Google Compare shuts down – now what?
Scrolling through my LinkedIn feed last week I noticed a reoccurring headline – “Google to Shut Down Online Insurance Site.” It seems many in the insurance broker community are passing it around and I can’t help but feel it is coming from a sense of pride. The all and mighty Google failed in our industry. They failed to disrupt. They failed and we win. Can we all just relax now? No.
Many people have looked at Google’s entrance into the insurance market as a possible huge shift; “disruption” in its finest sense of the word. With their data and their reach they can do anything. They’re limitless. First, we had the banks to worry about, now this?
It is already being said that Google aren’t going to be gone for good. Some have said they’re just “going dark” to refine, improve and enhance the customer experience. I cannot help but think that a lot of it has to do with what happens after the sale is made. Sure, Google made the process quick and easy, click a few buttons, enter in a little bit of info, get the price, buy the policy -then what? I’m not an expert in the US market but I can only imagine the client still had to wait for the paper policy documents to arrive in the old fashioned mail. Maybe an underwriter called to review the info. Maybe the client had to call into and trudge through the insurance company call center. How’s that for customer experience?
The fact of the matter is that we, as an industry, from the insurers all the way down: we are working our way through massive systems and age old ways of doing things. It is the classic ocean liner making a turn analogy. Unless you’re prepared to start completely fresh there is no quick solution; we can only improve it piece by piece – a little here, a little there. We work with what we have at the time and improve on it as we go.
Bottom line, it’s not over. We haven’t won. Change is constant and coming from all angles. Instead of worrying about what others (Google / the banks) are doing, how about we think about how we can improve our own relationships with our clients (in ways THEY would like) to improve their experience with us, sell more, retain more and make the insurance experience a little more enjoyable for everybody.