Remember the last time you drove a new car off the lot? You can’t wait to test its new features and functionality, which are designed to make driving safe, easy and fun. The problem is, as soon as you drive the car off the lot, your investment is depreciated and newer-issued vehicles will be available with even more popular bells and whistles. The same can be said for mobile smartphones; as soon as the latest model is released, it’s already considered outdated, with the popular press touting the newer model as the next big thing.

The typical insurance app on that smartphone will also have to stand the test of novelty—or will it? Perhaps our discussion should center on whether the app will stand the test of utility: is the app designed to make it easy for your customers to find information quickly? Communicate with you? Transact business with you? Report a claim? Because, contrary to popular belief, not all customers are scrambling for those popular bells and whistles. In fact, says Google in recent research report, when an app is clumsy or slow, 29% of smartphone users will immediately switch to another site or app if it doesn't satisfy their needs, and 67% will switch if takes too many steps to purchase or get desired information.

There is no argument that smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. Just think about the automatic reflex we use that’s become inherently tied to mobility. Smartphone in hand, we promptly stop the lunch conversation to quickly solve an argument, or for a location, better price, a forgotten date in history or a sports score. As a result, customers are being exposed to a series of what Google has coined “micro-moments.” More frequent and significant than a “moment of truth,” micro-moments refer to our growing reliance on mobile to act immediately on a need—and get an immediate result.

Imagine customers being able to use that same automatic reflex when communicating with their insurer. Here simple functionality really matters, because the more steps involved in the mobile experience (clicks to sub-pages, for exmple), the more likely the smartphone user is to make an error, or drop off because finding the information they need takes too long.

Progressive is a case in point. A team at Progressive studied its analytics and realized that people were dropping out early in their mobile 24-step claim filing process, so the company reduced the mobile claims process down to five screens. The result was a seven-fold increase in mobile claim submissions and a 35% rise in the start-to-finish rate for submissions using the app, according to Google.

Of course, most insurers realize their mobile apps must be configurable, scalable, reliable, secure, high performing, and well integrated with back-end systems, and must be designed with inevitable upgrades to IOS and Android in mind.

But those insurers that can capitalize on their customers’ micro-moments will have the edge, and it doesn’t take bells and whistles to make that happen.

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