Insurance Agent Office Ethnography
Our team used ethnographic methods to better understand how insurance agents and their staff interact with customers, identify customer needs, and sell the value of face-to-face services in the digital age. We spent two weeks embedded in 10 insurance agent offices conducting in-depth interviews with agents and staff, contextual observations of employee-customer interactions, and interviews with customers about their experiences.
Additionally, we pilot-tested a set of training materials designed to teach agents and their staff how to pinpoint underlying customer needs (not just product needs) using a customer segmentation model. We did a pre- and post-survey to gauge initial reactions on these materials and whether or not the agents felt they enhanced or hindered the sales process.
We learned that asking agents to change their strategies would not be an easy sell, but that agents were open to new ideas if they could see the benefit in changing. The agents felt very strongly that they already had an intimate knowledge of their customers based on personal relationships and trust. Our research gave us a realistic idea of what it would take to facilitate the adoption of new information into existing strategies, and presented us with ideas for how the company could create its own internal value proposition illustrating the benefits of change.
Our team made recommendations to executive leadership for creating buy-in from agents that would respect and value their knowledge and experiences, while ultimately improving the overall customer experience and rate of customer retention.
Photo credit: David Hilowitz
Client: Major insurance company
Methods: Ethnographic observations
My Role: Project Scoping
Data Collection & Analysis
Recommendations & Report