This shift to online prompted our Partner Platform team to think more about agency websites and how to optimize them for sales and service. We now work with agencies to help them create a custom site to grow their business after seeing several common mistakes. Here are some of the ways we saw agency websites missing the mark – and how we helped them correct their missteps.
Yes, you want your site to give visitors an idea of
who you are and what you do, but there is such a thing as too much information
online. Your site should focus on the essentials: your agency brand, the
services you offer, and how to get in touch. Too much text is overwhelming and
can turn away a potential customer.
What to do: If you’re having trouble being
concise, use videos as an alternative to provide deeper descriptions of your brand
There is a lot that can be done with a website
these days, but you want to be careful about going overboard. Too many dynamic
elements can cause your site to render differently on mobile devices and even
from browser to browser. More
than half of internet users said they wouldn’t recommend a business with
poor mobile design, so you need to ensure your site renders well no matter what
device visitors use.
What to do: To ensure your site will render
well on any device, begin with the mobile design or design both mobile and
desktop versions concurrently.
While pricing and service offerings are certainly
important, you don’t want visitors to lose sight of who they’re researching or
doing business with. Your brand is the most valuable element you have to offer,
and you want people to associate the positive experience they have with your
What to do: Use your branding colors
throughout the site and have your agency name, logo, and (if short enough)
motto on a sticky menu that users will see no matter where they are on your
The last thing you want is for users to get lost when
they’re on your site. If they came there to see your auto offerings or request
a quote, it should take them only a few seconds to find what they need. If your
navigation isn’t properly organized or seems confusing, it will be difficult
for visitors to find what they need, and they may abandon your site.
What to do: Use sticky drop-down menus so
users can navigate to any part of the site no matter what page they’re viewing.
The prospect and customer information you gain from
your site’s interactions needs to be stored in your management system. When all
your prospect and customer data is in one place, it’s easier to see what certain
groupings or individuals need and the best ways to serve those needs. When your
data is decentralized, or you enter it manually, you lose efficiency and sales
Are you intentional about your insurance agency marketing? If
you’re sailing by on your current client base and waiting for the phone to
ring, you’ll soon be left behind. As
one of our clients recently said, the “order-taker” agencies are quickly
becoming a thing of the past. With most potential customers searching for
insurance online, you need to be thoughtful about your agency brand and how to get it found. [SD1]
Your first step is a healthy assessment of your agency’s
brand and marketing strategy. Gather your team, survey your customers, and take
a look at how you’re seen. From there, think about how you want to be
seen and get steps in place to make that happen.
2. Define your brand
Before you can start marketing your agency, you need to have
a solid base of who you are as an agency: your brand. Do you have a
specialization? Are you known for serving a particular geographic area or type
of business? Think about what it is that sets you apart and build your brand
around those strengths.
Once you know what to show off, get it out there.
At a minimum, have an agency website and app. Both these tools are critical to
getting your name out there. Add a social media presence only if you can
maintain it well. You’ll need to share something once a week at a minimum. Otherwise,
your social page will look outdated and reflect poorly on your agency.
Increase your presence with photos and videos
showing off your agency personality – staff pictures, images of your community,
and other visual aids give visitors a picture of what is most important in the
industry: relationships. A blog is an excellent tool to expand on who you are,
including highlighting your service and expertise, both of which are critical
to bringing in new customers.
Make it easy for people to get in touch with you.
Include easily identifiable “contact us” forms on your website and respond
quickly to social media and other inquiries.
And create ways to gather potential customer
contact information. Have a pop-up asking website visitors to sign up for an
email list, request contact information when signing up for an in-person or
online event, and collect emails when visitors request a quote or to view
expert content. The more ways to can gather contact information, the better.
Once you have that contact information, get it
organized in your agency management system or CRM, and reach out. As we said,
those who passively wait for customers to reach them are falling behind.
Be active about gaining contacts, too. Ask for
referrals from current customers and see if they’re willing to write a positive
review on sites like Google, Yelp, and AngiesList to help bring in more
business. The more access points and outreach you can muster, the better.
Get the Tools You Need to Make Marketing Easier
The marketing tools of today are less about
advertising and more about building a relationship. While price and policy
matter, it’s who you are and the expert service you provide that makes the
We know and value building these relationships,
which is why we built our
Partner Platform system to help agencies improve service with time-saving
systems. Our integrated accounting and policy downloads, customer-service tools
like integrated VoIP and automatic caller profile pop-up, and targeted sales
and marketing systems like our
integrated CRM and marketing automation are all designed to automate
tedious tasks so agencies can focus on people and service.
Learn more about what these tools can do for your
agency, increasing efficiency in time-consuming tasks so you can focus on relationships
and service. Get in touch
with us here, at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or by calling us at 800.747.7005, Option 6.
As we recently heard from one
of our Partner Allies, one of the most significant challenges facing
independent insurance in the next ten years is how to keep up with the progress
of digital insurance technology while maintaining a personal connection with
Studies show customers want agencies to use more
tech and increase service personalization. A
recent PWC survey found 41% of insurance customers said they’d switch to a
new provider if that provider were more digitized than their current one. And the
recent COVID-19 pandemic shutdown exposed more people to digital service speed,
causing a lasting shift in expectations.
How can your agency harness digital insurance tech’s speed and efficiency without losing your signature personal touch?
There are a few essential tools to add to your
digital insurance toolbox right away. Each hit at the heart of efficiency for
you and your customers and, if used correctly, can strengthen your relationship
with your customer base.
Relationship Management (CRM) Software: By name, a CRM is built to improve
customer relationships. In insurance, the agency management system works with
the insurance CRM. While you leverage your management system to build current
relationships, the insurance CRM holds data on your interactions with prospects
before they become customers. That’s why it’s so critical that your management
system and CRM work together (or better yet, are integrated together) to provide
insight to each prospect and customer, helping you see the big picture of
customer preferences. With this knowledge, you can improve your overall
outreach approach and apply a more personalized touch to individual prospects, customers
and customer segments.
Marketing automation: With marketing automation, you can better understand your customer’s communication preferences. Some individuals or groups may prefer a text over an email, while others may want a phone call. Once you know how your customers like to keep in touch, you can automate some communication with customizable messaging to keep engaged in-between personal outreach.
Text messaging: Recent studies show text message open rates go as high as 98% – meaning you can almost guarantee your texts will be read by customers. And, texting is becoming more popular among consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z.
improving outreach, texting is quite valuable when it comes to gaining time-sensitive
information like accident photos or appointment reminders, too.
Client Portals: Client portals are essential customer service tools. More than 60% of customers say they prefer to monitor their insurance claims status with digital tools. Client portals provide more transparency to customers and give them 24/7 access to information like their current coverage, payment dates, and printable ID cards. This wealth of self-service information increases trust and makes it easy for customers to connect with what they need.
How to Set Your Agency up for Digital with Partner
With these digital service tools, you can improve
service to create life-long customers, decrease acquisition costs, and increase
referrals for a net gain across your business. Yet,
nine out of ten insurance agencies say their “legacy software and
infrastructure” creates a barrier to digitization. To get the most out of
this amazing communication technology, you need to start with a foundation that
makes digital possible.
For more than a decade, the team at Partner
Platform has worked to create a system and infrastructure that is robust,
intuitive, and designed to grow. Our innovative system starts with our agency-friendly
management system. It builds from there with a host of digital engagement
tools like integrated texting, Client Portal, CRM and marketing automation, and
VoIP integration, among other tools.
Identifying the right insurance sales software and
systems requires understanding the balance of quality and quantity for valuable
insurance leads. The concept of “living
on renewals” is great – until it’s not.
Intentional, proactive, professional insurance sales demand the right
mindset, strategy, and systems to make the desired impact in an independent
Rethinking your insurance sales software and systems doesn’t have to be a major project. Start with knowing what you want, bringing that into your sales mindset, and finally acclimating to new tech. It only takes a step at a time.
Know What You Want: Quality or Quantity for
Most agencies desire quality over quantity. Quality
insurance leads resemble your best clients and provide your agency with the
greatest opportunity to deliver your unique expertise and the right coverage at
the right price. Your number of insurance leads depends upon available
resources to respond quickly and professionally, engaging with leads the moment
they show interest.
A quick response will improve your close ratio and the
likelihood a prospect becoming a long-term client. Regardless of the quality or
quantity debate, the meaningful question is how to capture, organize, and
communicate with the individuals or businesses seeking a policy.
The most significant shift you need to make as an
agency is to focus on the importance of new business acquisition via better
communication. This is a long-term
goal that can be executed on in the short term. Perhaps you’re already
there as an owner or agent, but you need to motivate your agents to do the
same. Long-term, you’ll need a shift in processes and infrastructure, but in
the short term, you need to shift where agents spend their time: communicating
with prospects and customers.
Part of long-term thinking is a shift to focus on customer
retention and growth rather than exclusively net new business. On-boarding
a new customer requires multiple times more resources than growing a current
customer through cross-selling, up-selling, or gaining referrals. Communicate
the value of service and customer growth to your team to help you stay
competitive in the long-run.
The prospect of adding new software can be the
biggest hurdle for an agency. Implementing insurance sales software is an
intentional effort to support your growth goals and develop systems to purposefully
build new relationships and win new business.
Through the simple implementation of an integrated
CRM, your agency can implement more effective and dependable client and
prospect communications. Coupled with integrated marketing automation,
you’re able to respond faster to inquiries and stay connected consistently.
Change is difficult for any business, and your
agency is no exception. As you move to rethink your sales mindset and systems,
there are many paths you can take to get to your goal.
When you’re ready, let the experts at Partner
Platform guide you to discover the best insurance sales software options for
your agency. Our hands-on team will meet with you to discuss the outcomes you
want and provide you with the insurance sales resources and support you need to
make those outcomes a reality.
Research shows almost 70% of insurance consumers
do an online search before making their purchase. That means 70% of your
prospects are looking for you online. Are you one of the insurance websites
that will keep them engaged?
With “insurance near me” online searches growing by over 100% in the last two years, you need to be one of the stand-out insurance agency websites to make an impression. To stay competitive, be sure your site includes:
1. Clear branding elements
Your agency website should clearly state: “This is
us. This is what we do. This is what we value.” That means giving your agency
name and logo prominence and using your branding (logos, colors, and text)
throughout the site. Have your mission or value statement front and center and
include photos of your community to show your personalized approach.
2. Succinct messaging and minimal text
There’s no doubt a lot you can say about your
agency and why you’re the best choice in town, but your website isn’t the place
for too much detail. Focus on getting across the services you offer, the value
you bring, and how people can get in touch with you.
Despite the high volume of online searches, close to
80% of insurance consumers call an agency before closing the deal. You can fill
in all the details and personal stories on the phone, but your website should
get right to the point to get you connected.
To foster that connection, you need a consistent, prominent
call to action throughout your site. This could be a “Contact Us” or “Get a
Quote” button or another action-oriented callout. Prospects shouldn’t need to
search to figure out how to get in touch – make it obvious.
4. Mobile access
More than half of online insurance searches take place via a
mobile device. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile access, it can get
scrambled when viewed on such devices, frustrating prospects and turning them
away. Ensure your site can adapt so it looks its best no matter how someone
As we have cited before, Microsoft
found 90% of consumers worldwide expect organizations to offer a self-service
portal. Insurance agencies are no exception. Besides providing an online
self-service portal, you need to ensure your client portal integrates with your
management system, CRM, and other customer data-driven software. The more your
agency tools connect, the smoother your operations.
Get All Your Agency Website Must-Haves in One Place
If you’re looking for an experienced partner to
help you craft an engaging, professional agency website, the Partner Platform
team has you covered. We now offer custom, agency-branded sites to help
agencies promote their brand and better serve their customers.
The coronavirus pandemic accelerated trends in several areas, including digital insurance customer service. A recent survey showed that almost 90% of American consumers think customer service is more important now than before the pandemic took hold of the world.
Consumers not only expect more from service providers, they also have more options, meaning they’ll choose an agency that offers quicker and smoother interactions over one that’s, say, unable to process esignatures. As your team transitions back to the office, now is the time to reevaluate your customer service tools and processes to keep up with expectations.
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.
“We saw a company that reminded us of our agency.”
This is a sentiment we often hear from our Partner Platform agencies – that they saw themselves in our team and us. That’s what makes us more than a provider but a real partner with each agency we serve.
The community we created echoes that partnership: it’s fueled by innovative collaborators in our agency, technology, and industry partners. With their help, we’re able to stay ahead of the curve and equip our Partner Platform agency management system and insurance CRM to harness future opportunities while providing the service and care our agency customers appreciate today.