Five steps to achieving ease of doing business
Written By: Bryn Saunders, Product Marketing Manager
For many, 2018 will be the Year of Blockchain. That’s not the case for the insurance industry.
2018 is the Year of the Customer.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. According to a recent Forrester study, 66% of carriers indicated that improving customer experience was a critical priority, right alongside cost reduction(1). Similarly, independent agencies indicated that they share the same priorities, ranking customer experience as one of their top 4 business objectives(2).
It would seem logical, then, that improving the agent experience would have a direct impact on the insureds’ experience. After all, the less time agents spend managing carrier credentials and locating billing or claim information, the more time they can spend focusing on customers.
So is it possible for carriers to have their cake and eat it too? Is it truly feasible to become a carrier of choice while also minimizing costs? The good news is – yes – it really isn’t as hard as you’d think. It just takes a commitment to creating a better experience for agents and insureds alike.
Here are 5 steps to help you achieve Ease of Doing Business (EODB):
1. Support real-time transactions.
Successful carriers are those that provide the full range of transactions to their agents. It’s simple – agents seek to do business with carriers that are easier to do business with. Are you providing your agents the following information?
Policy, billing, claims and loss run information
eDocs and Messages
Single Sign On/Identity Federation
2. Streamline agency workflows.
A carrier that requires different agency processes depending on the type of transaction can actually increase the workload for agents. How? Producers and CSRs need to remember different workflows for different transactions, which is tedious. As a result, agents will likely be frustrated and demand a single workflow for all transactions, opting to do business with those carriers that can support it.
3. Simplify password management.
The vast majority of calls to IT help desks are from users who have forgotten or need to reset a password. Imagine reducing those types of calls to zero. With a seamless, secure connection to carriers, agency users can spend more time collaborating and less time worrying about passwords. As an added bonus, you save money through decreased call volume.
4. Reduce risk (and duplicate data entry).
Any time information has to be re-entered, you increase your margin of error. When that error happens on a policy, you have E&O exposure. But, when you download policy detail or ongoing transactions from your system directly into an agent’s management system, you ensure what’s covered on the policy is accurately represented. At the same time, you enable agents to save time by reducing the need for duplicate entry.
5. Improve communication.
Connectivity helps drive proactive communication. Tools like Activity Notes and Claims Download enable you to send claim status, payment notifications, and additional documentation that you would normally make available on your agency portal directly to your agents’ management systems. In short – they spend less time searching, and more time servicing customers.
Carriers who listen to what agents want have an opportunity to improve not only their bottom line, but also improve the customer experience. Whether it’s through attracting more agent business, reducing costs, or automating processes, connectivity provides tangible results for your business.
(1) Source: Forrester's Global Business Technographics Priorities And Journey Survey, 2017
(2) Forrester – Rough Notes Independent Agent Panel Q3 2015