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.

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