Customer Research to Design a Robo-Advice Service
It’s not often that a webinar shares theory, consumer research and practical implementation tips in less than one hour, but the August 4 webinar, Customer Research to Design a Robo-Advice Service, did just that. Aisling Bradfield, Head of Behavioral Science at SCOR, explained robo-advice, a platform that collects information from users and provides automatic advice based on the user’s requirements, and behavioral science theory and biases that impact the creation and adoption of robo-advice services.
Referencing a survey conducted by SCOR in partnership with Toluna in September 2021 with 463 U.S. consumers, Aisling explained the survey revealed that though more than 75% of survey respondents had never experienced robo-advisors in any online purchase, 20% to 30% would be willing to use it in the future. When thinking about life insurance specifically, 10% of respondents selected robo-advice as the channel they would most trust for future purchases.
A further 40% of respondents told us they preferred doing their own research, and Aisling explained the behavioral biases that might impact the preference for this self-searching approach and suggest that consumers need more support when searching online. She also discussed the key advantages of robo-advice as identified by survey respondents, namely ease of use, convenience and unbiased advice.
Aisling illustrated survey respondent segmentation, proposing the target market for robo-advice services would be under 55 years of age with at least some college education. Interestingly, there was no significant variation in attitude to robo-advice among respondents of different income levels. This contrasts the use of professional advice which is strongly skewed to higher income groups. Due to the wider appeal, robo-advice could be a potential remedy to reduce the protection gap.
Adam Taylor, Consulting Director, Strategic Relationships at Securian Financial then shared information about Securian’s robo-advice platform that has been successfully helping workplace benefits customers choose types and levels of their employee benefits for approximately four years. His presentation confirmed many of the biases that Aisling had introduced and explained how Securian has used customer feedback to enhance and expand the robo-advice service.
As a channel to promote products and services to potential customers or a way to engage and support existing customers, robo-advice seems to be something that customers are interested in. Key to the success of the platform is how it is integrated into existing processes to best support customers with personalized service whenever and wherever they want to engage.
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