Your agency management system is the hub of your agency.
It’s the center of your data, the place through which almost all your processes
flow, and the one piece of technology designed to help you work more
efficiently. But chances are you haven’t updated your management system since
you first learned to use it.
Up to 86% of surveyed insurance agents agreed: digital technology and up-to-date insurance
software are critical to agency growth. At the same time, nine out of ten said “legacy software and infrastructure” were
holding them back.
This November, we’re in a particularly thankful mood as
we reflect on the ways our Partner Platform community and system have grown
this year. SIS
President Michael Doran shares his thoughts on what our agencies and
we have done to create the best agency management system experience this year
and for years to come.
Having a mobile-enabled agency is critical to future growth and success. J.D. Power and Associates reported that 42% of claimants surveyed used an agency mobile app. That number will only continue to grow. As the independent channel competes with the direct writers of the world, you need this top agency management system tool.
There are two mobile apps you need to stay relevant: an internal app connecting with your agency management system and a client facing app for customers to connect to you.
Internal Mobile App: Connecting Your Team
An internally connected mobile app allows your agency team to access client, policy and claim information anywhere, anytime. That means faster service for your clients, better connection for your staff, and it even serves as back-up should your agency lose power or experience other technical issues.
An agency management system mobile app extension is also an excellent sales tool. Agents can add in notes and update prospect profiles immediately after meeting, And, they can reference game-changing info during sales conversations. Plus, a mobile app serves as a great task list, keeping your sales team on top of follow-ups and other prospect requests.
Check out these other essential tech tools you need to stay up-to-date in your agency
Client Mobile App: Leveling Up Your Customer Service
Mobile access for clients via a branded mobile app is also a must. With a mobile app, your policyholders can access account information all in one place. It’s convenient, efficient, and essential. With a mobile app, your customers should be able to:
- Search for and download your app right in the app store
- See your agency name and logo on the app icon and within the app for a fully-branded experience
- Access important policy and coverage information, ID cards, list of drivers on their policies, and claims information among other relevant documents
- File a claim or send important information back to the agency via the app
- Receive updates from you via push notifications for things like inclement weather notices, policy renewals, and billing inquiries
Before going mobile, check out these tips on handling agency technology
Getting the Right App for Your Agency
The first step in getting your agency on mobile is finding an app that fits your needs. No matter which you choose, find one that syncs with your agency management system. The data captured via mobile apps is invaluable to your agency, and you want to ensure it’s going right into your system.
At SIS, we know the power of that data. That’s why we added mobile to our Partner Platform agency management tool. This “always on” cloud-hosted access is convenient, intuitive, and secure, hitting all the boxes for a mobile management system app.
Find out more on our mobile offering and other Partner Platform capabilities at https://sispartnerplatform.com.
Control. Fear. Empowerment.
These are just a few of the emotions I’ve seen on both sides of the client self-service portal experience. Agencies wonder if self-service portals will render human agents irrelevant while customers feel emboldened with the freedom to get immediate service. In this context, this top agency management system tool seems like a must-have yet a no-win for independent agencies.
When choosing an agency management system, it can feel like you’re sitting at the poker table. Livelihood and legacy are on the line. If you pick the wrong system, you stand to lose efficiency, time and money. If choose correctly, you win a partner that will help your agency grow to new heights. How do you know which is the right choice?
Does the system have the buy-in to sit at the table?
Management system capabilities like fully integrated accounting, document management and commercial and personal lines download are the buy-in to sit at the table. There may be other capabilities, like email integration or a customer portal, you may also want.
Step one is determining if the system has those capabilities. Step two is testing them out in a demo to see how they function. A system may have a whole host of potentially useful features, but they’re only useful if you and your staff can use them without memorizing a user manual.
The bet in choosing an agency management system comes from things you can’t see on a demo.
What tells should I look for in a management system provider?
There are ways to tell if a management system provider has the right hand for your agency. Three common tells for a quality system and provider include:
You want to choose a management system that supports agency growth. That means being upfront about management system costs and providing value equal to or greater than its cost. When looking at a provider and system, ask yourself:
- Will the system provide efficiency to lessen workload?
- Does the system have annual price increases? If so how much are they?
- Do you have to pay for improvements to the system?
You want a management system provider that holds themselves to the same high-level customer support standards as your agency. Consider questions like:
- How long does it take to receive an answer to a question?
- Do you talk to a real person or an automated system?
- What type of onsite training is provided?
- How much does training for new employees or continued training cost?
You know your customers and they know you. You want the same from your agency management system provider. Determine how you’ll be seen by your provider by answering these questions:
- Can you call the c-suite officers to talk about long-term projects and the future of the business?
- Do they have a product roadmap and do you have input in it?
- Can they provide custom enhancements for your agency?
How do I make an informed bet?
The best way to get the answers you need about a new system and provider is to talk with other agencies who have made the switch. Connect with those that have about the same book of business, organizational structure and future goals as your agency. Talk with them about their decision-making process and experiences with the different providers they tried.
Once you have a short list, ask for references. Evaluate if their answers align with your agency’s needs and put an offer on the table. Your thoroughness will ensure you’ll cash out a winner.
Thinking about stepping up to the table? Take the betting out of it with SIS and our Partner XE management system. Our customizable system, dedicated service team, and engaged Partner XE User community are a sure win for you and your agency. Get in touch with an SIS team member today to get the conversation started.