You are accustomed to the core features of an agency management system (AMS), including policy management, accounting, document imaging and notes. What you need is more. More ways to interact with the customer. More ways to enable your agents to work in one system while receiving the power of multiple solutions. More ways to understand the business and its workflows and leverage those insights to make educated decisions while accelerating successes.
In this article, we will explore inherent AMS features and the growth of the third-party ecosystem within the AMS landscape and highlight which capabilities are rising to the top for you to integrate into your agency today.
Payment platforms have integrated with agency management systems to expedite transactions online, enhancing the responsibility of the customer with an easy way to pay premiums. With capabilities expanding into premium financing, agencies are empowered to digitize payment processing on lines of business that are not transacted directly with the carrier.
As we discussed in our previous article, quoting solutions have been a staple technology for enabling sales and renewals. AMS vendors have invested heavily in the development of products and partners that can handle the intake of personal lines and commercial lines underwriting data and output comparative quotes that honor your independence. This mature category continues to progress while remaining heavily integrated in process workflows that begin and end in the AMS.
Mobile Apps and Texting
Texting is the evolution of email for many industries. Companies have chosen to appeal to prospects and customers through promotions and personalized messaging that goes straight to their mobile devices. AMS vendors are also establishing the trend by incorporating text automation platforms. This convenience allows you to be a finger tap away from educating, selling and creating loyalty with your customers.
In addition, third-party mobile applications are integrated into agency management systems to provide policy and identification cards and self-service capabilities once relegated to desktop applications. As the tide continues to shift in favor of mobile accessibility, AMS are leading the charge on a multi-interface experience.
Agency management systems were originally synonymous with an agency’s backend, unseen operations. The Twenty-first Century ushered in the front-end complement with a hyper focus on demand generation offerings, including marketing automation. With the development and acquisition of customer relationship management (CRM) tools, the AMS is creating opportunities for you to build communication cadences for prospect and customer segments, generating additional user behavior and interaction touch points that add up to deeper connections with your book of business.
Out-of-the-box applications that standardize and automate sales and service activities are common technology innovations. Sometimes there is a need for custom applications that fit a specific business need, including underwriting intake forms for niche lines of business or robotic process automation (RPA) to complete a redundant task that alleviates an agent’s schedule for more important advisory tasks. Agency management systems have recognized the uniqueness of independent agencies and the fact that custom has a place in your repertoire. Forming third-party partnerships, AMS solutions provide the flexibility for one-off applications.
Policy review is a laborious, but necessary act. Independent agencies will commonly contract with business process outsourcing (BPO) companies to avoid distracting internal teams. Policy review technology providers have recently integrated with AMS solutions to automate the process. Depending on the volume of your policies that require review to identify coverage gaps, you may be able to associate a sizable savings in time and resources.
In a quest to build insights from data points that originate from sales and service activities, AMS vendors have partnered with call intelligence platforms. While producers and service representatives perform outbound and accept inbound calls, call intelligence will record conversations and transcribe the discussions to identify sentimentality, behaviors and word choice that correlates to decision making. The data is also helpful for teachable moments as you train new producers and service representatives on word choice that leads to specific outcomes.
AMS ecosystems are now making it possible to get the best out of all technology worlds by embracing a cast of supporting characters that make the leading AMS experience more valuable. Through vetting and API connectivity, agency management systems have accepted the onus of providing you with access to third-party tools—many times offering two or three competitors in any one solutions category to ensure one aligns best with your mode of operation. Use the list above as a jumping off point to understand what you can maximize with your AMS partner and determine which features will help advance your agency into the future.
Read more of our navigating technology series
Part 1: How to simplify technology decisions by asking four fundamental questions about your agency
Part 2: Controlling the conversation with providers
Part 3: How to measure agency technology
Part 4: Sales innovation that increases efficiency
Part 5: Quoting innovations that assist agency growth