The average insurance agent is 59 years old. That means they’ve lived through multiple insurance agency systems, having been in the workforce through the advent of PCs, the rise and fall of CD-ROMs, the introduction of email and Google, and a whole host of other major technological changes. And it’s time to embrace another.
With so much experience and entrenched habits, it can be difficult to bring independent insurance owners and agents into the digital age of insurance. Some may cringe at the term, railing against “InsurTech” as killing the industry – ruining the relationship-based nature of it, with computers taking over the jobs of trusted employees and friends.
Yet, experience also shows change is not impossible for these industry veterans. The key is getting them (or yourself!) on board.
Find out more about Digital Insurance and What it Means for Independent Insurance Agents here
Go with the Pros
The first step to encouraging anyone to embrace something new is laying out the pros. Bring your agency around with the positives of digital insurance systems:
- Streamlines operations: Online quotes and claim filing can save your agency hundreds of hours. Other digital elements like eForms make signing up and upgrading customers almost instant. In fact, 79% of agencies surveyed said digital documenting has improved internal processes.
- Captures meaningful data: When tech is involved, everything is recorded. This means you’ll be able to analyze data to determine critical operational factors, such as your target demographics and average sales, among other stats. Data analytics is on the rise in the industry: an Everest Company report showed use of third-party data analytics is set to quadruple in the industry by 2020.
- Improves customer service: 67% of consumers across age groups expect a company to respond within 24 hours. That’s a lot to ask of humans who have to do things like, say, sleep. Marketing automation and chatbots may seem impersonal, but the quick responses they provide help customers feel connected. Technology can keep the conversation going when you can’t, while leaving you space to step in and give that personal touch.
See how digital can help improve your customer relationships on our blog
Give it Time, Provide Backup
You won’t change minds in a day. After presenting the pros of introducing new digital tech to your agency, give it time to settle in. Same goes for when you introduce tech to your processes: start with one new system or process at a time and give room for adjustment. Remind staff it will take time to learn and yield results. Be the example they need for success.
And make sure you provide ample training on new systems. In many cases attempts at using technology fail because an organization simply doesn’t know how to use it. Hold small and large group training sessions, bring in experts to answer questions, and make sure everyone has a direct line to get questions answered when needed. Proving support during the first few weeks and months of introducing new technology is critical. If people get frustrated they’ll discount the tech and derail your hard work.
Get advice on managing the 4 Cs of Change in your agency here
Let SIS Help
We’ve helped hundreds of agencies manage digital change. That’s why we’re conscious about offering personalized training and continuous support, including refresher trainings, to all our Partner XE agencies.
And all Partner XE users can access educational content online any time in our PartnerNet portal, or look to their Partner XE Community members for guidance.
Find out more about our all-in-one Partner XE management system and how we support our clients at sisware.com.
Author: Sarah Deak
Sarah Deak has been contributing to the SIS team since 2013, covering topics like agency perpetuation, workflow improvements, data security, and marketing. She has a background in small business, working with organizations to improve their online presence and client engagement. Sarah also writes for the SIS newsletters and website, and counts herself lucky to hear from our many passionate, hard-working clients for our client stories. Her favorite part about working for SIS are the dedicated, service-minded people.