Decima Research

Automated service could limit take-up rateYou have asked for a review of any market research that would be of help in formulating a phase one media plan for this new service.This memo recaps some learning from several recent Decima Research studies:...

Automated service could limit take-up rate

You have asked for a review of any market research that would be of help in formulating a phase one media plan for this new service.

This memo recaps some learning from several recent Decima Research studies: The Decima Quarterly, our In-Depth Report on Financial Services and the Florida Travel Study conducted as part of the Decima monthly Telephone Omnibus.

Is safety a concern?

Decima’s Travel Study finds that a large majority of Canadians recall media references to violence against tourists in Florida.

This study also shows that, among those who say they are likely to visit Florida in the near future, a sizable proportion are concerned about their safety there.

In fact, almost one-half of these Canadians say they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ concerned.

Among those who are most concerned are women and people living in smaller population centres.

These travellers are thus more likely to be prospects for services directed at increasing security and peace of mind while travelling.

In fact, one of the major study conclusions is that Canadian travellers are looking for ways to minimize their exposure to safety risks.

What is the level of interest in added-value services such as Body Guard?

While Decima has not conducted concept testing specifically about this program, there is information available to indicate that Canadians see intrinsic value in these types of services.

Our research on the financial services market (from the In-Depth Report) suggests the category of insurance lends itself well to value-added features.

More specialized insurance services, including travel insurance, rank well ahead of other services in terms of ‘value for money.’

While available research appears to support the overall consumer appeal for Body Guard, I suggest the company review some proposed service features of this service.

Automated service

We know from our Decima Quarterly studies that a proportion of consumers are comfortable with technology.

The telephone-activated delivery system proposed for Body Guard would most likely appeal to this group – which is comprised of younger, upscale consumers who are interested in automated self-service delivery channels.

But these types of channels have far less appeal to those who are technophobic.

Our research finds that a sizeable group of Canadians are uncomfortable with technology and with automated delivery channels for financial or other services.

The age profile of existing company policyholders (half are retired according to your briefing notes) fits closely with the segment that is most uncomfortable with technology.

This suggests the automated service component, as envisioned, could limit take-up rates among the company’s current client base.

I would suggest the company consider offering an automated system and the option of talking with a customer service telephone representative.

While this option would affect operating costs, these increased costs might be more than offset by the potential for higher Body Guard take-up rates and resulting revenues from increased cross-sell of other insurance services.

Lifestyle profile

Consumer concerns about confidentiality and privacy should also be considered when evaluating Body Guard’s product features.

Decima Quarterly information shows Canadians are increasingly concerned about privacy issues, particularly with respect to larger financial institutions.

As currently presented, Body Guard would provide a personalized ‘lifestyle’ profile derived from the policyholder’s file.

I believe that while consumers might appreciate information about diet and destination activities, they would not respond well to a service that is perceived to be too intrusive or too personal.

In conclusion, the Body Guard concept appears viable, and with some fine-tuning of features might well provide the client with an important added-value service.

David Saffran is a vice-president with Toronto-based Decima Research.