(November 17, 2015) In a generation, the insurance industry has changed more rapidly and profoundly than at any other time in history. Modern communications and data technology have fundamentally altered the DNA of business operations and the insurance industry is no exception. Most significantly, this new digital world—based on real-time access to information and multi-channel communications—has changed the expectations of our customers.
By the year 2020, estimates say online information will influence 75 percent of insurance policy purchase decisions—think Google, social media, websites, email. If strategy doesn’t take a 360-degree view of digital, the bottom line may suffer.
Today’s consumers expect 24/7 support and responsiveness from the companies that they do business with. Unfortunately, studies reveal a healthy dose of skepticism among insurance buyers about the ability of agents to provide what has become standard service in other industries. And to overcome this perception, agencies will need to introduce broad technology initiatives that address the very real concerns of today’s sophisticated consumer.
Current and future customers expect and deserve a seamless experience that blends the benefits of a traditional agent relationship with the convenience of accessible, Internet-based information systems. For agencies, this means participating in a cultural shift that acknowledges the role technology plays as both a business tool and part of an overall customer acquisition and retention strategy.
Remember when office technology consisted of a phone system, a photocopier and a few PCs? A successful agency didn’t need much more. But the meaning of office technology has evolved to encompass computer networks, servers and all manner of communications from email to text messages to social media. Everyone in an agency is vested in the systems and everyone bears some responsibility for leveraging them to better serve your customers.
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