Reshaping Your Agency Through Technology
Technology touches all industries today. The Insurance industry is no exception. There’s no escaping this reality. Instead of fighting it, go ahead and embrace it. Technology has a lot to offer the world of insurance across all sectors. The world is evolving and growing with technology. In order to keep up with clients and their new expectations, insurance providers need to be sure that their agency reflects the outside world when it comes to technology used to serve clients in a way that best meets new industry standards and expectations. Reshaping your agency through technology is all about leveraging technology to embrace your needs and the needs of your clients. Technology should be tailored to fit your
Check it out: What Does An Insurance Agency Look Like In 2018?
If you think your agency could benefit from some reshaping in order to help propel your business in front of the competition and meet expectations, then the first question you’re probably thinking is “how do I know my agency really needs this?”
The “how do I know if this is really what my agency needs right now” question is perfectly valid. Why in the world would you want to put in so much effort into doing the research and finding the right solutions if you’re not too sure what you’re even looking for or how much reshaping your agency could really use?
For starters, if anyone in your agency has been working there for about 10 or more years, ask them how much has changed as far as technology and how they use it in their workflow. If they respond with something along the lines of “this place looks nothing like it did back then and I haven’t written on a piece of paper at work in nearly 6 or 7 years”, then maybe you’re in better shape than you thought. Or, on the other hand, if the response sounds more like “excuse me, but you’re standing in front of my file cabinet”, then it’s time to think about doing some reshaping. Either way, it’s always best to imagine the potential benefits technology can bring to your agency in ways of storage, money saving, communication, and information gathering with clients and coworkers.
Here’s a simple checklist to guide you when thinking about reshaping your agency through technology:
- Do our clients engage and communicate with us regularly?
- Are there file cabinets everywhere overflowing with papers?
- Are we saving as much money as we could be?
- Is our information stored off-site to ensure its security?
- Are we glued to the desk or phone without mobility?
If you can answer these basic questions and realize maybe there is some room for improvement to be made, then it’s time to think about reshaping your agency through innovative technologies.
Check it out: 5 Ways Technology Has Transformed The Insurance Industry
Communication with customers is important to understanding their needs, concerns, and questions through platforms that are convenient for them. Phone calls and emails aren’t disappearing, not to worry. But the way they are executed may look a bit different. In terms of making a phone call with a customer, if your agency if using landlines to get this done, you probably don’t realize how limited you’ve been this whole time. Reshaping your phone system means upgrading the way the system operates. Instead of landlines and costly monthly fees associated with them, 3CX VoIP is a technology that would benefit your agency. VoIP gives agents the mobility they need to conduct business with customers from anywhere they are, and not miss calls or messages. Deleted or missed voicemails don’t have to be a concern with the VoIP system either because voicemails are automatically transmitted to text messages or emails, giving agents some flexibility to return messages in terms of urgency.
Check it out: Why Insurance Agencies Are Using VoIP
Connecting with customers doesn’t have to happen over the phone or through email either. With social media, many consumers are interested in quick responses and answers to their questions. By leveraging your agency’s website, LinkedIn, or Facebook page to serve customers in a platform they may be more comfortable with, you may have a better chance of staying connected, especially with the younger generation
The File Cabinet
Insurance agencies and file cabinets have gone together like peanut butter and jelly for decades. But the truth is that your agency deserves better than that. And so does the planet, honestly. Cluttering the agency with cabinets upon cabinets until the office looks like a paper maze, is unnecessary. While it may feel logical to keep hard copies of documents and records dated back to who knows when “just in case”, the truth is that it’s actually safer to store important files on the cloud. When you store files on the cloud, you’re able to get rid of all the paper clutter around the office and let people know that you’ve stepped up your game and have secured all of that data and information. You can also get to the coffee pot quicker without obstacles in your way.
Check it out: Green Computing: What Is It and Why Should You Do It?
Insurance agencies are concerned with costs, understandably. But the problem is that so many of the costs associated with the daily workflow including the phone system, paper products, and security, are typically all much higher than they need to be. Reshaping the agency with technology will also reshape your budget, leaving more room for spending money on other resources that would benefit the business. Cutting back on paper usage in your agency isn’t the only way to help give the planet what it deserves. Making active choices to choose EPA energy (Environmental Protection Agency) standard hardware such as notebooks, workstations, and servers will help reduce the carbon footprint your agency leaves, as well as reduce your energy bill. By using efficient LCD energy monitor displays, your agency could save up to 70% in energy costs.
Reshaping with technology may seem like an intimidating and time-consuming task, but the real task is working with some of the outdated and inefficient technology you currently have. Taking a bit of time to rethink the way your agency runs and where improvements can be made, will be beneficial in the months and years to come. You will be on the path to setting your agency apart from the competition and rebuilding not only the workflow of the agency but the culture within it. While new technology may be scary for some traditionalists, opportunities can be made to engage in learning new skills and gaining education about all of the innovative ways jobs can be made more efficient in your insurance agency.
For a more comprehensive look at insurance technology, check out our Insurance Technology Pillar Page