An annual review of equipment needs, staff performance, marketing objectives and so forth are all essential analyses to keep an insurance agency performing at its peak. However, many agents overlook reviewing the needs of their consumers on a consistent basis as well. Consumers' requirements, especially with the technology available today, consistently change. Taking the time to re-familiarize yourself with your consumer base can provide an opportunity to improve their customer experience while also decreasing your customer support costs.
According to a survey released by comScore, between 2006 and 2008 there was a 20 percent increase in policyholders that chose to service their policies online. The primary reason for this rapid growth can be attributed to generational differences. Generation Xers are becoming more confident and comfortable with doing business online while the Gen Y population expects the ability to digitally communicate with those they do business with. With Gen Yers now reaching their mid-twenties, their population in the insurance consumer base is ever increasing. Therefore, the demand to provide online customer service based options is becoming higher.
An interactive website, one where the consumer has the ability to submit and request information specific to them, can improve the customer's experience with your agency. These features give your customers the ability to communicate with your agency 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. Providing online options for customer service is a great opportunity to differentiate your agency from your competitor. In addition, online requests do not carry the expectation of immediate handling as a phone call does, therefore, processing the requests can be streamlined, which in turn, decreases support time and costs.
About the Author
AnMarie Bozick, CIC, manages ITC’s rating products, including TurboRater and TurboRater for Websites. She has more than 20 years of property and casualty insurance experience, including owning her own agency and serving as president of the Alliance of Insurance Agents of Texas. She joined ITC in 2008.More Content by AnMarie Bozick, CIC