The insurance industry continues to change. Many big names are offering online-only, self-service models, and mobile access among other trends. These new movements speak to a growing demand for convenience, responsiveness and cost effectiveness. On the surface, they seem to hit the mark. But, many soon find marginal time and money savings are outweighed by a loss in service.
Why I Choose Independent
I know this first-hand. I recently switched agencies and carriers. It had nothing to do with price, but ended up being about service. I needed to make additions to my policy, so I called my provider of seven years to adjust my policy…and got no response. I reached out a second time. Still no response.
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My final call was to let them know I was leaving. Instead of asking “why?”, they assumed my move was based on rates. But it had nothing to do with price. It had everything to do with how I was treated. Now I’m with a new independent agent. They take my calls, respond when they can’t, and I trust them to take care of my family and I. It was their willingness to connect and listen that made all the difference.
What Makes Independent Great
In my experience, personal connection is what moves good service to great. And independent insurance agencies are in the know here. Despite the threat of large-scale providers, many independent agents are running profitable, growing agencies. Those experiencing success have three things in common: they’re smart, they work hard, and they give back to their employees and their community.
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This trifecta of determination and care can give independent agencies the edge in customer retention and growth—if they work for it.
Like the big names in the industry, independent agencies need to pay attention to macro trends around demand for faster service. But, they must do so with an eye to their individual customers’ preferences. It’s about striking a balance between harnessing new technology for faster response, yet keeping responses personal.
Customers have endless insurance options, but a personal relationship and trust differentiate the independent agency.
How We Support Independent
As SIS President, I’m bullish on independent agents seizing their opportunity to flourish. It’s not easy—and it never will be. But, with anything worthwhile, commitment and hard work increase chances for success. And as an agency management system provider committed to the independent channel, we look forward to continuing to help independent agencies improve and harness their full potential to serve.