Tuesday Tips – Six Ways to Improve Automobile Quote Tools

by on Jan 10, 2012

CI TTEvery Tuesday, Corporate Insight releases recommendations to help financial services firms improve a key aspect of the online user experience. Recommendations are taken directly from our Monitor ReportsandConsulting Servicesresearch, which cover the banking, brokerage, credit card, asset management and insurance industries.
This week’s recommendations come from our Property & Casualty Monitor report titled Auto Quote Tools: Showcasing Rates to New Customers and focus on ways firms can improve the auto quote tools they offer prospective clients:

Integrate a Discounts Page– Users are more likely to buy auto insurance from firms that they feel are willing to offer them the best deal as possible, including any special offers. The best way to showcase all the available discounts a firm offers is to dedicate an entire page of the quote tool to potential money savers. Here, firms should have inputs for users to enter information about recent driver safety courses they may have completed, indicate affiliations with organizations and schools and select their employer from a list of eligible businesses. Firms should also list markdowns that users may already be eligible for after completing the tool, such as a “good driver” discount. Unsurprisingly, 100% of the panelists we polled indicated that they would be more likely to become clients of a firm that successfully integrates these discounts into the quote tool, so the importance of this recommendation cannot be overstated.
Highlight Multiple Pricing Options– Once users have reached the final quote, they should know that other options are available to them. Instead of highlighting a single pricing option and indicating that users can edit coverage amounts for a better price, insurance firms should do the work for potential new customers by promoting three tiers of pricing options (i.e., Economy, Standard and Preferred). In addition to presenting this information in separate tabs, firms should offer a side-by-side comparison chart that shows users the major differences between the proposed plans.
Pull Registered Vehicle Information– After users enter information about where they live, an ideal auto quote tool will automatically import information about all vehicles registered at that address. Once users select the vehicles from the list that they would like included in the quote, information such as make, model, year, body style and other key auto features are automatically entered into the system. While the practice may seem to be a breach of privacy, we found that an overwhelming majority of the panelists polled on this topic (over 90%) agreed that this method would help users finish their quote quickly and accurately.
Make it Easy to Save and Retrieve Quote – Once users have spent the time to complete an auto quote tool, they should not have to enter information a second time. To help lessen time spent on the tool, a save feature should be available on every step so users can save their progress and return to finish their quote at a later time. Users should only need to enter their email address and one defining piece of information, such as last name, ZIP or birth date, to re-access the tool. Once users have reached the final quote page, whether for the first or second time, potential clients should be able to go back and edit information. To achieve this, firms should be sure that the progress meter remains visible on the final quote page for applicants to use as a navigation tool when finalizing their quote.

Follow Up with Potential Clients– Once users have completed a quote tool, it is important for firms to begin the follow-up process. Users are often required to enter their email address and phone number to complete the tool, so firms should be sure to use this information wisely. A confirmation email should automatically be sent to users to show the final quote number, provide a link to the quote and contact information in case recipients have any questions. A few days later, firms should send a follow-up email to remind users about their quote. Eighty-two percent of the panelists we polled stated that they would be more likely to consider a firm that follows up after using an auto quote tool, and 82% indicated that they would prefer to be contacted via email. While only 18% indicated that they would prefer to be contacted via phone, it might still be useful for a local agent to perform the call and introduce themselves.
Cross Promote Other Insurance Products– Since users of an auto quote tool are shopping for car insurance, they might be looking to buy other types of insurance as well. A good way to get customers to move their existing policies at other firms – or start a new policy – is to promote bundling options upfront. Firms should give a percentage of the total amount users might save by bundling a renters, home owners or other type of insurance policy with the auto quote and provide an option to get a bundled quote instead of the standard auto quote.  
For more information on our new Property & Casualty Monitor service download our free brochure or contact Dana Peterson at 212-832-2002 x-102 or dpeterson@corporateinsight.com.