This is the Sixth in a seven-part weekly series, "Thriving During the Coronavirus," on how insurance agencies and companies should handle the pandemic and ways to work around new economic challenges.
Before surgery, some of the most successful doctors work through a checklist to make sure that they have covered all their bases.
As you look to attract new clients during the pandemic, you can use this same tool to ensure that you’re doing everything you can.
It can be helpful to look at the websites of some bigger insurance companies, including direct-writer firms like Allstate and GEICO to see how they do it.
But keep in mind that your business is different, and you may be able to offer features that they can’t scale up. Don’t limit yourself to what everyone else is doing. Be creative.
To make your checklist, ask yourself what are the things you should do to become a viable digital service for your insureds? What are the things you expect when you work with online businesses?
Make a written list of the features they offer online and the products or services they offer. Here’s a rough checklist I made up after perusing some of the bigger direct-writer companies.
*NOTE: This is a composite of several carrier’s websites. No one website contains all these Items. But all contain most.
Now, Look at Your Own Website
Compare this list to what your website does.
Comparing the table to what your website does, what are the features these carrier’s websites offer that your website does not offer?
Chances are that there’s at least one or two upgrades that you could make to your site to attract more business or just keep the clients you have.
Think About Businesses Other Than Insurance
The first reaction I often hear from insurance agents is “I can’t do those things because of my software”.
Well, I beg to differ.
My accountant provides all my documents in a secure electronic format. These documents are not automatically provided from an integration with their back-office system, but from their taking the time to share with me in a separate file sharing system.
My lawyers do the same.
My position on agents waiting until they have their agency management system provide every solution they can imagine is to say I guess my accountant and attorney think I am more valuable.
That is harsh. But is it true?
It would certainly be easier to have your agency management system provide this automatically, but are you willing to lose customers while you wait?
Every Customer Is Not the Same
I am not saying you need to upload every document for every customer. You will have a significant number of customers who do not want or use online services. It depends on your customer.
I suggest you let each customer tell you what they want. If they tell you they would like online access to specific services, documents or capabilities you should seriously consider if they are worth the extra effort.
The best way to think about this is to understand the value to your relationship with your customer.
With most file sharing systems every time you add a document to the service the person you are sharing with gets a notice. Your customer is made aware you are doing something for them.
For self service features such as requesting changes, getting a certificate of insurance or an ID card, each time your customer goes to your website to take these actions they are working with you and your agency. Staying front of mind is incredibly valuable.
In my next article, I’ll be talking about how to create a story line to connect with your customers.
If you missed
"Part 1: How Your Insurance Agency Can Weather the Global Pandemic and Economic Downturn," click here.
"Part 2: How Your Insurance Agency Can Survive a Drop in Revenue Due to the Pandemic,” click here.
"Part 3: How Your Agency Can Thrive During the Pandemic and Avoid Layoffs," click here.
"Part 4: How Your Agency Can Thrive During the Pandemic by Playing Defense," click here.
"Part 5: How Your Agency Can Thrive During the Pandemic by Going on Offense," click here.