Insurance is a pretty safe industry to get into. There will always be a need for insurance and good insurance agents fulfill an important need in their respective communities. But while it’s a necessary industry, it is also a competitive industry.
Therefore, insurance agencies need to make sure they are running as efficiently as possible to give them an edge in this environment. By keeping up with customer demand and the ever changing way customers do business, insurance agencies can set themselves apart. Now, more than ever, customers have access to vital information that influences their decisions about their insurance and the insurance agency they deal with. Simply put, an agency’s reputation is its most valuable asset and an efficiently run agency will more easily be able to build and maintain a stellar reputation.
Here are three ways you can run an efficient insurance agency to make sure you are keeping your reputation in the five-star range:
Fielding phone calls, responding to email and dealing with snail mail all take time away from the core competency of an insurance agency, which is selling insurance. Efficiently run insurance agencies will have an administrative person on staff to handle tasks that don’t directly relate to selling insurance.
They can be stationed in the office to make sure someone is always there and if your administrative person is licensed to sell insurance, they can help with that aspect of the business during any downtime.
Someone who is licensed to sell insurance might not be interested in an administrative role, but you should be able to attract someone who is just getting started in their insurance career who wants to ease into the selling portion of it. Alternately, you might be able to find someone who wants to get into insurance sales and help them get their license as they work for you as an office administrator.
Having someone to take care of the administrative duties means never having to keep customers waiting for prolonged periods, which they will greatly appreciate.
Properly Train Staff
That’s why you need to train your staff in every aspect of your agency’s management software. Take advantage of any training offered by the software provider and make sure all agents are knowledgeable about how it works and how to use it as effectively as possible.
Aside from training in your agency management software, provide any other training to staff that you feel would make your business run better. Remember that even if staff technically already know how to do something, a refresher never hurts.
Knowing how to use the agency management software to its full potential means being able to serve customers quickly and they will enjoy the speed and efficiency their accounts are handled with.
Perform Regular Efficiency Audits
Your agency can always improve. Just when you think you have things flowing as smoothly as possible, someone will come along and suggest you try doing something a different way and you’ll be amazed that you didn’t think of it before.
About once per year, perform an efficiency audit at your agency to see if there are any workflows that can be reduced or even eliminated if they are not completely necessary. Don’t rely on one person to perform these audits. Make it an agency-wide practice and get feedback from all staff. Ensure that the process is open and let your staff know there will be no repercussions for pointing out inefficiencies. This will make them feel safer about bringing up issues they observe.
You might not be able to accommodate every single recommendation, but you will likely be able to streamline your processes because you’ll be getting feedback about inefficiencies that you didn’t even recognize. And, best of all, you will be empowering your staff by involving them.
Clients may not be privy to the behind-the-scenes actions taking place at the agency, but they’ll see the results on the frontlines.
A good reputation is the best possible marketing tool an insurance agency can have and, in addition to superb customer service and competitive pricing, the best way to ensure you have that coveted good reputation is to run your agency as efficiently as possible. Follow these three simple steps and you will keep your agency humming like the proverbial well-oiled machine. To help you run your agency as efficiently as you can, Evolution Agency Management software has been tailored to be flexible, secure and easy-to-use. Please visit us to book a demo today to find out how we can help your insurance agency run as smoothly as possible.