Adopting these solutions can give your agency a competitive advantage
By Brenna Johnson
It is officially the beginning of 2024. As with every new year, it’s a time when agents are fresh and ready to achieve their new goals. Along with new goals come new strategies such as evaluating what digital tools will help reach those 2024 ambitions. Adoption of the appropriate technology solutions can enhance your work processes, boost effectiveness, enable superior customer service delivery, and strengthen carrier collaborations.
Let’s delve into the latest technologies and functionalities that can give your agency a competitive advantage and be more successful in 2024.
Agency management system. Agency management systems are the backbone of any agency and a must-have technology solution. In fact, according to Catalyit’s 2023 State of Tech in Independent Insurance Agencies Report, 95% of insurance agencies report using an agency management system for their business operations.
As their name suggests, agency management systems help manage all aspects of the business. They provide a centralized platform with user-friendly instruments designed for agency management, retention, policy administration, claims processing, personal lines rating, commercial lines submissions, eSignature, email marketing, text messaging, online client self-service and more.
Because management systems are an essential tool for improving agency operations and scaling the business, there are so many options on the market that choosing one can feel like an overwhelming decision to make.
When looking at agency management systems, make sure it has features like document management, task automation, and claims management, to make it easier to maintain records, optimize work processes, promote efficient team collaboration, and help enhance both you and your customers’ experience.
Comparative rater for personal and commercial lines. Generating accurate quotes for personal lines and commercial lines can be time-consuming and complex. So when the first comparative rater was introduced in 1991, it was a true game changer that revolutionized the way agents service clients and made working easier, faster and more efficient.
Raters have evolved since the 90s into the incredible tool that it is today. Investing in the right comparative rater simplifies the quoting process by providing real-time rates from multiple insurance companies. Whether used for personal or commercial line quoting or even both, a rating engine provides the ability to rapidly assess quotes, pinpoint optimal coverage choices, and offer clients competitive pricing in just a few clicks.
Retention management. In today’s competitive insurance market, customer retention is a crucial aspect of maintaining a successful business. Retaining existing clients is as important as acquiring new ones. In fact, according to an article published by The Independent Insurance Agents of Dallas, the average retention rate for agencies is 84%, but a sustained 5% improvement in your agency’s customer retention doubles your profit in five years.
Investing in retention management tools gives you the advantage of proactively overseeing policy renewals, tracking client preferences, and applying targeted retention strategies. You stand a better chance of enhancing policy retention and increasing the lifetime value of your customers by proactively spotting customers who are at risk of shopping with other agencies or policies that may not be renewed and engaging with clients at the right time.
Reporting and analytics. Knowing what’s going on in your agency is crucial. Tracking and analyzing agency and customer data is essential for informed decision-making. Agency reporting and data analytics solutions provide powerful real-time insights into your agency’s health, including operations performance, empowering you to identify growth opportunities, measure productivity, better work with insurers, and optimize your business strategy.
Data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable, according to a McKinsey & Company article. Utilizing reporting and analytic software gives you the competitive advantage to have more data-driven strategic conversations both in the agency and with customers to close more business.
Text messaging and email marketing automation. Communicating with your clients is critical to nurture leads and helps you sustain relationships with current clients year after year. Did you know that 41% of consumers prefer to receive messages from a brand on their mobile device via text, already rivaling email (46%), and followed by social media (8%) and phone calls (6%), according to a 2020 article on yotpo.com. That’s why capitalizing on both text messaging and email marketing automation tools can enhance your chances for success.
By automating mundane tasks, incorporating integrated solutions, and investing in the right technology, your insurance
agency can achieve your goals and focus on what matters most—serving your clients.
Texts and emails allow for instantaneous communication, allowing for real-time updates and information sharing, which is critical in the fast-paced insurance industry. Also, both text and email marketing automation can help you save time and stay organized by automating personalized messages for each client, providing them with relevant information and creating a more individualized relationship.
You will be able to strengthen relationships, increase customer loyalty, and drive cross-selling opportunities by staying top-of-mind and delivering relevant content via these multiple channels of communication.
Online customer self-service. Because of experiences outside our industry, modern insurance consumers prefer convenience and self-service options. In fact, according to Capgemini and Efma’s 2021 World Insurance Report, 70% of consumers expect an omnichannel experience for policy research and purchase.
More and more clients want mobile-first interactions that allow them to easily shop and buy online. Adopting online customer quoting, policy management, and self-service utilities, such as a mobile app, gives your clients the freedom to access insurance information, request quotes, and make policy changes at their convenience.
Online customer quoting and self-service solutions provide simple and convenient customer interactions, boost customer satisfaction, reduce timely phone calls and emails, and enhance overall operational efficiency.
All in all, insurance agencies will need to adapt and incorporate a range of advanced technologies to ensure their success in the new year. In 2024, you want to work smarter, not harder.
By automating mundane tasks, incorporating integrated solutions, and investing in the right technology, your insurance agency can achieve your goals and focus on what matters most—serving your clients.
Brenna Johnson is passionate about leveraging technology to solve business problems for independent insurance agents. As vice president of product management, she leads the EZLynx product team and is responsible for the overall strategy and direction of the EZLynx Platform.