When it comes to using the internet to put their message across, some US insurers are getting it right while others are failing, reports internet consultancy and research firm Customer Respect Group (CRG).
In its first quarter 2010 evaluation, CRG named five insurers with websites meeting their full range of criteria in areas including best practices, online trends and developments within the commercial web environment. They are Axa Equitable, Fidelity, John Hancock, Nationwide and TIAA-CREF.
Three other websites were found by CRG to be performing well in certain areas relative to their competitors. They are Mass Mutual, Principal Financial and The Hartford.
CRG provided insight into why many insurers are not meeting its required standard by evaluating a number of specific weak points in many insurers’ websites:
- Many landing pages do not support key tasks. Visitors researching retirement options will, in many cases, not have a satisfactory ‘base’ page from which to find out about products and services;
- Confusing navigation that hinders task completion. Too many sites require visitors to navigate through different domains to get the full picture. Also, content is too often structured illogically;
- Not all companies make it easy for site visitors to get in touch. Visitors frequently need to involve a representative, either to get answers to questions or to move the process another step towards completion. Not all sites make this easy enough;
- Interactive guides/tools, video not used enough. Interactive tools, calculators, guides and video are a very good way of simplifying complex content and decisions taking advantage of the unique platform the web provides. The industry has been slow to adopt this technology; and
- Not all sites are meeting demand for self-management. Opportunities to log into account management facilities, and demonstrations of what can be done behind the log-on, are not prominent on all sites. This gives the impression that enabling customers to manage their own accounts is not a priority for organisations.