We wrapped up another round of engaging Partner Regional Learnings with visits to Massachusetts and Connecticut. The groups of 20-30 each had a great time learning how to maximize the insurance management system Partner Platform and provided great insights into future upgrades and enhancements.
At each Learning, we always see a nice blend of new and tenured clients. This mixture of skill and experience levels leads to stimulating collaboration, with each Partner agency learning helpful tips and tricks for system use.
Partner Regional Learnings are never “another boring software event.” Each training focuses on using the Partner Platform the best way possible and engaging superusers in feedback sessions for enhancements. Ideas vary by state, specifically around state-specific insurance regulations, but are always thoughtful and innovative. Engaging with such a vibrant, creative community is invigorating!
One of the best parts of the Regional Learnings are the questions. Commonly asked questions tend to focus on efficiency. Our Partner agents want to make sure they’re using the Partner Platform the best way possible. We focus on every little click and keystroke, highlighting ways to do more with fewer actions. These shortcuts make a huge difference in areas like document management and certificates. No matter how long someone has used the system, they’ll always learn something new.
We’re grateful our Partner community engages in this way. Agencies who embrace coming to regional events like these, attending webinars and joining us at national industry conferences have a significant impact on the direction of SIS, Partner Platform, and our industry partners. Engagement in the Partner community means shaping our goals and growth, which in turn impacts the growth of our Partner agencies.
It’s been said, “when you know, you know.” This is true for all major moments in life: getting married, having kids, buying a house, and even when you’ll retire. But, when it comes to insurance agency perpetuation, you need to think ahead for that “the time is now” moment.
There is more to building and maintaining insurance customer relationships than meets the eye. While there is no substitute for personally connecting, the way your agency communicates with and about customers can be a big factor in gaining and keeping business. These steps can help get you in the right direction.
Earlier in the year, I wrote a post on some of the top insurance agency reporting methods underutilized by agencies. With so many to share, we’re on to part two. In this post, I’ll outline three reporting tools that will bring you to data wizard status. Start putting these into practice, and you’ll find you can process information faster, easier, and more accurately to help your agency grow.
As Client Services Manager at SIS, I spend a lot of time talking with our partner agencies about their day to day needs around agency management system functionality. One popular topic is how to execute advanced insurance agency reporting through their management system.
Owners, principals, accountants, and other agency staff need to extract and interpret data stored in their management system but are unsure how to get the information they need. In many of our Partner XE Regional Learnings, we review the most popular reports and how to export and interpret them using excel. Below are just a few of the most commonly requested reporting areas.
Once run, all of these reports can be exported to Excel as .xls or .csv files. Once in Excel, you can manipulate data to look cleaner and interpret it in different ways (i.e. as percentages or sums). You can also change formatting so you can easily present data to staff, partners, investors, or other groups as needed.
The best tool I’ve found for data interpretation in Excel is pivot tables. Pivot tables allow the user to summarize, count and extract column percentages against other columns of data without being an Excel wizard. Below is an easy YouTube video on how to use basic functions of a pivot table:
Keeping it Simple with Partner XE and SIS
Reporting can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you know the data you’re after, you’ve overcome the biggest hurdle. I’ve helped many of our Partner XE users tackle their reporting needs. It’s amazing what you can do once you’ve got a handle on the basics!
Our Partner Learning Center offers dozens of step-by-step videos, our QuickGuides are available 24/7 as a quick refresher, and the SIS staff is always available by phone or email to give that extra helping hand. To find out more about what SIS and Partner XE can offer your agency, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.747.7005, Option 6.
We’re living in a digital world. It’s estimated that by 2040, 95 percent of purchases will be via online methods. And with good reason – digital purchasing is faster, more efficient, and less expensive for both merchant and buyer. But there is still a part of digital business that looms: cyber-attacks on your insurance agency systems.
The first step to protecting your agency and its data is knowing what threats are out there. The most common threats are:
Viruses infecting systems and destroying data
Hackers breaking into systems and stealing personal data
Employees leaving systems open for passersby to see and steal info
Unfortunately, the last threat is more common than you may think. IBM and Ponemon’s Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach Study showed 27 percent of data attacks were due to human error while 25 percent were a system glitch. That’s over half of cyber weaknesses falling squarely in the laps of the victims.
At SIS, we always have security top of mind. Every Partner Platform upgrade is coupled with security testing, ensuring we’re handing our Partner agencies a safe, secure, effective tool. And we leverage state-of-the-art technology to hold customer data in facilities with geographic redundancy, data encryption, and backups compliant with industry and government standards.
We work hard to earn and keep our Partner agencies’ trust. See what they have to say about our security and service: check out our Client Stories page to find out more.
Close to 90% of people say they always have their smartphone close. That’s 90% of people who can read and respond to anything sent to their phone almost immediately. With that sort of accessibility, integrated texting is a critical insurance management system tool. Texting is a great way to get short, important messaging to your agency’s prospects and clients, providing the convenient communication they desire.
Texting and Your Agency: Efficiency and Safety
Texting is not only fast, it’s also effective: texting open rates are around 98% while email is still hovering around less than 25%. With texting, you can schedule messaging knowing the recipient will almost certainly read it.
Beyond its speed and efficiency, texting can also be a great addition to your E&O toolbelt. Integrated texting allows you to capture everything you sent in your agency management system, attaching it to client and prospect profiles as needed. This allows you to have a permanent record of your conversation instantly.
And, texting is a lifesaver when it comes to claims management. Texting allows clients to take photos and send information the moment an accident happens, making the information that much more reliable. In many cases, texting is even better than opening an app as it requires no sign-in and it’s a process the client knows well.
At SIS, we’ve worked with our customers to provide all the efficiencies they need while remaining E&O complaint. That’s why we added integrated texting to the Partner Platform.
Texting is integrated directly so our Partner agencies can send messages right through the system and replies will be captured and paired with prospect and client profiles. And, it’s easy for clients to opt-out per texting regulations. It’s just another way Partner Platform helps your agency get more done, better.
Learn more about our integrated texting, and other Partner Platform features: contact us today to view a demo and see how Partner Platform can transform your agency.
We’re on to part three of our look at insurance agency marketing to the generations with an analysis of the oft-stereotyped Baby Boomers. Born between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s, Boomers number an estimated 75.4 million in the U.S. Many are looking forward to retirement and have big plans for an active future.
A recent study showed over 65 percent of Baby Boomers went for one-on-one meetings when seeking insurance. Boomer’s preference for personal interaction doesn’t stop there: the same study showed Boomers preferred any “live communication” during the purchasing process. Live communication includes over the phone and online chat – any method that gets them in touch with a real person in real-time.
Treat Them Well
It’s critical to provide great service to all customers regardless of age, but it’s especially important to Baby Boomers. They are the most likely to write off a company due to bad service. And, they’re loyal to good service. One study showed 54 percent were “very or somewhat likely” to stick with a business if their patronage was valued. Only 33 percent of Millennials agreed.
Half of those 60 to 69 and almost 75 percent of people in the 50 to 59 age range own a smartphone. Yet, Boomers still face a persistent stereotype that they’re not tech savvy. Don’t be fooled. Boomers also own 1/3rd of all tablets purchased in the U.S. Suffice to say Boomers expect websites to be mobile accessible.
Contrary to most marketing trends, Baby Boomers are reading what you write. They’re more likely to look at print and read whole articles than Millennials or Generation Z, so give them something to take in. When it comes to writing, Boomers look for straight talk and facts. They’ve been marketed to for years, growing up during the advertising boom, and are almost immune to gimmicky and salesy language. Be clear and honest, and avoid spelling and grammar mistakes as many Boomers take note of these small errors.
Avoid the Age Gap
Don’t call Boomers “old.” Just don’t.
Marketing to the Generations
If you’ve read the other posts in our series, you’ll know each generation is different and responds better to sometimes contrasting marketing methods. Such duplicity means you need varied marketing tactics, segmented to target each group individually.
The Partner Platform Marketing Automation Manager (MAM) is designed to tackle just this issue. With over 50 sample campaigns and 100 pre-built customizable outreach templates, Partner Platform’s MAM makes it easier to craft and send your agency messaging to a variety of audiences.