What Insurance Tech do Agency Customers Want?

What Insurance Tech do Agency Customers Want?

Do you know what your customers want?

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 processing. A 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 technologies:

These are just the start of the advanced agency technology you can leverage to improve service and retain and grow customers. Find out more about Partner Platform’s personalized digital experience and our growing list of tech partnerships and integrations: contact us at [email protected] or 800.747.7005, Option 6 today.

Expert Tips for Building Your Insurance Website for Sales

Expert Tips for Building Your Insurance Website for Sales

Have you properly equipped your insurance website for sales? Almost three-quarters of insurance shoppers go online to do research and obtain quotes, so you need a quality website to attract those sales.

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.

See how to become an effective digital insurance agent without losing customer connection

Saying Too Much

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 and service.  

Complicating Design

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.

Take a look at what your insurance agency website needs to stay competitive

Burying the Brand

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 name.

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 site.

Confusing Navigation

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.

Decentralizing Data

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 opportunities.

What to do: Integrate all your systems (client portal, marketing automation, CRM) into one centralized location: your agency management system.

Keep your agency equipped for the future with these essential software systems

Meet all Your Agency Website Needs in One Place

We’ve crafted our agency website offerings to address all these common errors, including the critical system integration that brings agency efficiency and effectiveness to a new level.

See samples of our website offerings and hear from Partner Platform agencies about how the Partner Platform system and team can help you do more for your prospects and customers.

Get in touch at [email protected] or 800.747.7005, Option 6, to view a demo and learn more.

Intentional Insurance Agency Marketing in Four Steps

Intentional Insurance Agency Marketing in Four Steps

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] 

Get more tips on how to boost your insurance agency marketing here

1. Assess who you are and where you are

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.

Read more about how to discover your agency niche and use it to grow your business

3. Be visible

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.

Dive into the must-haves to make your insurance website competitive here

4. Connect with current and potential 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 difference.

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 [email protected], or by calling us at 800.747.7005, Option 6.

Digital Insurance Customer Service: Keeping it Personal

Digital Insurance Customer Service: Keeping it Personal

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 customers.

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?

Read more about digital insurance technology trends for 2021 and beyond

Where to Start with Digital Insurance Tools

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.

  1. Customer 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.

Learn more about how to leverage a CRM in your agency with our “CRM for Insurance Agents”

  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Beyond improving outreach, texting is quite valuable when it comes to gaining time-sensitive information like accident photos or appointment reminders, too.

  1. 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.

See why a self-service client portal is a must-have for your independent agency

How to Set Your Agency up for Digital with Partner Platform

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.

With all these resources, we understand that there is no “one size fits all,” so get in touch to see what fits for you and your customers. Contact us at [email protected] or 800.747.7005, Option 6, to view a demo and learn more.

The Key to Stepping into Insurance Sales Software

The Key to Stepping into Insurance Sales Software

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 insurance agency.

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 Insurance Leads

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.

Get the stats on customer retention and how it can benefit your agency

Update Your Sales Mindset

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.

Gain insights on how to build up your agency referrals on our blog

Update Your Sales Software

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.

See more on the software essentials for your agency here

Understand Your Options

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.

Discover how the Partner Platform team can equip your agency: get in touch to schedule a demo today.