A study of technology in the insurance industry showed that agencies that are heavy users of technology have better sales processes and greater revenue growth. Whether you’re a new agency starting out or an agency that’s been around a while, technology is critical to your success. ITC CEO Laird Rixford explains.
- Why You Need to Audit Your Agency’s Technology
- Are You Fully Using the Insurance Agency Software You Have?
- Are You Using the Right Technology?
Whether you’re a new agency starting out or an agency that’s been around a while, technology is critical to your success. Not only does it make your agency more efficient, a study of technology in the insurance industry showed that agencies that are heavy users of technology have better sales processes and greater revenue growth.
Plus, technology can help secure your agency’s data and lead to good first impressions. The right technology can help you provide great client service. Or, the lack of technology can leave clients thinking you don’t care.
Here are 10 technology must-have any agency wanting to compete and grow needs to have.
First, the agency management system.
Most agencies have an agency management system, but there are still some agencies that opt for paper files or spreadsheets to track their client and policy information. This is a mistake. If you don’t have a management system, start looking for one now. There are more than 30 management systems on the market and some of them are quite affordable. You’ll be glad you did when your agency becomes more efficient and productive.
Number 2, a comparative rater.
If you’re selling personal lines and have more than a handful of carrier appointments, a comparative rater is essential. It will save you so much time. Even if you have a good idea of where to place the client, it’s in your best interest (and your clients) to get rates from all your carriers. 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 and agency performance.
Number 3, there’s the all-important website.
Your insurance agency website is the hub of all your marketing efforts, whether that is online or offline. 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.
Plus, the sooner you secure your domain name, the sooner your website starts building authority with the search engines. This is critical when you are ready to start that full digital marketing plan.
Number 4 is an obvious technology because I don’t know how any business can function in 2018 without a computer. But, I think a good Windows-based tablet might be a better option than a desktop or laptop computer. Especially if you attend a lot of events or work remotely.
Tablets are portable and lighter than laptops so it’s really easy to work from wherever, whenever. Plus, a good tablet is often as powerful as a desktop. And, with a docking station, you’re able to work in the office as if you had a desktop computer.
Number 5, voice over IP or VoIP.
For your agency’s phones, don’t use a landline. With VoIP you can make calls using the internet instead of the old, analog phone lines.
There are a several benefits to using VoIP. Long-distance calls are cheaper. And, you don’t have to pay two bills because you’ll already have internet.
Plus, you’ll get features included in your VoIP system that you would have to pay extra for with a landline. Features like call waiting, call forwarding, conference calls, and call recording. And, if you want reports on how long your staff spends on the phones or how many calls they make in a time period, a VoIP phone system can give you that.
Number 6, get a fast and reliable internet connection. Making a client on the phone wait while you try to download something does not leave a good impression.
Number 7, a combination 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. Save yourself some money and space by getting a scanner that also can print and copy.
Number 8, e-signature.
You need to remove as much friction from the insurance buying process as you can. Make it easy for a consumer to choose you. Requiring a prospect to print, sign, and fax (or scan and then email) a document is friction. Using e-signature removes that friction.
Number 9, firewall.
You’ll be using the internet to connect to a lot of services and programs. A strong firewall is critical to securing your agency’s data. It keeps unauthorized external users like hackers from accessing your data. A firewall can also block viruses, spam and malicious applications.
Bottom line? The potential exposure and damage to your agency without a firewall is enormous. So, don’t skip this one.
And, finally, number 10, 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 storage.
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 agency operations and success. The right technology can make a difference in your productivity and growth. If you’re missing any crucial technology, don’t wait. Start researching your options now and save yourself headache and extra work.