Society’s vast reliance on data and technology is shaping the way we live and do business every day. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated progress and adoption of technologies for digital transformation.
Technology is essential and is advancing exponentially. In today's world, insurance professionals can use technology platforms for their data and analytics capabilities to take client engagement to the next level.
The future of business is constantly evolving, and with technology continuing to accelerate, there will be continuous change transforming the insurance industry. Customers want real-time access to their agents, immediate updates to claims filed online and the ability to access policy information at the push of a button.
Technology enables the industry to streamline efficiencies by making back-end processes faster and easier, allowing for a more simplified experience which helps to improve customer relationships and their ultimate experience.
Implementing widespread use of technology will positively affect the efficiency, culture and relationship between employees, suppliers and customers. In addition, technology allows life insurance companies to use traditional medical data to underwrite in a noninvasive way. This will open opportunities for insurers to underwrite people much faster.
Embracing digital advancements such as electronic medical information and data-driven predictive modeling solutions, will help allocate more time for innovation. Technology applications also allow for more personal collaboration through instant messaging and virtual meetings. LIMRA’s Harnessing Growth: Experienced Financial Advisor Study found that technology and digital capabilities are essential, and growing rapidly through continued agent adoption.
Additionally, research shows that digital tools have become critical to all types of advisors and insurance agents. To a large degree, this is merely a reflection of consumer preference. Clients expect to interact with advisors through various channels and platforms - anywhere and at any time. Consequently, agents have adopted digital communication methods for prospecting and ongoing client relations.
According to LIMRA, almost eight in 10 advisors see digital solutions being most impactful for marketing, client acquisition and ongoing client engagement. Agents also can use technology and data to better manage clients policies by reviewing policy performance, making policy changes digitally and incorporating data into the financial tools or models they use.
The non-stop wave of technological change creates both challenges and opportunities, and now, it is practically essential to gain a competitive advantage:
- The Challenge: It sometimes means walking away from long-standing business processes that may have worked in the past.
- The Opportunity: COVID-19, and the myriad challenges it has brought, has shown the value digitalization programs can bring to deliver great outcomes for customers and clients.
- Challenge + Opportunity = Success: Meeting in various mediums, such as in-person, digitally and in hybrid environments, also enables agents to service a wider demographic of customers. Ultimately, this helps agents protect more lives against unexpected losses and helps close the protection gap, particularly in the middle market.
Thinking differently is required to keep up with the evolving landscape, and creativity is helping to enhance acquisition and better customer experiences. If designed and used well, leveraging today’s technology tools as you build and sustain personal relationships with clients will provide a competitive edge and help close the protection gap.
This positions you to provide your clients with the best overall customer experience. Evolving data and technology will continue to gain importance in our culture, and will only serve to help customer-facing professionals to do their jobs more efficiently.
Marjorie Ma is head of life insurance product management with AIG Life and Retirement. She may be contacted at [email protected].
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