In several of my past blog posts, I’ve been discussing new potential markets for life insurance growth. But identifying, and even successfully landing, these new clients is only the beginning. Getting the client onboarding experience right over the first 120 days of the relationship is essential to future retention and success.

Technology has eliminated many of the laborious administrative tasks involved with adding a new customer, which is creating a strategic transformation of the onboarding process. This is happening in three major areas:

  • Obtaining insights to be used not only to sell, but to improve the client experience and overall relationship.
  • Exploring the client’s goals, objectives and needs, and developing a holistic financial plan.
  • Automation and digital capabilities. Using innovative techniques to streamline the process, interact with clients and deliver tailored offerings via their preferred channels.

Effective onboarding should reflect the expectations of the client, financial advisor and firm. Clients want their advisors to understand them on a personal level and deliver custom-made products; financial advisors want to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on selling and advising; and insurers want to enhance sales force productivity and lower expenses.

Accenture is currently developing a set of best practices for client onboarding that’s designed to accommodate the needs of all three parties. These include:

  • Onboard once. A single master services agreement between the firm and the client helps to keep things simple.
  • Establish expectations. The client and financial advisor collaborate to establish realistic expectations.
  • Develop a client-centric solution. By looking holistically at all of the client’s accounts across the firm, advisors can deliver their best products based on the client’s overall needs.
  • Make data consistent. Complete, compliant data is entered once and integrated across internal systems.
  • Show that you know. Use all available information, including social media, to tailor and personalize solutions.
Changing the Distribution Dynamic: Strategies for increasing the value of distribution in life insurance
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  • Build on goals. The client’s objectives guide the discovery process and drive recommendations.
  • Provide portability and mobility. Use integrated mobile devices and online applications to simplify the client onboarding experience.
  • Keep it simple. Minimize administrative tasks, declutter the experience and use plain English whenever possible.
  • Ensure client transparency and control. Clients should be able to participate, modify and drive the process based on their desire to engage.

Life insurers are beginning to view client onboarding not as an administrative burden, but as a great opportunity to launch a strong, long-lasting relationship, enhancing sales efforts while lowering expenses.

Next week I’ll revisit my previous discussion of robo-advisors and the role they’re playing in the life insurance experience.

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Changing the Distribution Dynamic: Strategies for increasing the value of distribution in life insurance


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