The insurance industry is changing. Between requests by Millennials to cater to the way they want to interact to understanding new challenges that will have major impacts on the industry, it’s clear that insurers will need to adjust their businesses to stay relevant.
Two of the key ways to remain important in the lives of your clients is to keep them engaged and retain high customer satisfaction ratings. But when the points of contact are shrinking, how does an agency accomplish this?
An emerging trend in the industry is gamification. The short definition is gamification makes ordinary tasks fun.
But there is more to it than that. And, as some insurers have already discovered, the benefits gained are worth the time to find out more.
What is Gamification?
The concept of gamification is simple. It’s using game mechanics and design with everyday, even boring tasks to motivate people and help them reach their goals.
Basically, it’s making a game out of the stuff you don’t want to do to make it easier, which makes a lot of sense. Remember what your mother had you do while cleaning your room as a kid? “See how much you can clean in 5 minutes… now see if you can beat that!”
The hard part is in the execution of gamification. At the core of what makes gamification work is giving people a sense of accomplishment at completing a task that goes beyond simply getting it done. It plays along with our natural desires for competition, status and achievement, among other rewards.
These intrinsic rewards, however, need to feed into a person’s goals and desires. You can’t just add points to completing tasks and call it gamification. Instead, designing a game-centered program leverages a variety of skills, from game design to data analytics.
What are the Benefits?
The benefits of using a gamification model in the insurance industry are varied but touch on the hot buttons important to today’s agencies.
Gamification programs can encourage customer loyalty, increase engagement, help with brand awareness and promote customer satisfaction.
For instance, think of the Starbucks Rewards program. The brand awards points – or in their case, stars – for activities like making purchases. This promotes brand loyalty. But beyond that, Starbucks also offers rewards for certain behaviors, like signing up for emails and playing games on the member’s site. These activities increase brand engagement, keeping the company top of mind with consumers.
These kinds of programs are also being used internally. Companies have been using rewards to spur employee training, encourage completion of timesheets and expense reports and even increase employee engagement within the company.
How is it Being Used in the Industry?
The insurance industry is in a unique position to benefit from the use of gamification. By getting clients to complete tasks and activities that they might not otherwise do, agencies help both the clients and themselves.
One use case is for wellness programs, like the one provided to corporations through Welltok. What Welltok does with its gamification program is to change employee habits, leading to healthy choices and helping build wellness education to effect positive change. These programs help increase overall employee health which in turn decreases the number of sick days employees take. For Pennsylvania insurer HealthAmerica, the program resulted in an ROI of $584 per member and a 40% increase in brand affinity.
In the case of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, the purpose was to drive health education. The company piloted their Healthcare University program with their own employees prior to providing it to customers. They went into the test with the goal of onboarding 20% of their employees and exceeded that goal by 90%.
The insurance industry is only beginning to scratch the surface of what gamification can do to increase brand awareness, increase engagement and help clients reach their goals. The benefits of these programs in conjunction with the shifting environment for insurers and agents has gamification programs coming along at just the right time to reinvigorate the industry.