5 Ways Independent Agents Can Keep Up with Industry Trends
June 1, 2020 •Jonathan Simmons
While the recent pandemic, COVID-19, has shown many insurance agents how much they can actually accomplish online, technology was headed in this direction long before it was forced this way. Industries all over the world have been disrupted and evolved by technological advancements, and it’s important for agents to keep up.
At the moment, it may not seem like a big deal, but people – including insurance customers – are increasingly seeking companies that use technology to make their lives easier. This doesn’t just include the product itself, but also the ways to access and utilize that product. If customers can’t easily and effectively find and purchase your product, they’ll choose one they can. To keep you caught up on industry trends, we’ve compiled our top five things to remember.
Address Consumer Demand for Innovation
With smartphones now in everyone’s pockets, streaming services enabling consumers to watch whatever they want whenever they want, and the internet an essential part of basically every job from grocery store clerk to CEO, people are looking for innovation when they purchase.
The modern customer is and will continue to be the driving force behind change in the insurance industry and many others. Customers want fast, reliable, and simple technology that allows them to achieve their goals. Gone are the days of sitting down in lengthy meetings to hear what the customer wants; now, they want to enter their information, speak with an agent, and get it done.
Unfortunately, many insurance agents are slow to respond to these modern evolutions. But soon, these technological innovations will simply be the norm, and anyone who chooses not to adopt them will get left behind. Those that view this as an opportunity to combine insurance and technology by providing new and innovative products, services, and delivery channels will succeed in a market that will be very different very soon.
Modern Solutions for Traditional Agencies
As you know, COVID-19 has changed everyday life for virtually everyone on the planet. Massive insurance companies like GEICO and State Farm have fast, accessible apps for their users; independent and captive agents need technology, too. Without up-to-date, easy-to-use technology, it will be impossible to keep up, as customers become increasingly comfortable with faster, easier solutions.
Modern advancements in technology, like SALT, can help. For example, SALT allows agents to customize forms and tailor to their customers’ needs and is built by independent agents who understand the unique challenges that other independent and captive agents face. It’s likely that even more jobs will become remote after COVID-19, and insurance agents need to be prepared to interact with an increasingly flexible consumer.
Work Smarter – Not Harder
Many who are resistant to evolution and innovation in the insurance industry are set in their ways under the belief that insurance will always, at its core, be a people-focused industry. But the reality is, technology does not remove the people element – it makes it more efficient, allowing for scalability that agents desperately need.
For example, websites were once informative lists of information telling customers about the business. But now, they are a place of commerce and of interaction, where audiences go to accomplish a goal.
The same goes for insurance technology. Modern technology increases efficiency. Adopting systems that make your work easier does not mean you’re working less or getting less done, it means you’re taking advantage of innovation to get more done in the same amount of time.
Learn Where Business is Coming From
One of the many benefits of using a form for customers, like the ones you can build with SALT, is that you can not only gather their information, but also data about how they found you and why they’re interested in your services. This is a huge advantage over stacks of files and notes, which are difficult to sift through and make patterns from.
The data you receive from customers gives key insight into where those customers are coming from – specifically, how they’re finding your services. From there, you can focus your efforts on that avenue, giving your customers a wider, more accessible path to your services.
A New Generation
The modern consumer does not lack the information needed to make a decision. They have plenty of information, and much of it is similar to them. What sets agencies apart is giving consumers the best experience possible, instilling them with trust that this partnership is in their best interest.
Along with this new generation of consumers, a new generation of agents is here as well. Young independent agents will have to figure out how to meet with clients – whether in person or through phone, email, or text – and blend technology and personal service to give their customers that great experience.
Modern technology offers many advantages for independent agents, but it’s evolving quickly. If agents are unable or unwilling to adapt and utilize new techniques, it will be a big challenge to catch back up. One such technological innovation is SALT.
With SALT, agents can make gathering customer data quicker and easier than ever before, tailoring forms so that they are more relevant to the specific needs of your audience. Innovations like this allow you to avoid the fatigue of asking the same questions over and over again, freeing up both agents and their customers. Get started for free today!