Everyone loves to get two for the price of one. It’s the beauty of doubling your money and getting more done in half the time: a win-win for all. The digitization of insurance has made that “two for one” thrill possible with insurance marketing tools that double as customer service tools, too. And it all begins with data.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digitation across industries, and insurance was no exception. Part of the acceleration included a rise in direct-to-consumer (DTC) purchases. More people started buying goods and services online, cutting out in-person or phone interactions. That rise in DTC increased access to customer data.
That data is the main component to your double-dipping in marketing and customer service tools. The more data you can gain through marketing, the better you can serve customers and prospects.
How to Harness Data
Your customers want their interactions to be more efficient,
yet they still want the personalization they expect from an independent agency.
You want the same: faster processing with a personal touch. With proper data management, you can get both. It takes three steps:
Seems simple enough, right? It can be if you have the right tools at your disposal.
The Insurance Marketing Tools You Need
Start with a robust insurance website. Your website is your digital storefront and the landing spot for every customer you serve and prospect you want to serve. Make your website count by connecting it with your agency management system to track visitors and their interactions. And, make sure it’s optimized for mobile: 63% of Google’s daily search traffic takes place on a mobile device.
On your agency website, you need a Client Portal. With a Client Portal, you can connect your customers directly to their policy information, including the ability to download and print insurance cards, view claims status, make payments, and do other essential services on their own. The more self-service you provide, the less time you spend on small tasks, freeing more time to focus on complex customer issues. And, you gain data on what your customers are looking for and what they value.
Similar to the Client Portal, you should also have an agency mobile app so your customers can access information on their mobile devices. A mobile app provides the same self-service options as your Client Portal but makes it easier to access on the go. A mobile app is essential for quality claims processing as it allows customers to take photos of accidents or damages the moment they happen.
Marketing automation is another critical insurance marketing and customer service tool. With marketing automation, you gain data on every customer and prospect’s digital interaction. Whether it’s filling out a web form, clicking an email link, or interacting with a social media post, data from that interaction is stored in marketing automation. You can then analyze that data to discover which communication methods and what pieces of content individuals and groups prefer. From there, you can create customer and prospect segments and send out the information they need via the modes they choose – all in one system.
Your final essential insurance marketing and service tool is an insurance CRM. A CRM is the center of data storage and analysis. Within your insurance CRM, you can see each prospect and customer’s digital interactions, along with their in-person and phone interactions, detailing their entire relationships with your agency. With this wealth of data, you can create customer and prospect segments and identify gaps in coverage, referral and cross-sell opportunities, and other valuable information to boost interactions and improve services.
Find Everything You Need in One Management System
If you think getting two for one in a single marketing and service tool is exciting, how about getting all of these valuable tools in one agency management system?
That’s what you can find in the Partner Platform agency management system and insurance CRM. Our cloud-based system combines all the practical management system elements with data-driven digital tools for a personalized digital experience.
Find out more about the advanced agency technology you can leverage to improve service and retain and grow customers. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.747.7005, Option 6 today.
This past year was one like no other. With the
entire world forced to move to digital work rapidly, many industries felt
growing pains and suffered from the sudden shifts. One industry that didn’t was
The term “insurtech” applies to a variety of digital tools used in the insurance industry. Everything from a client portal to an integrated rater are insurtech. Overall, insurtech removes barriers in insurance, speeding up enrollment and claims processing, among other procedures, making it easier for agencies to grow their business and serve their customers.
Since 2015, insurtech investment has steadily increased,
$2.5 billion in funding in 2020. This consistent growth speaks to insurtech’s
value, and individual agency successes show that insurtech works.
Given its benefits, many of our independent
agencies are asking if and how they should adopt insurtech. We offer advice
with the following questions.
Where are you in your tech use?
There’s no doubt insurtech can advance agency
operations. But, if your agency is still using decade-old computers or in the
midst of upgrading to paperless workflows among other modern systems, you
should take it similarly slow in adopting new insurtech. Know your own pace and
make a plan as to what you’ll adopt and when, giving your team time to adjust
so you can implement new tech with fidelity.
What are your goals for insurtech?
What exactly is your agency after in investing in
new tech? Do you want to address operational issues? Grow your customer base?
Add value to the customer experience? What your goals are will determine what
types of insurtech to add to your operations first. You should only add new
technology if you have a clear plan for its use.
What insurtech do we have now? Do we need to add to it?
If you already utilize this tech, you can consider
adding other items, depending on your specific goals and needs. Other tech to
Digital forms and eSignature
It’s up to you and your agency how to want to
grow. But, pay attention to how trends move and keep a pulse on whether or not
these “nice to have” items move to the “need to have” column.
What are the potential risks we need to address?
Yes, insurtech improves operations, enhances
customer service, and promotes growth, but it has drawbacks. The most prominent
is the increased
vulnerability to cyber threats. The more you leverage digital connections,
the more you expose your agency to cyber-attacks. That doesn’t mean you should
write off insurtech; you simply need to ensure
you have robust security measures and employee training to keep your data
The other significant risk is losing
personalization and the human touch your customers value. Be intentional about
how you use insurtech –
it can increase personalization if used correctly. Pay attention to how
you’re using new technology, including training your staff on how to leverage
its benefits and avoid falling into a less human-centric approach.
Who should we partner with for insurtech?
This is one of the most important questions you can
ask. While the tech may sound great, if the provider isn’t willing to work with
and for you it’s not worth the investment.
We work side by side with our Partner Platform
agencies to determine what tech they need. Our in-house team is well versed in
integrating top-of-the-line insurtech resources into our system, and we’ve partnered
with our elite Partner Allies to get experts on the case.
Along with providing an integrated, best-in-class
experience, we work with our agencies to ensure they have the best training and
always accessible resources to keep themselves equipped to serve their
As a particularly vulnerable industry, insurance agencies
must be mindful. The volume of files processed daily and the sensitive
information contained in each mean insurance agencies are increasingly at risk.
found that only 43% of insurance executives said their organization was
Cloud-based systems – most notably agency
management systems – are the fastest, most accessible tools. Yet, cloud-based
systems are also increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats. Keep your agency
safe with up-to-date hardware and secure cloud hosting. Consider using a VPN to
keep information protected at all times, especially
when accessing data outside the office.
2. Train and re-train your staff
Humans are by far the weakest link in cyber-safety.
Shockingly, anti-virus developer McAfee
found that only 30% of employees receive cybersecurity training. Without
training, your staff can create multiple cyberattack vulnerabilities each day. Train
employees on elements like identifying and reporting suspicious emails and test
them regularly with fake attack attempts. As tech advances rapidly, so too do
cyberattacks. Continually train your staff to stay up-to-date on the latest
3. Use anti-virus software
While your staff may be well-trained to spot cyber attacks
once they reach them, they cannot see what is going on behind the scenes. Anti-virus
software can identify threats before they make it to your inbox or server,
offering a sophisticated level of protection. As you keep your staff training
updated, do the same with your anti-virus software. Be sure to download updates
to add new protections against emerging threats.
4. Use more and complex passwords
agency processes sensitive information daily. Each time you access personal
data, you should enter a password. The more often you require passwords to view
information, the better it’s protected. Establish guidelines for these
passwords, requiring them to be as complex as possible and less vulnerable to
hacks. Enhance protection by requiring passwords change frequently and remind
employees not to share their passwords with anyone, including their coworkers.
5. Employ back-ups
Whether it’s a cyberattack or a power outage, you
need back-ups of all your agency data. If you find yourself unable to access
your primary server, you want a secure back-up to rely on to keep your business
6. Vet your vendors
You and your agency can do everything to combat
cyberattacks, but if you partner with a company that’s vulnerable to attacks,
you are, too. Work
only with vendors that take cybersecurity seriously and understand how to
keep their – and your – information safe. Ask questions about their
cyber protections, back-ups, and disaster recovery plans. You want a partner
that cares about your data just as much as you.
At Partner Platform, we value security to keep our
agencies protected. And, we know enough to recognize we’re not the experts in
everything: that’s why we partner with highly-vetted
Partner Allies to keep us at the expert level.
our secure, cloud-based infrastructure, we employ redundant back-ups and
multi-character password protection on our host servers. We understand that cybersecurity
measures change frequently, so we regularly train and test our employees on
cybersecurity measures. We value providing a high-quality agency management
system experience that’s also well-protected.
Look into how to integrate your systems, like
your email and phone, among others, into your agency management system.
Improve information flow with digital
document storage and a CRM
system to hold customer and prospect information. And improve your website
with a simple, branded, easy-to-navigate site and an integrated client portal
to streamline customer service access.
Each of these innovations can upgrade your
internal processes, increasing your customer response times and bringing
high-quality service to prospects and customers quickly and efficiently.
See how you can find all these tools in one
intuitive management system: get in touch with us at
800-747-7005, option 6, or at email@example.com.
It may not be what it’s always been – and it may surprise you how preferences have changed. Advancements in insurance tech and changes in purchasing patterns mean your current and prospective customers may be looking for something more. Though you’ll have variation among different generations, there are commonalities within what your customers are looking for to get excellent service.
What Customers Expect from Your Agency
There are a few stand-outs in terms of customer
expectations. Some of those top areas are:
Personalized content. A recent EIS Customer Compass research study discovered 20% of
customers said a “lack of personalization” was the “main reason” they switched
insurance providers. Customers are looking for messaging and coverage that
speaks to their specific needs. In fact, agencies that increased
personalization had an over
80% customer retention rate.
Better, faster communication and claims
DXC survey found 42% of respondents thought their insurer needed to improve
their claims processing technology. 70%
of those surveyed said they wanted to be able to text their insurance
agency securely. Customers simply expect more from all areas of service.
In-depth knowledge. Along with advanced
technology, customers want expert advice. Accenture
found almost 50% of insurance customers trust a human over an automated
advisor or chatbot. And
75% prefer to talk with a person before making a purchase. You need to up
your data so you can provide the detailed expert guidance customers want.
How to Deliver
How can you equip yourself to provide personalized
service, expert advice, and efficient communication? Start with these key
Our next “Behind Our Insurance Agency Software” series focuses on encrypted email and signature provider RPost. Based in Los Angeles, CA, the team at RPost operates in the U.S., the U.K., and more than 100 countries worldwide.
Formed in 1999, RPost filled an emerging need in online communications. While the convenience of email made it the dominant form of business communications, the team at RPost saw a worrying trend in email security. Organizations were sending sensitive information via the web and needed to protect it.
RPost stepped up to fill that gap between convenience and security, adding legal verification to email content and attachments through encryption technology. I talked with RPost’s VP of Business Development, Jake Finnell, about how RPost brought its powerful encrypted email and esignature services to SIS and the Partner Platform community.
Comparison quoting, esignatures and e-doc processing, and other digital insurance software tools have vastly improved personalization and customer service in insurance. It’s also becoming clear that these tools are also making agencies more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. According to the Identify Theft Resource Center, cyber-attacks increased by 42% in the first quarter of 2021, affecting an estimated 51 million people.
As a community-minded, independent agency, you can’t afford to expose your customers to that risk. Not only would it affect you financially, it would also damage your reputation in the community. How can you keep your customers and agency protected?
The evolution of sales as a software (SaaS) has dramatically changed the software landscape. Thanks to their easy-to-integrate nature, more businesses use SaaS applications over desktop software to improve operations. A 2019 report found that companies with less than 50 employees had, on average, 47 SaaS apps in use across their organization.
This SaaS revolution takes shape in the insurance industry with insurtech. Based in SaaS, insurtech provides streamlined operations through integrated solutions. While agency owners recognize the benefit, many ask how to incorporate insurtech – do they implore their management system providers or take on the integrations themselves? The answer lies in what it is you as an owner want for your agency.