Our Partner Platform agencies, like so many others across
the world, have been forced to embrace agency-wide remote work, sometimes with
days’ or hours’ notice. As we adjust to this surprise shift, we turned to our
trusted partners for help. See below for two guest webinars from Strategic
Insurance Software partners Brad
Reuben of Archway Computer and Mary Belka of Eisenhart Consulting.
Over the past year, we’ve delved into the topics most important to our Partner Platform community and all independent insurance agents and owners.. From the top insurance software you need to make it in the digital world to how to pass on your agency, we’ve covered it all. As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of our most popular and impactful posts.
The Thayer family has been running Batchelder Brothers Insurance in Sanford, ME for more than 140 years and counting. With history like that, the family-run business has become a cornerstone in the small town. “Our agency is committed to showing the people in this town that we care by protecting their interests, families, and businesses,” owner Andrew Thayer said of the agency. And it’s that care that attracted him to SIS and the Partner XE agency management system.
Quick – what words come to mind when you think of your agency management system?
Familiar? Tolerable? “There”?
If such a lack-luster description defines this integral part of your agency, it’s time to reevaluate why you stay.
We asked clients to describe their old system….
“I never felt comfortable…and it got more expensive by the day…It was obvious their only motive was getting us to spend more money.”
“It seemed like it took 20 clicks before an action could be completed. The program was loaded with bells and whistles (and flawed basic functions). We were paying a lot of money for an inefficient program!”
“It felt like you entered a massive switchboard and hit eight different numbers before talking to someone….They seldom acted on our requests and if they did it was very time-consuming.”
“If you ever had issues with (our previous system), good luck getting someone to call you and fix it. It was very cumbersome and the number of clicks it took to get anything done was obscene.”
These agencies knew they didn’t have to put up with high prices, poor service and an overbuilt, inefficient management system. You don’t have to either.
“It’s twice the system, and the personnel are twice as responsive as our old provider. Transition was easy too — no headache, no regrets.” – Pat Hull, Jacobs-Weber Insurance
“The service is head and shoulders above what we experienced with our old provider. It’s unbelievable how willing they are to respond and adapt to support us as an agency.” – Chad Van Camp, Family Insurance Center
“With SIS, I always get the feeling that they want to do whatever they can to make the system user-friendly…I think that their goal every day is to make Partner XE the best system it possibly can be.” – Leslie Huesman, Huesman Insurance Group
“SIS has showed me that my concerns are important to them… I have showed them a number of things. The difference between them and (my old provider) is that at SIS they were excited to see this stuff… to see how they can incorporate it.” – Steven Kramer, Kramer Insurance Center
When he bought Berndt and Murfin Insurance Agency back in 2006, Dan Cassidy was introduced to an early version of Partner XE, SEMCI Partner. As he continued acquiring agencies – six over the past ten years – he also continued to choose Partner XE and Strategic Insurance Software.
“It just keeps getting better,” Dan said of the system, noting features like integrated agency accounting and commercial lines download. Dan also named SIS’s forethought and attention to client needs as integral with each acquisition. “It’s always a little shaky at first,” Dan commented of the transition process, “But we get through it because of the SIS staff. They are always onsite to help us out, and that’s key.”
Texting has quickly become one of the most popular and efficient pieces of insurance tech. Almost 90% of consumers say they’d like to be able to text businesses. It improves communication by making it easier to get in touch and get a response from customers and prospects, streamlining outreach with automation and integration into agency systems. Studies show that 98% of text messages are read, compared to 20-30% of emails and phone calls.
Texting is one of the tools all your team members can use, from producers to CSRs, as it speeds up communications and helps your agency move.
Social media marketing is nothing new in the larger marketing industry but may be novel for independent insurance agencies. This tool is something all agencies should include in their insurance agency marketing strategy for several reasons. Social media can help your agency show off your expertise, build trust with customers and prospects, and help you better engage your customer base. For independent agencies, social media is an excellent tool to amplify their valuable local and personal connections with their communities.
Whether your agency is on social media or not, you’re being discussed in the social media space. Join in that conversation! Get your agency started by following a few simple dos and don’ts in the social media sphere.
The insurance industry isn’t known for embracing change quickly: maintaining the status quo can seem easier than adapting new insurance tech. Despite this, insurance agencies tend to face a greater cybersecurity threat than other small to medium-sized businesses due to the sensitive and valuable data they collect from numerous avenues.
With cyberattacks on the rise, and the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many agencies to leave the traditional way of doing things behind, the need for insurers to maintain cyber regulation and compliance has never been greater.
With this in mind, here are four ways insurance agencies can secure their insurance tech to protect their business, employees, and clients.