11. February 2022 By Barbara Häuser
What should be considered in the customer journey of Generation Alpha? – Part 1
In my previous blog posts in this series, I described what the persona of a new customer might look like in five to ten years. In the most recent post, I then used this persona to derive the requirements of Generation Alpha for insurance providers. In this post, I will focus on the customer journey to round out the picture.
Generation Alpha describes all children born between 2010 and 2025. This will be the first generation to grow up completely in the 21st century and live in a world that is increasingly volatile. Alongside environmental and climate protection, digitalisation plays a major role for them.
Insurance providers should start engaging with Generation Alpha now, as the first business-ready customers of the generation will probably enter the insurance market in 2028 and will choose providers that are set up to deal with them.
The start of the customer journey
A customer journey describes the journey a customer takes in a company or to a product. The experiences they have during the journey make a significant impact on it. Companies often only look at the customer journey – for example, to purchase a product or register on a portal.
Generation Alpha is already starting to take its first steps towards accessing insurance providers and products through digital channels. One thing is already certain: Generation Alpha’s customer journey has a digital starting point. This is because the parents of Generation Alpha are digital natives and already use technology and the various media as part of their day-to-day lives, meaning their children grow up with them as a result.
Here’s an example from my everyday life: as a digital native, I find it easy to use an app intuitively. But my nephew, who is five years old, is already much more advanced in this respect. For example, he doesn’t need any instructions to use the Procreate app. He picks up the pen on the tablet and gets going, changing colours and styles as he pleases. The same goes for his brother, who is just a few years older – if he runs out of ideas for crafting project, he watches YouTube to awaken his creativity and find inspiration for his next project. This natural behaviour shows how easy it is for the children of Generation Alpha to deal with digital media today and how important it is for insurance providers to prepare themselves for this.
This is because one thing is certain: the generations that follow Generation Alpha will not go backwards in terms of digitalisation.
Awareness – creating attention in a number of ways
The start of the customer journey begins with awareness. In this phase, it is important to make Generation Alpha customers aware of the product. Generation Alpha will be a customer group that not only predominantly contacts its insurance provider through digital channels, but will also take the initiative in finding the easiest way to access the product for themselves. This is where a well thought-out and interlocking omni-channel strategy will determine the extent to which an insurance provider makes the shortlist.
It is therefore clear that insurance providers who do not engage with future customers on digital channels and are flexible will lose contact with the customer group. This flexibility does not only refer to the contact, but also to the products and the claim. The communication will probably not take place exclusively during the traditional opening and telephone hours of between 8 am and 8 pm that many insurance providers have. The future policyholders work flexibly in terms of time and place, and they expect their contact options to be the same. Insurance providers can bridge these times with a digital or artificial solution, for example.
Let’s take a look at a concrete example – say hi to Mia and Ben. Both have networked their end devices and are used to maintaining social contacts online and shop predominantly online. If Mia and Ben want to have a consultation sitting on the sofa at 11 pm at night, they have the option of first talking to a digital broker. The point of contact not only adapts in terms of visual and linguistic features, but can already start collecting all of the relevant data and carry out an initial requirements analysis. In the latter, Mia and Ben repeatedly break off the buying process depending on the product and rejoin at a later time. Then, for example, they want to get back into an application process at the point from where they left off. With the digital broker, Ben and Mia have the option of leaving the online consultation at any time and opting for either a video consultation or an on-site contact person. This then ties in seamlessly with the digital consultation.
If Ben and Mia interrupt the consultation because they either have an online meeting with their friends or have to quickly do the last bit of shopping, the consultation doesn’t restart from the beginning. They have the option of returning to where the last consultation session ended at any time. We are already familiar with this approach from Netflix and the like.
Another aspect is that Generation Alpha is predicted to live in flats and houses where smart home systems are taken for granted. This leads to another approach where the virtual assistance system (such as Alexa, Livy, Google Assistant or Siri, to name but a few) uses an algorithm to alert Generation Alpha that they need to take out home insurance, for instance. The algorithm detects this, among other things, from the web pages that Mia and Ben have accessed (such as the ones they visited as part of their property search), from their web searches (including furnishing tips or mobile living) or from the places they have visited and the corresponding apps (furniture stores, decor shops or flea markets).
In the future, these types of assistance and smart home systems could make Mia and Ben aware of this by, for example, displaying home insurance brokers in the vicinity or checklists reminding them of everything they need to do for their move or what they need to buy for their first flat. This happens not only in search queries, as we are already familiar with today, but also via social media, on the lock screen of our mobile phones or in public spaces. The latter could easily be done by using the location sharing feature of mobile devices.
These targeted triggers sent via different channels encourage Mia and Ben to start looking for the product. They consider it important that their search results include sources with highly positive reviews that have flexible availability.
At this point, however, Mia and Ben have not yet found a property to live in because rents in cities such as Cologne, Berlin or Hamburg will not be particularly affordable. Therefore, the two are open to tips and helpful information. This is where insurance providers can stand out by providing services such as a checklist for finding the right property, information on the topic of ‘what do I have to look out for’ or agency services for securing the right place to live. This is because service is important to Generation Alpha in the overall package.
Mia and Ben are used to sharing their personal information before downloading something as this is becoming par for the course compared to previous generations, meaning the insurance provider has a way to make initial contact with the pair. Generation Alpha appreciates the flexibility of products and uses networked devices. For them, the digital world is merging with the real world.
More interesting blog posts on this topic:
Have you already read our CX study from the insurance sector? As part of this study, the adesso customer experience team analysed four key topics: the customer experience, personalised marketing, online meets offline and social commerce. Would you like to learn more about the results and our recommendations as to what to do next?
Would you like to learn more about exciting topics from the adesso world? Then take a look at our blog posts that have been published so far.