Are Your Agency Software Form Letters Eroding Your Bottom Line?

May 16, 2016


Poor writing habits are the silent killer in the insurance industry, eroding insurance organizations' bottom lines with incalculable damage to image and reputation, and countless lost opportunities attributable to miscommunication.

One of the biggest culprits? Agency software form letters.

Every insurance organization sends form letters every day. Many were set up years ago within the agency software and they haven't been updated since. With an average of five to six errors in each form letter, and with each letter being sent hundreds of times a year, your company may be guilty of thousands of writing errors a year.

The result?

An unprofessional image. Wasted time due to mixed messages and miscommunication. And the erosion of the trust no insurance agency can survive without.

Here are some of the most common problems in insurance agency software form letters… 

  1. Poor organization and format

  2. Lengthy paragraphs

  3. Poor word choices

  4. Incorrect spelling, grammar and punctuation

  5. Antiquated phrasing

  6. Redundancy

  7. Excessive hedging

  8. Inappropriate tone

How do you address these issues and plug this leak from your bottom line? A good place to start is with a comprehensive agency software form letter audit. It's also a good idea to create a common style guide to get everyone on your team on the same page.

A style guide is a company resource that teaches employees how to make letters clear, conversational, concise, and consistent. It provides examples of the format and phrasing of key departmental letters, and helps new hires get into good habits immediately. It also documents your department's views on specifics of punctuation and style, how your company name should be used, and alerts everyone to commonly misspelled words, exceptions to punctuation rules, and common grammar mistakes.

Some company style guides include instruction about how to avoid racism, ageism, sexism, and other negative tones that create unintended conflict. A style guide can also provide direction about your company's social media policy and expectations.

Your agency software form letters are among the most visible examples of your writing. Commit yourself and your team to examining your current form letters, updating them as needed, and getting everyone on the same page with a common style guide. It’s the best medicine for keeping these hidden costs from eating away at your image and your profits.

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