Upping your digital gameplan means more than just automating routine tasks. It can improve client satisfaction.The business world is rapidly embracing digital technologies. Consumers now expect to initiate and complete transactions with a few clicks of a phone or computer screen — and that includes insurance purchases and assistance.
For insurance agents, this represents a tremendous opportunity to strengthen their bottom line and increase client satisfaction. According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), by digitizing the customer’s path to an agency, insurance companies can significantly improve customer satisfaction scores and reduce costs by 15% to 25%.
By focusing on core operations and the overall customer experience, insurance agencies have much to gain by entering the digital frontier. Nevertheless, adopting digital platforms requires the right tools and careful planning.
“Back” into Digital
Kick off your agency’s digital transformation by picking the operation or operations you’d like to digitize first. Emphasize areas where you can automate processes and eliminate the need to intake information on paper (which can leads to costly errors). In addition, assess your agency’s readiness to incorporate new digital applications. You can either undertake a full digital changeover all at once, or take incremental steps.
Back-office operations such as managing and tracking orders represent a prime area in which to up your digital game. A survey done last year by the National Center for Middle Market and Magneto revealed that 70% of middle-market firms funnel the dollars they spend on digital innovations on internal processes.
Another way to decide which functions would benefit from digitization is to identify the regular milestones in the insurance buying cycle. This typically includes such core back-office functions as initial sale contact; data collection; review; customer interaction; and closing. Concentrating on those tasks will greatly benefit your bottom line and be welcomed by your clients.
How can agents automatic back-office operations? Robotic process automation (RPA) software helps by capturing and retrieving data that was previously input and fetched manually. RPA programs can perform more sophisticated tasks such as coverage comparisons and price matching, as well.
A Client-Centric Digital Experience
Just as important as digitally streamlining back-office operations is establishing a digital flow that eases the client experience. As BCG states in a blog entry, “Digitizing Customer Journeys and the New Insurance IT Model,” insurance professionals must design a digital infrastructure from the client’s perspective.
Today, your clients prefer to buy coverage and files claims by themselves. In other words, they want a “self-service” platform. To accommodate that trend, develop a digital customer journey beginning from the first online contact to policy purchase and then on to periodic policy reviews and claims support. Make sure the client doesn’t encounter any roadblocks along the way.
Customer communications management (CCM) software, for example, tracks important client events, including policy renewal dates and claim updates. The CCM can also alert you to changes in your client’s status, such as a marriage or a home purchase that may trigger a change in their insurance needs. Far from reducing the role of human agents, a digitized customer experience facilitates more personal interactions with your clients and prospects.
Be Omni Digital
Your clients and prospects demand consistent service whether they reach you through a telephone sales line, website, or social media. Yet according to survey by Capgemini Consulting, only 39% of insurance customers said their insurance companies contact them via their preferred digital channel (SMS, email, and mobile apps).
Today’s most popular digital device is, of course, the smartphone. As a result, a mobile app that enables policy applications as well as claims management anytime and anywhere is a must. More importantly, having a seamless, omni-channel digital presence greatly benefits your agency. Business application solutions consulting firm Hitachi Solutions found that when retailers established multiple online platforms for customer engagement revenue growth increased by 250%. Your insurance agency could receive the same boost by implementing a similar strategy.
Going digital improves productivity by automating routine tasks, thereby reducing the potential for errors. It also frees up your employees to handle strategic priorities. At the same time, your clients and prospects benefit from customer service that handles their inquiries and claims faster without losing a personal touch. Now is the time to hop on the digital wave.