It’s tempting to keep costs low at your insurance agency by skipping some technology. Sure, not all technology is critical to every agency. But, some definitely is. ITC CEO Laird Rixford explains why
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It’s tempting to keep costs low at your insurance agency by skipping some technology. Sure, not all technology is critical to every agency. But, some definitely is. And, not just because it’s more efficient (although that’s also a big reason).
Studies have shown that agencies who are heavy users of technology are twice as likely to have better sales processes. And, those that rely heavily on sales and marketing technology have greater revenue growth. They also sell more policies per producer and per household.
So, what are the technology must-haves for a new insurance agency?
Technology has a big impact on your agency as a business. It can lead to good first impressions. It can help you provide great client service. And, with today’s short attention spans, a good impression can earn you a new sale or renewals.
Beyond service, technology improves your agency’s efficiency and productivity. It can save you time and money. It can help you better communicate with your prospects, clients, and with your staff.
Technology can also help secure your agency’s data. In our online, connected world, every business, no matter the size, is at risk of a data breach
Here are 10 must-have technologies you need to consider.
One: An agency management system. Don’t make the mistake of starting your agency without an agency management system. It will be a hard habit to break and a tough transition to work through when you do eventually get a management system. You are far better off starting with good habits and good technology.
Two: A comparative rater. If you’re selling personal lines and have more than a handful of carrier appointments, you will need a comparative rater. Look for a rating system that does more than just rating. It should at least integrate with your management system. Even better if you get extensive reporting so you can track your producer’s and agency’s performance.
Three: An insurance agency website. A full digital marketing plan may not be at the top of your priority list as a new insurance agency. One thing you must have though… a good website. Prospects will want to google you. Clients will want a place to go for information like how to file a claim or make a payment.
Four: Computers or tablets. These computers are an obvious technology necessity. But, a good Windows-based tablet might be a better option than a desktop or laptop for your agency.
Especially if you’re going to events or working remotely.
Whether you get a tablet or desktop, get multiple monitors for each work station. They’ll make processes easier, like having your management system up on one screen and your comparative rater on the other.
Five: a VoIP phone system. For your agency’s phones, don’t use a landline. Get a Voice over Internet Protocol (or “VoIP”) phone system. With VoIP you make calls using the internet. You’ll also get features included that you would have to pay extra for with a landline. Features like call waiting, call forwarding, conference calls, and call recording. You can also get reports on how long your staff spends on the phones. Or, how many calls they make in a time period.
Must have number six? Internet. You want a fast and reliable connection. Making a client on the phone wait while you try to download something does not leave a good impression.
Seven: A scanner, printer and copier. While the world goes increasingly digital, sometimes there is still paper. But, you don’t have to keep that paper. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. Scan it into your agency management system, and then shred and throw it out.
Eight: E-signature software. Your goal is to remove as much friction from the insurance buying process as you can. Requiring a prospect to print, sign, scan and then email a document is friction. Using an e-signature program removes that friction.
Nine: A strong firewall keeps unauthorized external users, like hackers, from accessing your data. A firewall can also block viruses, spam and malicious applications.
And last but not least: Cloud storage. Cloud storage is where you store your agency’s data on remote servers you access using the internet. There are a few key reasons why your agency should use cloud s torage. First, you save money because you don’t need to buy and maintain a local server. Second, if your office gets vandalized or destroyed in a natural disaster, you’ll still have all your data. Finally, cloud storage gives you greater flexibility with access to data from anywhere.
Technology is critical to your operations even from the beginning of your insurance agency. The right technology can make a difference in your productivity and growth. Don’t let your agency start with bad habits. Get the necessary technology from the beginning. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches and extra work.