Now that we’re familiar with the digital trends making an impact on the insurance industry, how can agents and insurers respond? How can they employ digital as a competitive weapon?
Agents of the future are customer centered and digital savvy
Agents bring a hands-on advisory role that is unmatched in establishing strong person-to-person customer relationships and delivering unique experiences. However, in today’s competitive landscape, solely retaining the existing customer base will no longer lead to high performance—agents will have to increase sales as well.
Agents of the future will need to be customer centered and digital savvy and should:
- Leverage social networks to build their prospect list and use blogs to pass on relevant information to their customer base.
- Tap into online customer testimonials to strengthen their reputation.
- Use multiple channels to their advantage, promoting self-service for routine transactions and leveraging call centers as an extension of their office.
- Employ mobile and collaboration technologies to be more responsive.
Insurers of the future will invest in agents’ abilities
Insurers will need to invest in their agents’ ability to thrive in the digital world and they should take four key actions to make it happen:
- Attract, hire, train and retain digital-savvy agents. Establishing relationships with customers and the local markets is the ultimate differentiator in an agency model. Insurers should equip agents with tools that will help them be visible, connected, relevant and effective.
- Bring the strength of scale to agents’ digital presence. Insurers can leverage their scale and technology investments to cost effectively extend high quality, robust digital capabilities and websites to agents. They can also help agents connect with customers through social media by providing seamless access to quoting and other transactional capabilities.
- Organize around the customers’ preference for one conversation across multiple channels. Most insurers will need to undergo an operating model shift from multiple independent channels to a seamless customer dialogue.
- Empower agents to deliver a local, personalized experience online. Rather than offer the same experience to all online shoppers, search and experience optimization tools can customize the experience based on customer demographics, such as location, gender and age.
Investing in digital will pay off in ways that grow sales and profitability through both direct and agent-based sales. Agents who adapt to consumers’ digital lifestyles will not only provide high value personalized service that customers expect, but they’ll compete more efficiently and effectively in a rapidly changing marketplace.
To learn more in the meantime, download : Empowering Agents to Employ Digital as a Competitive Weapon (PDF; opens in a new window).