It's not a matter of whether you should use technology. You absolutely should be. The question is are you using the right technology? If your current insurance agency software systems aren't meeting your needs, your workflows become burdened with frustration.
The right technology for your agency won't get in your way. It will be easy to use. You shouldn't have to think too much about it or spend too much time doing unnecessary tasks.
If your technology is old or not doing what you want it to do, it's time to take a hard look at it. It may be time for a change.
So how do you know if you're using the right technology? Try these tips for evaluating your needs and available software to find the system that is right for you.
Step 1: Determine Whether You Are Ready for a Change
I have downloaded several apps and software with the intention to improve my workflow, make myself more organized and become more efficient. For the first few days, I'm enthusiastic and using them. Eventually, I become overwhelmed and slide back into my old habits and workflows.
Ask yourself: Will I put forth the effort to learn a new system? Or will I lose my enthusiasm and end up not using it as it is meant to be used?
The right technology is only right if you use it. Anyone who buys a new system to improve her agency does so with the best intentions. But if you aren't going to use it or are not ready for a change, you're wasting money.
Step 2: Determine Your Needs
Identify one or two areas of your agency that need improvement. Then put a number to it so you can measure and determine the success of your efforts. What kind of improvements do you want to see? Getting an email address for every policy quoted? 10% more quote requests from your website? More policies sold for a specific carrier? Email follow up with every prospect?
What problem are you trying to solve? Do you need a well-documented, repeatable process? Do you need more organization? Do you need more efficiency? Do you need to save time and/or money?
Step 3: Identify Whether Current System is Capable
Once you determine what you want to improve or solve, take a look at your current technology. Are you using the technology you have to its fullest potential? Is it able to do what you need? Is your insurance agency website designed to encourage quote requests? Do you have a system that can automatically follow up with every prospect? Does your comparative rater make it easy for your producers to quote the carriers you set as priority?
Step 4: Search for Alternative Systems
If you've decided your current system isn't able to do what you need it to, it's time to look for one that can. Make a list of what you need your new system to do. In addition to making a list of features you want, here are some questions to consider.
- What is my level of comfort with technology?
- Do I need a simple or complex solution?
- Do I like to figure things out on my own, be shown how to do everything or read instructions?
Once you have your list, start looking around. Search online. Ask other agents what they use. Cross off any technology that doesn't meet your must-have list. Even if it has other features that would be nice to have, if it can't meet your list of essentials, it's not worth it.
Step 5: Repeat
Reviewing the technology your agency uses is not a one-and-done process. Just think about how much technology has changed in the last five years. Don't expect to reach a point when you can sit back and not evaluate your technology needs. But this method can help you make sure you're using the right insurance agency software.
Technology changes at a rapid pace, and overtime your agency's needs change too. A system that was right for you five or 10 years ago, may no longer be the best fit. The right technology for your agency is vital for your agency's productivity and success. Take the time to periodically use this process to determine the right technology for your agency.
The Modern Agency is a monthly blog series in which we discuss various topics related to the success and growth of independent insurance agencies in the modern market.
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder