Providing superior service has been and always will be the key to building your client base in the life insurance industry.
But what constitutes great service is undergoing a major shift in the digital era. This shift is no different than what I witnessed in the wealth management space over the past two decades, and I believe that the digital transformation of the wealth management industry can be a leading indicator of what should happen in life insurance.
As I understand it, only a few years ago, insurance advisors just needed a website and availability via phone and email. Today’s consumers are increasingly tech-savvy and looking to engage with businesses that are on the same playing field. With busy schedules, they want the ability to connect with a business anywhere at any time and gain continued value out of a service without having to invest a lot of energy.
Despite growing demand for greater connectivity, the life insurance industry has not kept up. We have now reached a critical point. If advisors want to improve client relationships and grow their agencies, they need to adapt their models. This is even more critical when looking at future generations. While children should be one of the strongest referral sources, 60% or more choose not to use their parents’ advisor for their financial or life insurance needs, (For more on this, read our blog Break the Rule of 66.)
With a projected $41 trillion passing from Baby Boomers to their children and grandchildren, this isn’t a referral source you want to miss. Staying connected through insurance technology is vital to power a loyal customer base and maximize referrals among the upcoming generations of digital natives.
What Connectivity Looks Like for Life Insurance
During my time in the wealth management industry, I helped lead a digital transformation that increased connectivity between advisor and client – and this same transformation is well underway for life insurance.
There’s no doubt that disrupting a highly regulated industry comes with challenges, but as we saw in the wealth management field, the benefits are substantial for those who get on board. Research from McKinsey found that wealth managers who adopted digital tools to connect with clients had a client satisfaction 5 to 10 times higher than that of traditional wealth managers. Not to mention clients who engaged through a mobile experience were 3.5 times more likely to move assets than those using other channels.
For the life insurance industry, connectivity isn’t going to be confined to occasional emails or even a website where policyholders can log in and view static versions of their life insurance documents.
The key to staying connected with your clients is a digital platform that serves as a connectivity hub benefiting both clients and advisors.
Below are just a few elements of what I believe are key components in a successful platform.
Three Ways It Must Benefit Clients:
Communication central. A digital life insurance platform opens a constant line of communication between clients and advisors. Clients are able to contact their advisor directly through the site, and advisors can share any policy updates in real time.
Digital storage and file-sharing. The platform serves as secure digital storage for clients’ life insurance policies and other important financial documents. Clients can then allow loved ones to gain access to the platform any time before or after their passing.
Memory bank. Clients can also save traditions, photos, videos, and memories through the platform – all incredibly important parts of their legacy.
Three Ways It Must Benefit Advisors
Growth. In addition to being a major value add-on for clients, advisors can use a digital platform to fuel agency growth and powerful client networking. As clients join the platform, a lot of networking opportunities present themselves. When they share their platform with family and friends, more people know and are connected with you and your agency. Instead of spending valuable time and resources prospecting new clients, your current clients bring prospects right to your door.
Insights. Smart technology provides you with valuable insights into your clients’ ever-changing needs. It will let you know how and when to reach out to your clients for additional service.
Secure Connectivity. Advisors need an easy and secure method to share information. While secure email is one method, it lacks both storage and bilateral communication capabilities. Having a platform that allows for highly secure sharing, collaboration, and storage of materials provides a client-centric experience while staying compliant and keeping information secure and readily accessible for all parties involved.
The entire life insurance industry will be adapting to a more digital model in the coming years. Those who transition now will survive and thrive by staying ahead of the pack. To learn more about Insurtech and what changes to expect in the 2020s, read my article, INSURTECH: THE DISRUPTED AND THE DISRUPTER.