Over the past year, the numbers of consumers shopping around continued to rise. Home insurance shopping rates reaching a peak of 79.2% between August and November, while Motor rose to a high of 86.2% between May and July.
How can brands capitalise on these almost unprecedented levels of promiscuity?
While we know consumers primarily consider price and cover, they are increasingly open to input from other sources. Recommendations — whether from friends, family, review websites or awards — have a part to play in the final decision, and in the digital economy this is more so the case than ever.
Consumer opinions are not only easier than ever to find; they also carry the greatest weight. According to our survey of over 2,000 adults, 43% of people trusted other customers’ feedback, compared to only 19% as a level of faith in ‘industry experts’.
We are therefore delighted to reveal the top 10 insurance brands in the UK for Customer Recommendation*, as voted for by the most important judges — consumers. These providers have impressed their customers enough to make them not only willing to stay at renewal, but also willing to recommend the brand to others.
Top 10 brands for customer recommendation
Overall performance scores have seen little change over the past three years, with just a slight decline for Motor compared to the 2016 results.
In addition, there are four brands who feature in the Top 10 for both Home and Motor: Direct Line, Nationwide, NFU Mutual and Sheilas’ Wheels.
In the majority of cases, brands achieving Top 10 status for Customer Recommendation won other awards, with Customer Satisfaction being the most common partner.
From our research and experience we have identified three ways to improve the likelihood of customers recommending their insurance provider.
1. Use customer feedback to identify issues and improve performance
With so many different ways to gather customer feedback, there really is no excuse for a brand not asking customers for their views. It’s not enough, however, to collect feedback alone; it needs to incorporated into the planning process to ensure that issues are identified swiftly, and action taken to improve performance. The Liverpool Fire on New Year’s Eve is one such example. Some insurers took a pragmatic view and agreed to retain no claims bonuses, and our research found that 71% of consumers would recommend their insurer as a result.
For all organisations, service and performance metrics are core to maintaining competitiveness. Internal measures are vital to keep on track, but looking externally also provides a wider perspective. Brands can use benchmarking such as net promoter scores to understand where they sit in the market, to identify best practices, and use this as part of their continuous improvement cycle.
This does not need to come only from within the industry in which they are operating. Looking at other sectors, including retail, can help identify new opportunities and standards to aim for. The rapid rise of digital-native and consumer-centric startups, or Insurtechs, illustrates this point.
Loyal customers not only stay longer with a brand and recommend it to others. They are also more likely to buy more products, which increases their lifetime value. It’s a triple whammy, but insurers must do more to encourage this behaviour — and not assume by standing still, consumers will simply stay. They need genuine incentive, whether it’s an outstanding customer experience, enhanced cover, or a more competitive price. Increasingly, these solutions will need to be tailored to the individual.
We congratulate the winners and everyone involved in delivering excellent service to their customers and gaining the ultimate recognition from them: recommendation.
FREE DOWNLOAD: a guide to making the most of your award
It can be hard to convey to consumers that your brand is about much more than just price. Our awards can help you reinforce messages about what it’s like to be a customer of your brand.
Find out how to highlight your achievements and grab the attention of your customers.