Research

How Sun Life Financial uses customer intelligence to lead a growing market

How Sun Life Financial uses customer intelligence to lead a growing market

Stop-loss insurance is becoming increasingly attractive to employers that self-fund medical plans, and it’s a market that leading independent insurer Sun Life Financial leads.

But the insurer faces several challenges to their goal of expanding the market—strong competition, difficulty in communicating value to the end purchaser and pressure to sell through third-party brokers. 

In recent a Vision Critical webinar, Lindsey Collela, Sun Life Financial’s associate director of Insights Integration, outlined how the leading independent provider of stop-loss insurance uses insight communities to build relationships with end customers as well as brokers to align messaging, drive sales and deliver return on investment for her market research team.

Here are some highlights from the webinar, which is now available on demand.

On the importance of avoiding assumptions

Validation research isn’t always the most attention-grabbing kind, said Collela, but it’s essential because it challenges long-held assumptions—that brokers wanted to hear about compensation, for example.

“Our insight community clearly showed that brokers needed material that educated employers about the cost-savings of self-funding and the risks, as well as the growth of market, without calling out dollar figures.”

On building real, ongoing relationships

Collela said the Broker Voices insight community means Sun Life is can gather intel more quickly on the needs, motivations and pain points of the client.  Brokers feel valued when asked their opinion through the insight community.

“An insight community has been a great way for us to engage our target audiences on a regular basis. Our insight communities offer brokers and our clients a direct, two-way channel to connect with us.”

On championing customer intelligence

There’s a multiplier effect when you promote the value of customer intelligence, said Collela. It creates more champions of customer intelligence. Now every customer-facing initiative taps insight from the Broker Voices and Employer Voices communities.

“We gained buy-in from internal stakeholders, including our CEO and executive team, increasing the influence of market research in the organization. It’s really motivated me; people have seen what we did for Stop Loss and ask, ‘can you do that for me?’”  

Why you should let your business strategy be your guide

Collela said if you understand your what you’re trying to accomplish, you can help your stakeholders avoid assumptions, iterate on client-centric programs for maximum impact and promote the value of customer intelligence to show how insight can influence strategic decision making.



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