A Real-time Account of Friction in Customer Experience

A little while ago, we had to renew our business insurance policy and were given a new rate from our existing provider that was 3 times the previous year. But there is more. And it requires going back a little to how we chose this provider.

We started the company and as first-time entrepreneurs, didn’t know much about some of the key elements of starting a company. Getting business insurance was one of them. With one of our 1st clients – a large Canadian financial institution – came the realization that we needed to have a lot of things in place if we wanted to do business with the big girls (notice I didn’t say boys).

We started our search for a business insurance partner back in early 2016. It was not easy at all. We went to our current insurance relationships and none of them provided business insurance. We looked online, and then thought – like our lawyer and accountant – maybe it would be nice to have someone local.

I wont name names, but we found a local business insurance company and proceeded to get information. It took many phone calls, emails, and eventually an in-person meeting and at least a few days in total (spread out over a few weeks). We eventually got our insurance and hoped we had the right coverage. Not a good experience overall.

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Over the year as the business grew and we needed things for clients, it was a pretty big pain to get what we needed. Not enough to change providers, but annoying nonetheless.

But when we received the renewal amount, that was it. 3 times the amount from the previous year. Crazy. It was 7am on a weekday, and we had less than 2 weeks before our policy had to be renewed.

We went online, and searched for other options. And then I remembered Zensurance. As a regular visitor and supporter of the DMZ, I remembered they had won the BMO Next Big Idea In FinTech Challenge, and also remembered meeting a few of the key team and founders. So there was some trust there already. We found them in 1 second online, and started to fill out an application online.

It was EASY. PAINLESS. FAST. An amazing client experience to say the least. In less than a few minutes, we were done. We received an email right away saying we would hear from them within 24 hours. That same day in my inbox was the proposed policies that based on the application process, I was confident were the right ones. The price was only slightly higher than we were paying, and that was that. We provided authorization, signed the documents online, and now we are a Zensurance client. Definitely feeling Zen – that’s for sure.

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Whats the lesson? Friction is what drives customers away. If you think a customer wont leave you because you are a trusted large incumbent, and new companies are perceived as risky, I believe you are wrong.

We represent one customer segment, and other customers with a different persona may have left earlier, or stayed with the provider for different reasons. But in general – all of that friction in the customer experience is table-stakes now for all companies – no matter how big or small – to remove in order to have the good fortune to keep their business. Hope you find your ZEN too.

Sue Britton

FinTech Growth Syndicate, 628 Fleet Street, Unit 1006, Toronto, ON, M5V 1A8