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Advanced Insurance Agency Reporting

Advanced Insurance Agency Reporting

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.

Get tips on tracking your agency here

Top 5 Insurance Agency Reporting Categories

  1. Book of business reports: includes number of active clients, clients by total premium, clients by active policy count, and personal vs. commercial business.
  2. Production reports: includes producer production report and carrier production report.
  3. Expiration lists: includes policies expiring in next 30-90 days (run this by producer or CSR managing accounts).
  4. Cancelled policies: includes looking back (cancellation confirmation) and looking forward (cancellation requests).
  5. Retention Reports: includes what book of business looks like year over year and compares expansion vs. contraction.

Does your agency have a data tracking strategy? Find out why you need one

Exporting and Interpreting Reports

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!

Read more on SIS’s customer support on sispartnerplatform.com

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 sales@sisware.com or 800.747.7005, Option 6.

The Number One Thing Your Agency Can’t Do Without

The Number One Thing Your Agency Can’t Do Without

As an independent insurance agency management system provider, we work with agencies from all over the country. From North to South and East to West, we’ve encountered hundreds of agencies, but never one exactly like another. Each has its own culture, community, and specific needs.

We discuss these individual agency management system capability needs with each agency, and find them as varied as the agencies themselves. However, there are many capability needs that come up time and again. We asked a few of our partner agencies to share their most useful capabilities, compiling a “must have” list for agencies seeking to improve operations and better serve their customers.

Essential Management System Capabilities, from Agencies that Know

Email Synchronization

“We love that emails automatically attach. As an agency owner, it gives me comfort knowing while my staff is out there doing, doing, doing, everything is getting put in the management system. That protects us so we can grow without fear of E&O.” – Britt Linder, Peterson Insurance Services

Carrier Downloads

“We use carrier downloads all the time. It works pretty seamlessly, updating on a regular, nightly basis…the fact that it’s reliable makes a difference. Same with creating certificates; we have a pretty good workflow going, and we can easily make changes to policies in the system.” – John Horvath, Neverman Insurance

Integrated Accounting

“With multiple locations, the accounting plug-in is a must. The financial reports I can produce are second to none. It’s a piece of cake to do seemingly complex reports. I can look at multiple entities, compare balance sheets, combine entities, and all sorts of other iterations. I had my accountant call yesterday and ask for my first six months. It was a matter of two or three clicks to get the report and email it off to him. It’s just so easy.” – Dan Cassidy, Berndt And Murfin Insurance Agency

Mobile Access

“With our old system, we didn’t have a good app to use on the road. It’s great to have everything in the palm of your hand. There are times you get calls after hours or on the weekends (all too often, really) and with the mobile app you can quickly pull it up, load the client’s information and tell them exactly what they need.” – Chad Van Camp, Family Insurance Center

Mass Certificate Creation

“The big one for us is working with certificates. We send out hundreds of thousands of certificates each day and needed a system that could handle that volume. This latest (Partner XE) release allows us to mass email and fax the certificates we need.”Alison Van Wyk, Van Wyk Risk Solutions

Secure Infrastructure

“The security updates have been huge. Data security was important when we got on board…As a principal, security is my number one concern. A great system means nothing if your data’s not safe.” – Matt Derrenberger, Ann Arbor Insurance Associates, LLC

Creating a System that Works for You

Though agencies may use all of these capabilities to varying degrees, it’s always great to hear which stand out to each. That’s the challenge we enjoy solving: creating a system that can adapt to each agency’s unique needs.

Partner XE offers all the above capabilities and gives agencies the ability to build the best system for them. In the end, each Partner XE system is as singular as its agency.

To find out more about Partner XE, SIS, and how we can serve your agency, contact us at sales@sisware.com or 800.747.7005, Option 6.

Lasting Impressions: The Key to Good Insurance Customer Service

Lasting Impressions: The Key to Good Insurance Customer Service

It’s not often our interactions with others stand out to us throughout the day. But, if they do, it’s because they were one of two things: impressively positive or shockingly negative. As an independent insurance agency, you’ve had your share of insurance customer service feedback on both ends.

Working with our partner agencies, I’ve seen how each handle negative customer service experiences and the preventative measure put in place to avoid them.  Below are some of their tried and true steps.

Read more on an essential insurance customer service tool

6 Steps to Positive Insurance Customer Service

1. Timely responses: Top priority is to get back to your customers quickly. When you have a question, you want to hear back soon. Especially when it’s urgent. No one likes feeling they’re on someone else’s time during a service interaction.

2. Communication/clarity: Pick up the phone. Stop hiding behind emails. Give a real answer to questions.

3. Follow through: Your word is good, but your deeds are better. When responding to a customer request, stay on schedule and follow up regularly. Even if you don’t yet have a solution, stay in contact to show each customer his or her request is important.

4. Knowledge: Admit that you don’t know everything. When you’re not the expert, go to a team member who is. Not only will you better meet the customer’s need, you’ll gain some knowledge for future use.

See how you can leverage your website to serve customers

5. Personality: Service quality is only as good as the quality of the person delivering it. Bring out the best version of yourself for your customers. There’s nothing more helpful than a friendly voice guiding you through your questions.

6. Consistency: Take everything above and continue to make it happen. How you respond, how you communicate, the knowledge you have and the personality your team brings to the table should be the same high caliber from customer to customer. This consistency helps perpetuate your excellent service reputation.

I know these steps work because I’ve seen them in action – and not just with our partner agents. At SIS, we employ these measures to make sure our clients are helped and heard. Each Partner XE agency receives multiple ways to ask and answer questions through dedicated service, access to online Quick Guides, and regular in person and online trainings to keep operations sharp.

Want to find out more about the service and support SIS offers? Contact us or check out our website at sispartnerplatform.com. We’ll give you the timely response, clarity, and consistency you deserve.

Your Agency Management System’s Best Kept Secrets

Your Agency Management System’s Best Kept Secrets

You do a lot with your agency management system. You and your staff are in it every day: looking up information, running reports, and adding data constantly. But, you may be missing something. With your day to day routine usage, it’s easy to forget about or overlook some high-efficiency elements related to your management system. Check out the list below to see what you may be missing.

1. Customization

Chances are the standard naming conventions and workflows in a system aren’t the perfect fit for your agency. Take advantage of customizations such as using agency-specific category names and task paths. These small adaptations make your system more intuitive for your staff.

Read more on creating personalized workflows in your management system

2. Integrated accounting

Any system integration is beneficial for your agency, but accounting takes the cake. If you’re still relying on QuickBooks for accounting, you’re behind the curve. Integrated accounting eliminates double data entry and inevitable mistakes.

3. Personal and Commercial Lines Downloads

Like integrated systems, downloads spell out an immediate efficiency boost. If you’re already downloading, make sure you’re updating regularly. Carriers and lines of business are added frequently, and you may be missing out if you don’t have an up-to-date list.

Learn about linking commission downloads with agency accounting

4. Reporting

You store so much data in your system. What is it telling you? You’ll never know if you don’t ask. Pulling data from your management system provides an accurate look at critical items such as book of business, client types, best carriers, premiums and other custom information you’re tracking. The insights you gain from reports can help you can target new opportunities and clients.

5. Self-service customer portal

Give your customers direct access to their information through a web-facing customer portal. This can eliminate late night or weekend calls about accidents or need for proof of insurance. It’s a great ‘and’ to the services you’re already providing, especially in our technologically progressive society.

See how a customer portal benefits agency and customers alike

6. 24/7 Support

At SIS, the number one service we provide is free, ongoing training and support for our clients. Whether it’s in-person training for their team or always-available online training videos and QuickGuides, it’s included in our partnership. And, we hold monthly webinars on various topics, giving our partner agencies tools they can immediately use to impact their agency.

It may be time for a change. We’d love to talk with you about your management system needs. Contact us at 800.747.7005, Option 6 or sales@sisware.com to talk to an SIS staff member today.

Top Agency Management System Tools: Mobile Apps

Top Agency Management System Tools: Mobile Apps

When I talk about mobile apps with our clients, the first thing they think of is how it can improve their day to day operations. This is very true – your agency members have much to gain from all the time, on-the-go access to your agency management system via a mobile app.

But, mobile access is beneficial to agency customers, too. They give customers that same anytime access to their policy and info.

Agency Benefits: Mobile Management System Access

For your agency, mobile capability means accessing your agency management system on a mobile device. Such mobile capability allows you to perform relevant tasks when you’re outside of the office. That could include:

  • Capturing prospect information in the moment. Add names, contact info, and other pertinent prospecting information as you walk out of the meeting.
  • Serving customers anywhere. As an independent agency, you’re highly involved in your community. Chances are you’ll run into a customer when you’re out and about, and they’ll ask you about their policy. Mobile access allows you to meet their needs right there, instead of waiting till you’re back in the office.
  • Accessing information after hours. It seems almost every claim happens after-hours. With mobile, you can look up policy info to help process claims any time of day, wherever you’re located. Herein lies the most important mobile benefit: providing critical service to your customers when they need it most.

Check out other essential agencies tools here

Customer Benefits: Mobile Agency Portal

For your insured customers, mobile access means viewing and updating their policy and contact information on a mobile device via an agency portal. Though they are essentially tapping into your agency’s management system as well, the connection is opaque. But, the benefits remain obvious. Some include:

  • Better customer service. With mobile access, your customers can reach you easier and get their questions answered faster. This slight increase in service speed (without a decrease in quality) is exactly what your customers seek.
  • More control. Customers can view their info and change approved pieces on their own. Giving customer this level of control helps them feel they matter.
  • Faster claims processing. Mobile allows customers to capture claim information the moment the accident happens. They can upload photos and key in details before they forget, giving you a clearer picture of what happened.

Find out more ways to build and serve your customer base

Using Mobile to Set Your Agency Apart

Adding mobile access to your agency is a small move that makes a big difference. Almost everyone has access to and uses their mobile phone frequently, and this addition will separate you from your competition.

At SIS, we know these seemingly small enhancements can make a big impact on your agency. That’s why mobile access, email integration, and other efficiency-boosting capabilities come standard in our Partner XE management system. To find out more about what Partner XE has to offer, get in touch with us to schedule a demo and tell us how we can help your agency grow.