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How technology is changing consumer behaviour
How technology is changing consumer behaviour

Apr 18 2022

How technology is changing consumer behaviour

Today’s consumer is digital, and they are using technology to be engaged, empowered and mobile. Here are some ways for financial advisors to start winning the hearts of their clients.

By Tanichka Achan

Consumers are doing everything online, from purchasing groceries to buying cinema tickets to setting up bank accounts to renting cars. In modern times, technology is being designed to improve the quality characteristics of goods and services provided, transforming the interaction between consumers and providers. As the user experience has been elevated, it has created the same growing expectations for the insurance industry too.  

While word of mouth and the recommendations of family and friends still carry weight and influence in the insurance industry, consumers are always doing their homework by searching online for information, looking at social media and reading reviews. They evaluate the online preference together with their connections’ recommendation before making a decision especially when it comes to purchasing, such as buying an insurance policy.  

This change in consumer behaviour presents an opportunity for insurers to leverage and reimagine the way they do things. Here are some of the ways technology is influencing consumer thinking and action. 

Consumers are more connected 

Due to the rise of digital platforms, people are more connected to each other and organizations than ever before. According to market and consumer data company Statista, Malaysia ranks fifth (86%) when it comes to active social network penetration from a 2021 survey based on selected countries. The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia reports that there are approximately 28 million social media users in Malaysia, making it 86% of the total population.  

Consumers are using these social channels to interact with brands and submit their customer service inquiries. It is also used as an accessible and credible resource to help them make purchasing decisions.  

Wong Cheng Kuan, a two-year MDRT member and Court of the Table member from Malaysia, shares a real-life example of how social media has worked in his favour. “I attended a wedding with my wife, and we started to get to know the couple that was seated next to us. After the event that night, they viewed my profile online and realized that I’m a financial advisor. The very next day, the wife of the couple reached out to me to ask more about insurance for prenatal care as she was due to have her first baby.”  

Thanks to such connections, there is a growing number of opportunities for financial advisors to engage new and existing clients. However, it is important to understand how you can cut through the noise and meet their consumer demands. 

Consumers use multiple devices 

Consumers use multiple devices in almost every journey in their day-to-day life, even if it is to accomplish a single objective. A recent consumer trends report by global marketing agency Team Lewis revealed that globally on average audiences own at least three devices. This means consumers are simultaneously juggling their devices, be it a smartphone, PC, tablet or TV, to meet their need in the moment. It was interesting to note that Malaysians on average own fewer than three devices (2.7) but spend the most time on the internet globally.  

Foong Eu Jin, a three-year MDRT member from Malaysia, shares, “When I set up virtual meetings or calls with my clients, they speak to me from all sorts of different devices such as their mobile phone, PC or iPad.” 

Understanding this, financial advisors need to increase their presence across devices with the right messaging at the right time. Here, it is essential to determine how to reach to every target audience and how digital touchpoints interconnect. 

Consumers have higher expectations 

The ease of online and omnichannel shopping due to the pandemic has elevated consumers’ expectations. Based on consumer trends report by Qualtrics Experience Management (XM) Institute, customer service has become so important in the post-pandemic era. Consumers are more discerning than before about their purchasing choices. Twenty four percent of consumers would prefer to buy from an organization that treats them well, compared to 19% who favor price.  

Additionally, the report highlighted consumers increasingly expect great experiences across multiple platforms. Organizations need to invest in delivering quality customer service and meet customers where they are — whether that's online, in-person or somewhere in between: 35% of consumers expect to resolve support issues in person, 34% through self-service, 17% over the phone, and 14% via online chat. 

Foong adds that, “Financial advisors should take note that clients are expecting more timely, relevant, and targeted responses, products, and services from the companies they engage. Ultimately, when a client trusts a person, brand or even organization, they are more likely to recommend them to friends and family, helping to attract new clients.” 

There’s no going back on digital 

The major disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a space for insurers to remake their purpose into meaningful action and create value for individuals and society. The acceleration of digital transformation has encouraged experimentation, enticing consumers to explore different digital ways to access products and services. Clients need to be at the heart of what financial advisors and insurance companies are offering. Additionally, the ease of technology must be integrated into the consumer’s lifestyle and deliver experiences that continue to satisfy them.  


Contact: MDRTeditorial@teamlewis.com