We are undoubtedly living in historic times. From the pandemic to the presidential election, it seems like there’s hardly a day when we don’t wake up to another major news story.
2020 has changed how we live and work, and the insurance industry has been no exception. A digital transformation, which has long been on the horizon for the industry, is now critical for success as more consumers demand seamless online service from their advisors.
Even so, the foundations of the insurance industry have not changed and will not change. Agents still have a business to run, and consumers still need insurance coverage. But as we move into a new year, agents must continue adjusting their practices to meet the new marketplace.
Here’s what insurance agents can do to make sure they aren’t left behind in 2020 (which surely no one wants.)
Understand what insurance customers want
If you’ve been in the insurance business for a while, it’s easy to think you know what clients want: a personalized policy at a reasonable rate, an expert advisor who can provide insights and answer any questions, and excellent customer service. These are all still important factors that consumers care about, but there are new priorities and ideas of what constitutes good service.
Here are some illuminating findings on today’s consumers:
- More than half of all consumers are interested in increasing or buying life insurance, but 90% do not want to do business face to face.
- Quality and ease of use are rated as the most important factors for insurance customers.
- 80% of customers said that agents should prioritize the right policy for a client rather than the lowest price.
- Millennials with increased connectivity with their insurance providers were more loyal, bought more products from them, and gave higher ratings.
The pandemic has sped up the already growing demand for digital service across all sectors of the market. Today, insurance customers are looking for more convenient service, more digital connectivity, and a stronger relationship with their agent.
Take the time to research consumer trends to gain a better understanding of the prospective market, or check out our blogs for more information:
- Insurance Advisors: What You Need to Know About Millennials
- Why Insurance Agents Should Care About Collaboration
- It’s About One Click: Lessons Insurance Agents Can Learn from Amazon
Identify gaps in your service, and make a digital plan
Once you have a solid understanding of the consumer market, review your business practices, and analyze your current strengths and weaknesses. Are you good at establishing relationships but lacking in digital service? Are you using digital tools, like e-delivery or e-signatures, but they’re causing you more headaches than they are helping?
With how quickly everything moves these days, it’s easy to get in the habit of just pushing forward and adapting as you go. You may end up adopting one tool, like e-delivery, because a client requested it, but you’re missing other important functionalities that make the process more seamless. Unfortunately, the piecemeal approach to digital adoption can lead to more confusion when technology should make it easier for both you and your clients.
We know digital technology will be a mainstay in the insurance industry from now on, so move your thinking on digital practices from piecemeal to strategic. Figure out exactly how and what digital tools you will use for sales, marketing, management, and communication.
Find the right digital platform for your practice
As you start planning ahead, don’t be surprised when you realize a more comprehensive insurtech platform is needed to manage your business. The good news is that new digital platforms are available that provide not only expanded capabilities but also advanced insights that power your referral generation and lead to increased sales.
An advisor-centric platform like Link by LegacyShield empowers insurance agents through turnkey tools, insights, and solutions. The platform functions as a digital workspace where agents can directly connect and collaborate with clients as well as securely store insurance policies and share them with clients and key stakeholders.
Agents using Link get analytics on client activity that can help them better understand their clients’ needs. Plus, advisors receive organic leads by collaborating with their clients’ loved ones on policies and plans within the app.
In our world and in our industry, change is inevitable and coming faster than ever. But if insurance agents are able to move with the change, they will unlock new generations of insurance clients that will fuel their growth for the next decade.
To learn more about best practices moving forward, read our blog, “Staying Ahead of the Curve for Insurance Agents.”