As the insurance industry grows more competitive, the particulars of your specific insurance agency management will make your business stand out. Those particulars could be location proximity, ease of doing business, or even something as simple as how your website looks. Though price still matters, changes in cost can only go so far.
The true test of what makes your agency the best choice is the overall customer experience. Seemingly small touches that make each interaction easier, more personable, and leave each customer with a positive feeling have a real impact. Today it’s about more than the best price and the latest tech; it’s how you use these tools to empower, differentiate, and create the best experience in your agency.
Stick with the Fundamentals
Whether your agency has been around for five years or 50, there are some fundamental core elements your customers value. Those are:
An old adage says, “You lose a customer for the same reason you won them.” These three areas are those reasons: your agency stands out because of your niche knowledge, speedy and effective service, and the personal relationships you build with customers. Big-name providers simply can’t offer these to the same degree as you, an independent agent. Focus on holding fast to these fundamentals, and you’ll gain more customers than you lose.
Blend Tech with Human Interactions
One of the biggest mistakes newer agencies make these days is to rely too much on technology to get work done. Though insurtech has its place in increasing efficiency, it doesn’t replace the power of human interactions.
Focus on finding that balance between using tech for its speed and accuracy while keeping human-driven avenues open for service and support. Look to tech to streamline routine claims and policy processing, but leave space for in-person meetings or phone calls to walk customers through more complex issues. The tech/human balance is an essential chord to strike to keep your agency growing.
Grow Your Expertise
Your deep knowledge of the industry and its nuances is why customers choose you over big-name providers. However, the insurance industry is changing due to technological advances, new ways of doing business, and changes in regulations. You need to keep your team up to date on the latest in the industry with regular continuing education sessions and by gaining additional professional accreditations.
Streamline and Personalize Communications
If your agency has been around for a while, you likely grasp what it means to personalize your communications. Yet, it may become more difficult to keep up that personal touch in your usual ways as you grow. Tech can help by leveraging data to customize your email, social media, and text outreach. Look into tools like marketing automation and an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) to get the personal connection and efficiency you need.
Expand Ways to Get Service and Support
Your customers’ service experience is vital to your agency’s reputation. As a new generation of individuals enters the insurance market, they have different service expectations. Though all your customers will want personalization and a human-driven experience, they’ll also want the option to communicate in different ways. Expand your communication offerings with texting, a branded agency app, an easy-to-navigate website, and an online customer portal. The more choices customers have when it comes to service, the better.
Stay Nimble to Stay Relevant
In a recent conversation with one of our Partner Platform agencies, we talked about the importance of being flexible in order to respond to unexpected changes in the market. Disruptors like the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2008 financial crisis can be hard to prepare for, but you can react quickly if your agency has a culture of trust and flexibility.
Equipping your agency with more tech efficiency is part of that nimbleness. When you have systems that can automatically operate without much effort, you create the time and space to think about what adjustments you need and how to make them happen – fast. Large, complex agencies simply cannot make the quick adjustments your agency can to provide speedy, personal service and communications during uncertainty.
Partner Platform is the Independent Agency’s System
When we created our Partner Platform agency management system suite, we designed it with the independent agency in mind. The easy-to-navigate system has room for personalization bolstered with the latest tech efficiency. We regularly consult with our Partner Platform Community to find ways to make our system work better for our independent agents.