Businesses in all industries have embraced the analytics, telematics and big data that are all hallmarks of the digital age we live in. Some businesses, like retail, seem tailor made to take advantage of the tools and techniques of digital marketing and sales. Others, like insurance, have to be more creative in their use of these tools to help increase revenue.
Insurance agencies, if they haven’t already, need to use the available tools to gather, process and analyze useful data on their customers so they can better understand customer behavior and actions.
Adopting an enterprise-wide agency management software is a comprehensive way to streamline core operations in an agency, like integrating the claims management process, simplifying policy administration and monitoring regulatory compliance.
Complement and Enhance
Embracing a digital approach to insurance does not mean giving up the traditional face-to-face process of insurance sales. In fact, in this digital age, the face-to-face tradition of insurance sales may be more welcome than ever.
Insurance agencies can easily use new technological tools to complement and enhance their traditional sales strategies by becoming more familiar with their customers’ shopping and purchasing behavior. Technological tools also offer real-time customer data that offer new levels of customer intimacy and allow agencies to quickly and efficiently discover and respond to trends and buying patterns.
For example, big data can be used to augment conventional data and bring customer profiling and risk assessment into sharper focus. When agencies can do this, they can then tailor products to customers’ personal needs and shape the entire insurance purchasing experience based on personal preferences.
Engage and Improve
Although the aforementioned traditional face-to-face interaction remains a hallmark of the insurance industry, people in the digital age continue to use the internet as their primary contact with their insurers. Customer-centric insurance agencies need to find ways to engage creatively with consumers online. But, even in-person interactions can be improved with the help of accurate, up-to-date information and data.
Social media is, of course, the most obvious way modern consumers garner and share information, cultivate brand perception and make purchasing decisions. Agencies that are able to pick up on the instant insight of signals they see on social media will more easily be able to turn this insight into sales leads.
In addition to that, social media can be used to track the response to innovations introduced by agencies. You’ll know pretty quickly if they’re working or not by what you read about them on social media.
Collect and Create
The Internet of Things, which is comprised of internet enabled devices like appliances or sensors that are embedded in consumer products, are the newest wave of customer data collection. Insurers can use these new data collection devices to collect information, assess risk and create new products to offer customers that are in sync with current market data.
For example, in the health and life insurance sphere, wearable sensors allow insurers to monitor the health of a policyholder and use this information to help make real-time risk and pricing evaluations. These sensors can also help insurers alert policyholders to potential problems so they can seek treatment promptly or even seek preventative treatment.
By getting on board early, insurers will be a step ahead of the competition as this new technology continues to become the norm in an ever-changing landscape.
Acquire and Innovate
More than ever, agility is the key to success. In a world that moves so quickly from innovation to innovation, it’s the insurance agency that is able to stay as agile as possible that will put itself into the best possible position to succeed.
However, it’s not easy to take a high-cost, complex business like insurance and turn it into a low-cost, agile business. But, with the proliferation of cloud computing, so-called greenfield operations could be set up relatively quickly to take advantage of burgeoning market opportunities.
Acquisitions are another way larger and less agile agencies can procure the analytical and engagement skills that are so important to this new landscape. Either outright purchasing or joint venturing with startup or boutique insurance operations that are adept at working within the digital landscape would immediately bring these necessary skills on board. They can be operated in parallel with the larger operation.
For example, a greenfield operation could provide retention, cross-selling and upselling capability as it runs alongside the existing business. These greenfield operations can also be used to target customers who want to exit the business by offering products that better fit their needs.
Or, they could target customers who are introduced to the agency through other channels, like a comparison site, so they can be encouraged to contact an agent via phone. This would increase the likelihood of a sale being completed and open opportunities for cross-selling.
Standing on the brink of change, players in the insurance industry are going to need to embrace present and future technological tools to drive sales and service, develop innovative products and cut costs while staying compliant. 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 grow.