Successful independent insurance agencies rely on documented, standardized processes to complete any workflow, including new business quotes, renewals, cancellations, claims and endorsements, because they know how important these processes are to their success. From improving efficiency to decreasing E&O claims, here are five reasons why you should implement standardized processes if you want to grow your agency.
1. Ensures accuracy
Your staff is not made up of mind readers. Even if they are smart and take initiative, they cannot know how you expect tasks to be completed or clients to be serviced. Defining and documenting your processes will give your staff all they need to gather the correct information the same way every time, which will help the accuracy of quotes you provide. Plus, your agency will continue to build trust with clients who know you provide accurate quotes.
2. Improves efficiency
Standard processes are the best way to get work done. When you define the steps for your major workflows, you will identify areas that need work, areas that you need to take advantage of, and areas that can be eliminated because they are repetitive. Once defined and implemented, your standardized processes will make your agency more efficient because every task will be completed the same way regardless of who in your agency is doing it.
3. Increases profitability
When you focus on improving workflows, you can improve your profitability. If your producers spend too much time servicing clients instead of focusing on selling, working to improve and standardize your process will identify tasks that do not provide value to the clients. These tasks can then be given to other employees or, in some cases, even automated. With these tasks delegated elsewhere, your producers can focus on more valuable tasks such as cross selling or asking for referrals, thereby working to generate more commissions and improving your profitability.
4. Decreases learning curve
How do you train new employees? Documented, standardized processes will go a long way in helping train your staff on your major workflows. Most people want to do their daily tasks in the best, most efficient way possible. If you identify what that looks like for them, they won't have to reinvent the wheel. New employees with previous agency experience could even learn a lot on their own if you had well-defined, documented processes.
5. Decreases E&O claims
If you do not get your data under control with documented, standardized processes so your entire agency handles every transaction consistently, you may have E&O issues. A uniform procedure for every workflow adds credibility if needed in a court proceeding for an E&O claim.
Whether it's providing quotes, working a renewal or helping a client with a claim, documented, standardized processes can help your agency become successful through ensuring your accuracy, improving your efficiency, increasing profitability, decreasing the learning curve and decreasing E&O claims. Your agency will be able to focus on serving the client and not just processing transactions.
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