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Taking it to the next level

June 29, 2022

Once you have foundational technology up and running in your agency, the next step on your technology journey is integrating systems. This will give you opportunities to streamline sales and service clients.

First, let’s look at what’s available to streamline sales

Agent working on a tablet while talking to a client.

Third-party data sources

You can subscribe to a service that provides data to help fill out applications or other forms. Buying data from a third-party provider can also help identify qualified leads and create more targeted and personalized communications. You can also buy data that does both.

Lead scoring

Lead scoring software assigns a quality score to inbound third-party leads. Prospects are ranked based on available underwriting data, as well as by how closely each prospect aligns with your agency’s appetite requirements.

Voice analytics

Added to or included in phone system software, voice analytics provide insights into clients based on their word choices and vocal tone. You can use these insights to help train staff or better segment clients based on their levels of perceived interest.

Marketing automation

Marketing automation can typically be added to your CRM system to help you effortlessly send one-to-one or one-to-many customer communications. You could use it, for instance, to set up notifications to clients one week before their policies renew. The system could also send you reminders to make follow-up phone calls to those clients. Automate emails, direct mail, texts and chats to continually engage prospects and clients.

Comparative raters

Comparative (comp) raters have been commonly used by agents for years, particularly for personal lines and small commercial business. Comp raters provide price comparisons and bindable quotes from various carriers. Some agents prefer to let clients see comp rater price comparisons for themselves online. Other agents keep comp raters behind the scenes and use them to drive customization and consultation discussions. Ideally, you could use comp raters both for self-service or for consultation, depending on your client’s preferences or needs.

Now let’s review what’s available to help service clients

Technology companies initially focused on quoting, CRMs and marketing automation, but they’re quickly innovating to automate mass quantities of repetitive and predictable tasks and to help you analyze all kinds of data to inform every step in the agent-client journey.

Infographic showing 48% of consumers have used a self-service portal

Client portal

A client portal on your agency’s website gives your clients secure access to their account information so they can do simple tasks themselves at their convenience. You could even offer your clients an agency-branded mobile app. The more clients can do simple tasks themselves, the more time your staff members will have to focus on selling new business or consulting with existing clients on more complex coverage needs.

Content management system

If you’re blogging or active on social media, a content management system will help you build a supply of information to share with your clients, which is an increasingly effective way to demonstrate expertise and build relationships.

Chatbots/virtual assistants

Commonly found on websites and mobile apps, chatbots and virtual assistants can direct a client through the process of filing a claim, requesting an insurance card or making a payment, to name just a few of the automated tasks they can do.

Online meeting technology

Risk management and even renewals often require discussion with clients. Online meeting technology gives you the power to personalize those interactions without travel time or expense. When your online meeting activities are connected to your CRM, they can be tracked and analyzed to help you build stronger client relationships.

A woman using her laptop for an online video meeting.

Client surveys

An array of survey options helps you gauge client satisfaction and their likelihood to recommend your agency to their peers. You can also automatically track online reviews following each step and touchpoint within the client journey. Continuous feedback and scores help agencies make informed decisions and mold their teams’ interactions to retain and grow your book of business.

What’s the very latest in agency technology?

Technology continues to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate, predict and prescribe actions that benefit agencies and their clients. Two emerging uses of AI and ML help maximize your agency data and automate renewals.

Data storage, management and intelligence

Because your AMS, CRM and phone systems are independent of each other, the data collected by each is also independent. However, when these multiple systems deposit data into one centralized location, you can add business intelligence tools to combine and analyze the information to learn everything you need to know about your clients, including future opportunities to grow each relationship.

Renewal automation

Renewal automation software manages the checklist of actions and communications that lead up to renewing a policy. It automates the repeatable tasks so you can focus on consultation.

For instance, if you sell commercial insurance, you know that contract review and policy checking are heavily manual processes. Soon, machine learning and artificial intelligence will help you interpret the nuances of clauses, identify potential gaps between prior and current years, and help mitigate Errors and Omissions exposure.

Claims and loss run reports are also part of the renewal process, requiring time, attention and frequent follow-up with multiple parties. New technology will streamline this process by automating requests, client approvals and carrier turnaround times.

View our technology success tips for agents article on best practices for introducing new technologies to your agency.

We can help you navigate the digital road ahead

As you progress on your digital journey, it’s important to have a carrier partner to support you and help you succeed as technology continues to evolve. By providing automated underwriting, quoting and binding systems, mobile apps for self-service or help with digital marketing campaigns, Nationwide® is committed to delivering what you need to help transform and grow your business.

Learn more about digital solutions


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    2021 Agency Forward survey