In recent years, the insurance industry has encountered a range of changes, some of which were further exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Primarily, many insurance carriers and agencies worked to digitize their operations and rely more heavily on technology solutions to continue servicing their clients. Examples of such solutions include account management systems, pricing and quoting software, customer relationship management tools and marketing automation programs.1
While Nationwide was already well along in their digital transformation with multi-million dollar invests over the last decade, the pandemic accelerated those plans in many cases.
With changing client expectations, this expanded utilization of technology is expected to persist— contributing to an increasingly digital insurance space for the foreseeable future. With this in mind, it’s critical for insurance agencies to fully embrace technology and understand the advantages of doing so. Here are four key ways that agencies (and their clients) can benefit from leveraging digital operations.2 3
1. Offering an enhanced client experience
First and foremost, agencies that adopt digital capabilities will be able to better serve their clients by providing more efficient, tailored services. Technology can help agencies simplify their workflows and deliver centralized solutions for clients in a timely manner, reducing wait times or other service delays that may occur during the policy cycle. Various self-servicing technology offerings can empower clients to be more involved in their insurance processes. These offerings allow clients to manage certain aspects of their coverage without having to rely on agency assistance every step of the way. In addition, utilizing digital channels (e.g., email and video chat) to connect with clients gives agencies the ability to maintain frequent communication and properly address any unique coverage needs. Altogether, technology can help foster a more personalized, collaborative relationship between agencies and their clients—creating unmatched experiences.
2. Staying competitive with other agencies
As a growing number of insurance agencies implement technology within their operations, those that don’t provide digital offerings may have difficulties maintaining and growing their client bases. After all, recent Agency Forward research revealed that the majority of clients want an agent who can meet their insurance needs digitally, regardless of their location. Considering these findings, it’s important for agencies to leverage technology to stay competitive with other firms and avoid losing clients. Digitizing operations may also help agencies demonstrate they are trustworthy and dependable insurance partners, capable of adapting as needed within this evolving insurance landscape. Moreover, agencies can even use technology to improve their marketing abilities, expand their business reach into new communities and secure additional prospects.
3. Bolstering employee attraction and retention strategies
With remote work arrangements becoming increasingly common, it’s vital that agencies provide their employees with the tools they need to be successful when working outside the office. If employees have inadequate resources (e.g., a poor Wi-Fi connection, limited cellphone service or outdated software), their job performance and morale will likely suffer. Therefore, implementing effective technology can help agencies ensure their employees are properly supported in their roles and bolster retention levels. Adopting digital capabilities may also allow agencies to better attract new employees looking to work in a more flexible and technologically advanced environment. What’s more, leveraging remote work arrangements can permit agencies to hire employees outside of their geographic confines, thus tapping into a larger talent pool.
4. Increasing agency productivity levels
Many agency operations are complex in nature, requiring careful analysis and time-consuming processes. Nevertheless, a variety of insurance software is available to help minimize these heavy workloads. This technology can allow agencies to automate some of their day-to-day operations and perform tasks more efficiently, therefore boosting overall productivity levels. By streamlining tedious processes, agencies will also have more time to focus on what matters most: building relationships and connecting with their clients.
As a whole, it’s evident that reliance on technology solutions is only expected to expand across the industry, creating a widely digital insurance space. Although agencies may initially be hesitant to implement technology due to the operational adjustments and cybersecurity enhancements that come with doing so, making these changes is well worth the added benefits.