Technology can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. However, many business owners think of technology as just a necessary evil. It's expensive and hard to maintain, so why bother? The problem with that mindset is that it fails to acknowledge that technology exists to make our lives and our jobs easier! One of the most common mistakes made by those utilizing a new digital platform is to assume that the technology will be a magic pill for all of their pain points and bottlenecks. When implementing a new product or tool, you owe it to your customers, your team, and to your bottom line to do the due diligence to truly embrace it and incorporate it.
You may not realize it, but every single day, the average agent or agency owner is not just using, but relying on a vast array of digital tools. From software used for accounting and marketing to the CRM and AMS, to quote-to-bind tools, to platforms relied on for website hosting and email management... an organization's entire operations process is built on technology. When the world we live in has embraced the use of robust digital ecosystems, why not lean in and have some fun with it? Why not take your agency's technology to the next level?
With a little research, learning, and creative strategy, you can take your agency from average to exceptional. There are several ways that technology can benefit both well-established and up-and-coming agencies. Here are just a few:
With the right automation tools in place, you can run your business more efficiently without sacrificing quality.
Customers can self-serve
Having client experience software in place makes it easy for your customers to interact with you in the way they want. Customers will also appreciate being able to find the information they need and complete transactions on their own.
Focus on your strengths!
By outsourcing the technology side of your business, you can focus on what you're good at, work those people skills, while leaving the more mundane (or at least non-revenue generating aspects) to the tech!
Having the right tools in place makes it easier for your producers and CSRs to do their jobs, freeing them up to focus on the most important and most hands-on tasks.
But here's where businesses get stuck...
Every software ad campaign claims that the product is hands-off, intuitive, simple to use, easy to implement, and so on. As true as that might be, ultimately long-term product success will never be achieved unless you take the time to learn about the new tools and all of the available features. Rarely is the "set it and forget it" approach the best course of action. It's much better to take a more methodical plan of attack when it comes to your new technology.
First, do a little research. Identify the key areas that you would like to improve. Do you want to offer a stand-out customer service option? Do you want to streamline inquiries to make them easier to assign to your team members? Maybe you want a tool that makes connecting with prospects easier. Not all technologies are created equal, and many have both completely unique as well as overlapping features, so be sure to find one that fits your specific agency needs.
Once you've decided on the technology that makes the most sense, now it's time to LEARN! Learn everything you can about what the product can do. Understand how your clients will use it. Examine different ways that your team can use it.
Take a hard look at that list of agency needs and pain points, then create specific processes and protocols to address these with your new technology.
But the learning experience doesn't have to be a solo mission. Take advantage of any resources provided by the product creators in order to maximize your learning. Any product worth using will have a comprehensive offering of resources to help you achieve success with it, including help desks, knowledge bases, chatbots, FAQs, support staff, how-to videos, case studies, forums... The options are endless. Tech companies provide this because they truly understand that a major part of adopting new technology is navigating the learning curve, and they want to ensure that you know how to get the most out of it!
With the InsurTech industry expected to grow by nearly $34 billion (yes, BILLION) between 2021 and 2025, business owners are inundated with cutting-edge digital technologies, and nearly all are designed to streamline processes or generate revenue while making life a bit easier. But technology can be expensive, and when done wrong, maintaining an outdated or underutilized platform can drain resources from other parts of your business. Not only is choosing technology that fits your agency's needs crucial, but it is key that you take every opportunity to understand how to use it. In the age of innovation, without adapting to change and adopting new tactics, conducting "business as usual" could end up costing you.