By Sumeet Howe
If you’re an insurance agent or broker, you face new threats to your business. Right now, the shift towards online and direct insurance sales is increasing competition and making it harder to win new customers.
According to a recent EY survey of 530 insurance agents, the emergence of direct-to-consumer and online channels is pushing insurance professionals to embrace new technologies in order to win new business.
Furthermore, IDR’s 2018 Insurance Digital Transformation Survey reveals that 95 percent of agents think digital technology is important to their success. This is an increase from 58 percent in 2016.
While agents are increasingly adopting tools such as e-signatures, web quoting and customer portals to improve the customer experience, there’s still more to be done. These five digital must-haves will keep you in touch with the times and in touch with customers’ needs, so you can connect in the ways that matter.
- A better way to price policies and process claims. New technologies can generate scaled, fully-measured and highly accurate 3D models of any property based on ground-level imagery. This is a major innovation that can make pricing a policy or adjusting a claim relatively painless compared to traditional methods such as physical inspections, on-site adjuster visits, or even cost-prohibitive drone imagery.
- A streamlined solution for nurturing new business. To grow your business, you need to reliably generate and nurture new leads. So how do you keep track of all of your prospects, leads and customers? A customer relationship management system helps keep all that information organized in one place so you can act on it. Need to make follow-up sales calls, check in on renewals or generate more business? A good CRM system can help you see relevant customer info at a glance, nurture leads and get you closer to making the sale.
- A powerful channel for marketing yourself and your services. If you’re doing a good job nurturing leads and cultivating customer relationships, then you probably need to stay in touch with several people – all of whom are at different points in the sales cycle. Marketing automation platforms help you streamline communication and automate emails. They also can help you create marketing campaigns and extend your reach with social ads. If you’re still communicating with leads and customers one email at a time, it may be worth delegating much of that task to an automated email platform.
- An online presence that attracts new clients. Because consumers prefer to do online research before reaching out, a website is a must-have for insurance professionals. Just remember that while your site can be simple, it must be mobile-ready: the majority of online searches now happen on mobile, and you risk losing out on leads if your site isn’t responsive. Next, head over to Google My Business to make sure you appear in map searches when people look for insurance in your area.
- A social media strategy that works for you. Many agents are already using platforms such LinkedIn to connect with potential customers or contribute their expertise to group conversations. If you’re active across multiple social platforms, such Facebook and Twitter, the additional exposure can help you generate fresh leads and build up your business. Just be sure to make the most of your time with streamlined tools for managing those accounts. You may want to use HootSuite or Hearsay Social to post to multiple platforms at once and to automate much of your social activity.
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