against four key areas:
- Customer service
- Sales & profit
- Cost reduction
- Brand engagement
Social customer service means more than just responding to complaints via Twitter -although that’s a vital first step - and we’re already finding that done well this can turn a negative customer experience into a positive one. For us, it means proactively seeking ways of helping our customers – for example, pointing them in the right direction for advice on flood preparedness or pet health. It doesn’t replace existing customer service channels, but as more customers adopt a Social First approach, we have to be ahead of them and ready to engage on the right platforms, supporting and helping, not telling or selling.
Which brings us to sales and profit. There’s no shame in admitting to a financial driver in social, but it’s not about one-way promotion. Yes, we will continue to advertise where appropriate but the social sales agenda is more about how we can enable customers to access insurance via new platforms and increase retention of existing customers by delivering value-added services via social channels.
We’re also looking at the bottom line. We can reduce cost and pass on benefits to customers by using social platforms to deliver service that by conventional channels can take longer and cost more to deliver. Again, this doesn’t mean that we push customers away from the phone, but instead we encourage adoption by delivering a service via alternative channels that for customers who want it, is easier, faster or better.
Lastly brand engagement. RSA has many brands globally, but the thread that holds them together is our promise to make things better, together. All social media platforms are built on increasing ‘togetherness’ in some way, and it’s our opportunity to make that a benefit that customers really value. Whether we’re delivering insurance direct, on behalf of a partner brand or a broker, we want to work with them to offer a joined up service that delivers on that promise. We’ll partner with brokers and affinity brands to support each other’s social initiatives, co-creating tools, guidance and advice to help our customers to engage with their insurer on less of a transactional basis and get more value from us.
To be the world’s first at anything is a challenge, and we’ve deliberately set our sights high because we believe there’s a great opportunity here for us and our customers to get more from insurance. So watch this space to see what a truly social insurer looks like – and if you’re a broker with similar aspirations, let’s talk.