The year 2020 brought transformation across all industries, including insurance. Insurance agency software continues to evolve in response to these transformations, prompting savvy agency owners to update their tools and processes to respond to the needs of 2021.
A recent Chief Executive article pointed out several broad trends within the independent insurance agency: more digital interactions in the sales process, increased focus on digital customer experience, the convergence of sales and marketing, and the need to apply values in a new way.
Ken Branch echoed similar points in a recent PC360 article noting that in 2020 technology became more strategic, staffing and communications shifted to digital, and customer service was heightened in priority.
How can your agency respond to these changes and apply your values in a new digital way?
Discover some of our best insurance agency marketing resources here
1. Upgrade digital interactions
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital shift, and it isn’t going away. What does that mean for independent insurance agencies?
From both a sales and customer service perspective, independent insurance agency software systems must support more digital interactions. These digital interactions help agencies streamline sales and customer support, including integrating digital tools into your agency management system for one digital agency “ecosystem.”
Upgraded digital agency sales software includes:
- Insurance CRM
- Marketing Automation
- Text Messaging
Upgraded digital customer experience software includes:
- Client Portals
- Agency Mobile App
- Agency Website
See what you need to become a digital insurance agent here
2. Integrate sales and marketing
More digital interaction not only means you need the right digital tools, but you also need to reimagine how you use them. The increased focus on customer experience means you need to know more about your customers. Much of that information comes from your sales and marketing tools which, when integrated, maximize your data stream.
A management system with built-in insurance CRM helps you improve prospect targeting, allows you to segment audiences, and empowers your team to use management system data to initiate conversation in informed ways. For example, you can craft an upsell/cross-sell campaign offering clients with active Auto and Home policies but no Umbrella policy information, emphasizing why they might consider Umbrella and a link to schedule a conversation.
Better coordination like this improves outreach at all levels, including helping you target the appropriate number of calls and emails to reach a prospect without the producer having to do it all manually. Embedded CRM and marketing allow you to schedule and send emails, texts, and letters in bulk while simultaneously prompting producers to call at the appropriate time. This integration of processes increases your effectiveness and decreases time spent.
Learn about the essential sales and marketing data points you need to capture
3. Improve digital customer experience
The move to digital requires new ways to support clients and a rethinking of the customer experience through the digital lens. Ask yourself:
- How could our agency use technology such as a client portal, agency mobile app, and agency website in a way that enhances our unique relationship with our clients?
- How do these tools offer our clients ways to conduct business seamlessly in the digital world?
- Are we giving away that relationship by using generic versus company-branded tools?
Texting with clients has become a commonplace form of digital communication.
- Do you support texting with your clients?
- Can you easily document text conversations for E&O purposes?
- Can you text clients automated policy renewal reminders?
Your quoting and onboarding process can be improved with digital tools as well.
- How are you using digital proposals & eSignature to improve and streamline the quoting process?
- Are you sharing proposals with the client in a secure client portal integrated into the agency website?
And you can improve your quality of service through digital systems.
- How can you use your VOIP phone system with your agency management system to save CSRs time?
- Do you provide CSRs with pop-up client information when they receive a call?
- Can CSRs click to call within your agency management system?
- Do you have easy recording and attaching phone conversations within your system?
These small improvements lead to an overall smoother and more fulfilling customer experience, leading to higher conversion and retention rates.
Read more about digital insurance consumers and what they expect from your agency
4. Find a partner to equip you for 2021 and beyond
Need an experienced partner to help you implement and manage your agency software and digital tools? The Partner Platform team is equipped to bring a top-of-the-line agency management system embedded with powerful tools such as an insurance CRM, marketing automation, client portal, agency mobile app, and agency website into your ecosystem.