In our 2022 insurance workforce whitepaper, we examined employment, diversity, and technology trends that surfaced in our independent agency survey. The whitepaper brims with insights into the Great Resignation, employee compensation, gender diversity in agencies, and the technology that agencies are using to get their work done.
Here are five things that we did not include in the whitepaper but offer a glimpse into what is happening in independent agencies across the country.
1. Insurance agents want more casual meetings with clients
A surprising number of agents who answered the question, “If time wasn't an issue, what is one thing you wish you could do with clients on a regular basis?” specified a desire to have coffee or tea with their clients. These are just some of the responses:
- “I would meet for coffee more often to learn more about the client's needs.”
- “I want to invite my clients to have a cup of coffee to keep up to date with what is happening in their lives. “
- “My clients and I could have a cup of coffee together once a week to help keep track of what's going on with them.”
It’s not surprising that agencies want to spend more time with clients. Strong community and client relationships make independent agencies special in the insurance ecosystem. But it’s apparent that hot, caffeinated beverages have a larger impact on maintaining these relationships than we would have guessed.
2. Insurance is rocking social media
For the first time, we asked agencies about their social media use and more than one in four answered they are active on a social media platform. Additionally, agencies are using social media to communicate more than they are using video conferencing (22%), agency portals/apps (21%), and carrier portals/apps (17%). Agencies on social media are using it to educate their followers, keep in touch with clients, attract new business, and more—and some are even taking to the more advanced platforms like TikTok.
If you are unsure where to start creating a social media presence, check out this Hootsuite article that teaches small businesses how to rock their social media accounts.
3. Some agencies are still drowning in paperwork
In an average week, agencies spend more time communicating with clients than they do on other tasks, but just barely. When asked about the amount of time spent on tasks in a given week, the answer, “communicating with clients,” garnered 29%. Close on communication’s heels was “creating proposals” with 26%. Paperwork may not be how most agents want to spend their time, but, according to our numbers, it is claiming a significant amount of their week.
As the InsurTech industry develops more digital solutions that help agencies modernize and work more efficiently, more time can open for important conversations.
4. Appreciation for a new talent pool is growing
As hiring and employee retention continue to challenge businesses throughout the economy, agencies are responding. One in seven survey takers said they believe onboarding and training new talent is the most important factor for agency growth.
The Great Resignation might be older news, but no one can deny the challenges of finding and keeping great talent. Proper onboarding and training can make the difference between attracting and keeping employees or constantly searching to fill a role.
5. Agencies want tech to be easy most of all
A smooth and effortless adoption of new InsurTech is a primary concern for agencies looking to expand their tech stack. A whopping 58% of agencies said technology that is “easy to use” is an essential priority when they are evaluating new tech products. To hedge the products that require extra time to learn, 50% said they prioritize customer support.
When technology works like it should, agencies can spend more time with their clients. But, adopting new technology is not easy and the learning process takes time, effort, and buy-in from employees. There are ways of easing the burden of new tech adoption and, once tech is humming, there should be more time for those coffees.