How's this for a bold claim: Companies in the insurance industry are better than the NSA at collecting its customer’s data!
OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but brokers, agents, and insurers have an incredible amount of sensitive information on file about their customers. And, what are they doing with all this information?
Not nearly enough.
Analyzing customer data to get actionable insights via dashboards and reports has the potential to drive sales, significantly increase retention and policy renewals, and improve customer relationships.
Why, then, do agencies not use this information to its fullest potential?
There are a number of reasons:
Their Technology Is Outdated
Can you believe there are agencies out there still using pen and paper? Life insurance agencies are notorious for doing this. The home office sometimes requires a “wet” signature on applications. Some brokers won’t even accept faxes or, if they do, they’re very particular about how the fax is imaged and sent to underwriting.
Then there are old file feed systems that connect to agencies. These things are a hair better than faxes, but not by much. Both are poor at collecting and analyzing customer data. Manually sorting through all their customer information would be a huge undertaking, which is why they never do it. And, all that valuable data goes unused.
So, why don’t they update their systems?
It takes time to digitize a policy. And, if an older agency has hundreds or thousands of customers, it becomes a major task to move everything onto a secure server.
And then there’s the simple fact that many insurance agents aren’t very familiar (or comfortable) with modern computer systems and so they resist change. They don’t see the need to update older legacy systems. In their mind, paper and ink work just fine.
The solution is simple: rip and replace old systems with newer systems that provide actionable intelligence, automatically house all relevant customer data and use it to its fullest potential. For one, all relevant customer data will be shared throughout the agency departments - front and back office can both share and view the same data.
Imagine it. When an agent submits paperwork, people in billing actually know what’s going on. And, later agents can look at the analytics to determine who needs a policy upgrade or renewal.
Not only does this improve employee morale, it will improve customer relationships. Customers like knowing their agency and insurance company has their act together. And, nothing says “act together” like customer support staff who know what your agent told you 3 days ago.
Their Management Platform Doesn’t Integrate Well With Carriers
Another problem with many insurance providers is their management platforms aren’t adaptable. They don’t integrate with third-party platforms such as Outlook, for example.
Why is this important?
Because intelligent integration allows the agent to collect key bits of data and use them later on in the sales cycle.
For example, let’s say an agent and his client are emailing back and forth and the client mentions that he has 3 kids, one of whom is turning 16 later this year. With a fully integrated platform, that information can be saved and stored in a database. Then, later, the agent can receive reminders about the child’s upcoming birthday.
A call is placed, and the agent can safely bring up the topic of adding the new driver to the parent’s policy (or starting an individual policy on the 16-year old) without coming off as a sleazy insurance salesman. This way your agents will also become more customer-centric and less pushy with their sales tactics.
Without this kind of tight integration, this key piece of information is lost in the shuffle along with a great sales opportunity.
Finding a digital platform which allows for integration with any other software apps, including MS Outlook, is the key, here, and will help to painlessly resolve this issue.
They Can’t Analyze Customer Data Effectively
Most brokerages can’t analyze customer data effectively because they don’t have a customer intelligence platform. Their tech has no good way of analyzing the data they get from their customers. So, they don’t know what to do with it or how to act on it.
For example, a customer may submit an application for insurance. Somewhere in that application is usable data for other lines of insurance or just relevant data for the line of insurance they want to buy. Maybe they just bought a new house. You know what comes with a new house? New living room furniture. New pots. New pans. A new oak bedroom set from Uncle Jim.
Do current systems let you input that information, capture, and use it?
Congratulations. You just missed out on another policy sale or higher coverage amounts.
The solution: Novidea.
It provides customer intelligence and predictive analytics, helping agents better track and understand valuable client data. With a complete view of each customer, agents and brokers are better equipped to make personalized, relevant insurance recommendations. So, when they do move into that new home, the client is properly insured on all fronts.
Seems like every time you turn around, someone is telling you to do something about your brokerage’s existing legacy system. You can ignore everyone and just go on doing things the way you’ve been doing them, of course.
But, some day (and that day will sneak up on you) you’re going to be blindsided by cloud-based systems, actionable data-driven broker management and APIs.
You have a choice. Move forward or sit back and stagnate. Contact Novidea today to see how our platform can improve your agency’s performance.