Social Media: A Platform to Increase Sales and Visibility

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1 Social Media: A Platform to Increase Sales and Visibility Prachee Gupta NIIT Technologies White Paper

2 CONTENTS Introduction 3 What is Social Media for Insurers 3 Engaging on Social Media 4 Social Media Implications 4 Social Media Opportunities in the Insurance Value Chain 4 Conclusion 5

3 Introduction The power of social media offers a transformational opportunity for companies, making a significant impact on the way they do business. Social media supplements traditional sources with a wealth of information, providing a significant value proposition. Blogging, networking, and instant messaging facilitate meaningful dialogue between individuals and businesses. Typically, social media allow users to create, distribute and receive specialized content. It also gives control to the end users, where they can provide feedback, participate in discussions and in turn companies can form deeper relationships with customers and increase brand awareness. Many companies have recognized the potential of social media and are slowly waking up to its role in a business context. In May 2012, Facebook alone crossed 850+ million (1) registered users and Twitter over 500 million (1) users. Facebook and Twitter are the most popular and fastest growing social sites with 39% (2) of the American companies having corporate Twitter accounts and 61% (2) of these companies on Facebook. Insurers are increasingly adapting and leveraging social media platforms for business purposes. Social media is seen as a tool that complements the insurance company s business and marketing strategies. The reach of social media is extending every day and insurers have realized the importance of adapting to social media platforms and significantly increasing their online presence. Insurers are considering it extremely critical to monitor all social media activity relating to business, products and brands. Though return on investment for social media initiatives can be difficult to measure, the benefits of communicating with clients regularly creates a consistent message. This whitepaper examines the areas where social media has a significant impact. What is Social Media for Insurers Social media is considered as the most influential marketing tool that allows customers post their experiences, blog and tweet across a range of topics, from their interactions with customer etc. Insurance companies are investing significantly to develop social media capabilities that provide insurers with the opportunity to understand how customers feel about the products and what they can do in order to improve customer satisfaction. C us t o m er s I n s u r e rs Ease of doing Business Anytime, Anywhere. Convenience Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, reduced costs Better Service and understanding of products and options Collaboration Build Relationships, get immediate feedback and gain Loyalty Outlet to opinions, Risk Prevention advice and self expression Interaction Visibility into Trends, opinions and problems. A chance to influence. In the insurance industry the immediate impact of social media is felt among the following key areas: Marketing: Social Media platforms can act as a very strong medium for the marketing of a company s insurance products. It not only reduces the cost of transactions, but also gives insurance companies the opportunity to reach out to prospective buyers. 3

4 Acquire This is an easy and cost-efficient route, when compared to conventional channels like agents, tele-callers and sales representatives. Blogs and interactive sessions can help companies reach prospective buyers very easily. Educate: It is a strong medium for educating customers about the importance of insurance and the suitability of different types and ranges of insurance policies for them. Besides this, the informal style of communication, supported by active content on risk prevention measures (for example, good lifestyle for health, effective self-maintenance for vehicles, and industry best practices for safety) generates the scope for enhanced interaction with customers, which is not possible through conventional channels. Strategic Informational Transactional Infrastructural Collaborate: Providing active customer support through Facebook pages, Twitter and You Tube to existing customers can help companies develop good long-term relationships with them. Analytics: Not only do social media platforms give companies easy access to customers, it also gives them an opportunity to look into trends in the industry. Insurance companies often rely on past data to understand their risk exposure through their insurance products. Gaining insights into future trends is one of the most powerful opportunities to be gained from social media. The experiences and expectations revealed by customers using social media is an unprecedented resource for insurance companies seeking to make decisions. Transactional: Social Media platforms help insurance companies cut the transactional costs involved in acquiring customers and selling insurance products. Informational: The platforms help in building a strong database of prospective and actual customers, along with demographic and behavioral information. Strategic: It is a strategic investment in the long run, considering the changing industry landscape. For example, in the health insurance sector, information about the lifestyles of customers can help companies gain good insight into upcoming trends. With the profile information of the existing and prospective consumers, companies can also design a Dynamic Premium for their customers and gain customer loyalty. Knowledge sharing: These platforms allow knowledge and information sharing within the insurance fraternity. Portals designed for the exclusive use of insurers and agents can help companies share information with each other discreetly, and thrive in the constantly evolving industry landscape. Engaging on Social Media Social media is leveraged within and outside the insurance industry. The key to a successful social media roll-out is to have a road map on where these technologies can be used. At a high level, some focus areas where social media engagements prove beneficial are: Infrastructural: It helps insurance companies build an infrastructure for the shared services offered by the companies. Social Media Implications Even as social media brings a world of opportunities, it also comes with its own set of challenges for companies. Some of the key challenges while implementing social media include: With customers sharing a lot of their personal information on the web, it is extremely important to take care of the security of the information stored online. Define and roll-out a comprehensive social media road map to educate and train individuals High cost of developing a new insurance product and brand required tweaking of social media strategy 4

5 Social Media Opportunities in the Insurance Value Chain Social Media platforms will allow customers to The marketing team invites Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to write blogs or publish their video interviews on the products to create awareness and generate interest. This can help support and educate customers. Insurance companies structure content effectively to make every player adopt these forums. Renew or terminate policy Lodge claim Social media platforms can be used for Insurance related public forums Client Self Service Research products Client Buy policy Obtain quote Public website Public Collaboration Employee and agent portals: Employee and agent portals are catalysts for collaboration, enabling effective and meaningful communication amongst employees, as well as between employees and agents for knowledge management. It provides a platform where employees can share and discuss suggestions for a product released and bring relevant changes to improve customer satisfaction. It helps integrate innovative insights in real-time improving the overall productivity of the workforce. Customer self-service: Customers are demanding exemplary customer service, low cost and tailored products. Social media has opened alternate channels for educating customers and reducing the overall marketing cost of the company. As customers rely more on social networks to find out about products and services, enterprises have to form a holistic relationship and encourage customers to use their portals and products. Insurer Agent Conclusion Social media is a very important marketing tool that can help insurance companies not only in marketing their products to Employee Portal Agent-Client collaboration Employee collaboration Agent Portal Blogs and public forums: It provides a strong foundation for all the companies to actively discuss insurance products and policies. customers at reduced costs, but also in gaining visibility into market trends and influencing them. However, for its successful implementation and use by a company, it is extremely important to encourage, educate and empower employees to share their opinions and advice on social media. 5

6 As customers go online, social media platforms enhance customer experience, build brand loyalty and increase customer base. Social media is not only a tool that complements business and marketing strategies but has changed not how the insurer sells but how the customer buys. By being part of the social influence network insurers start conversations which focus on consumer concerns and not product features. Insurers need to realign their conversations on social media platforms without being too intrusive. References 1. Talent HQ 2. pstory&storyid=14752&section=s162 6

7 About NIIT Technologies NIIT Technologies is a leading IT solutions organization, servicing customers in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It offers services in Application Development and Maintenance, Enterprise Solutions including Managed Services and Business Process Outsourcing to organisations in the Financial Services, Travel & Transportation, Manufacturing/Distribution, and Government sectors. With employees over 8,000+ professionals, NIIT Technologies follows global standards of software development processes. Over the years the Company has forged extremely rewarding relationships with global majors, a testimony to mutual commitment and its ability to retain marquee clients, drawing repeat business from them. NIIT Technologies has been able to scale its interactions with marquee clients in the BFSI sector, the Travel Transport & Logistics and Manufacturing & Distribution, into extremely meaningful, multi-year "collaborations. NIIT Technologies follows global standards of development, which include ISO9001:2000 Certification, assessment at Level 5 for SEI-CMMi version 1.2 and ISO information security management certification. Its data centre operations are assessed at the international ISO 20000IT management standards. India NIIT Technologies Ltd. Corporate Heights (Tapasya) Plot No. 5, EFGH, Sector 126 Noida-Greater Noida Expressway Noida , U.P., India Ph: Fax: Americas NIIT Technologies Inc., 1050 Crown Pointe Parkway 5 th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30338, USA Ph: Toll Free: NIIT Fax: Europe NIIT Technologies Limited 2 nd Floor, 47 Mark Lane London - EC3R 7QQ, U.K. Ph: Fax: Singapore NIIT Technologies Pte. Limited 31 Kaki Bukit Road 3 #05-13 Techlink Singapore Ph: Fax: A leading IT solutions organization 21 locations and 16 countries professionals Level 5 of SEI-CMMi, ver1.2 ISO certified Level 5 of People CMM Framework Write to us at D_24_120413

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