A fully functional online presence has become a required asset that every agency should possess. By having a website, you enable your agency the ability to offer your products and services to prospects and customers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Today, a website has to be more than just a business card on the web. It needs to have a complete offering that includes automated customer self-service and informational resources that repeatedly hold the visitors interest.
Beyond Quoting, Offering Customer Self Service
Do you remember walking into an airport and waiting in long ticket counter lines? If so, you have seen firsthand how technology has changed the way consumers interact with business. Less than ten years ago, as you entered an airport, long lines greeted you at the ticket counter. Now you are welcomed by self-service terminals that offer a quick check-in experience speeding multiple customers through at a fraction of the time. No longer do you need to speak to a customer service agent, you can simply do it yourself. Not only does it expedite the customer, self-service lowers the employee resources required by the business.
This trend of customer self-service has begun to spread to every industry, including insurance. It began with online quote requests, via an online form. Next was the introduction of online rating. Recently, companies began offering customer self-service options to compliment the online quoting. These options included online payments and policy self-service.
What started with the carriers has now migrated down to the agents themselves. Whether it be the ability to request an ID card, report an accident or remove a vehicle, your website must offer the customer the ability to service their policy directly. Like the airline industry, this automation of your customer service will appease the consumer's desire for quick service while lowering the overall resources required by your agency.
An Informational Resource
Although banks were one of the first industries to embrace customer self-service through the usage of ATM machines, they were slow to develop their online presence. In the recent years, they have made up for it! Banking websites offer virtually everything these days. Buy stamps, lookup ATM locations, view product offerings, pay your bills, print your statements and even request copies of checks, all from an easy to use website. By providing this complete experience, banks customers return often to this one-stop portal.
An agency website needs to replicate this breadth of offerings by presenting the client access to any services that your agency offers. A complete website should include online glossaries, driving directions, location mapping, current newsfeeds, payment options, and links to useful websites such as credit repair and partner mortgage companies. By offering more features your website becomes a portal for which customers will return repeatedly.
Now that your website offers a complete presence, you want to draw and keep visitors upon your site. Provide the consumer an incentive to come back often. Create quarterly giveaways. Offer gift cards for referrals. Provide links to the latest viral videos. The sky is the limit with a website.
Finally, retain your customer's interest, by keeping your site up to date! By updating your site's content, you retain the dynamic and ever changing spirit of the Internet. Buyers will recognize your commitment to technology and will reward you with repeat visits.
About the Author
As CEO, Laird Rixford is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for the company. Rixford has a proven executive management track record and has more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship and insurance technology. An expert in insurance technology and marketing, Laird is a recognized public speaker and has presented at industry events across the United States.Follow on Twitter More Content by Laird Rixford