Customer portals are everywhere, across all types of services and daily activities. Customer portals have quickly become an essential – and expected – mode of communication for businesses and their customers for many reasons. For customers and prospects, it’s about the convenience of online self-service. For companies, it’s about digitizing their staff’s manual workloads.
Industries like retail, banking, restaurants, healthcare, and travel have all found ways to up customer experience by taking it online. It’s only natural that customers would grow to expect the same from the insurance world. That’s why agencies desiring to stay ahead of the game are making customer portals a core component of their value propositions. But it’s not just because everyone else is doing it. Here are four reasons why customer portals are essential to your business:
Customers Expect Online Customer Self-Service
Insurance shoppers are looking for a digital experience, and it’s up to your agency to deliver it.
Online customer self-service satisfies the customer immediately, any time of the day or night. Even during normal business hours, customers have been found to prefer the online option. In fact, the 2021 Zendesk CX Trends Reportshows that 73% of customers use self-service portals to lodge claims, clarify policy and billing issues. It’s just more convenient. With a customer portal, insureds can:
- Access policies
- View ID cards
- Upload and download documents
- Submit change requests
- Generate certificates
- Follow claims
- Make payments
And they can do all this from anywhere if the portal extends to any internet-enabled device — even from a phone on the side of the road!
Provides Security for Your Business
Another reason why customer portals are being embraced is security. Let’s face it, no one enjoys providing personal risk information over the phone. And, as much as we’d like to think of email as a secure method of communication, it really isn’t up to today’s standards. According to Gartner, 84% of businesses report data privacy as “the most valuable factor” when making purchasing decisions around new solutions. Customer portal software comes with strong built-in security features and is the safer option to keep your users and your organization protected from data breaches. In addition, customer portals provide functionality for prospects during the sales cycle such as facilitating secure data collection and document sharing.
Your agency will have peace of mind about how it shares information with clients, and those clients will appreciate knowing that their personal information is safe behind unique logins and multi-factor authentication.
Helps Save Time and Money
Customer portals do more than just enhance the customer experience. They also make your agency more productive.
Once clients learn how easy and convenient it is to access policy information, generate and download certificates, check on claims, and submit requests for themselves online, it will likely become their preferred customer service method. A recent survey by Nuance Enterprise found that 67% of respondents preferred self-service over speaking to a representative. That means fewer calls into your agency and fewer interruptions to your staff throughout the day.
Because clients get their needs met faster, customer portals result in happier, more engaged customers with less manual effort on the part of your agency.
Looking Beyond Customer Self-Service
Remote access to your agency is a powerful thing, and it should be used for more than just customer self-service. There are many opportunities that a customer portal can provide. Some future-forward examples would be:
If your agency is looking to install an online payment solution, a customer portal would be a great place to house that process.
Customer portals can also be used to create cross-sell opportunities. It can allow agents the opening to offer complementary personal lines products to insureds. In addition to the traditional home and auto account rounding scenario, customers can also be presented with other offers, such as flood insurance, mobile device coverage, home alarm systems, and more.
Additionally, portals can be a source to collect customer referrals. Utilizing a customer portal can be an opportunity to prompt customers to provide referrals. These referrals will automatically be added to your agency’s sales pipeline as leads, turning happy customers into advocates.
Customer portals are only growing in popularity. Having a customer portal that best suits your agency’s needs opens new avenues to deliver exceptional services, increase agency efficiency and boost customer loyalty and advocacy. Increased customer satisfaction and more productive staff are both just a click away!
Explore the EZLynx Client Center to see how it can benefit your agency.
EZLynx pioneered personal lines real-time comparative rating, enabling agents to generate quotes from multiple insurance carriers with a single data entry point. Today, over 20,000 agencies rely on EZLynx to provide more than eight million home, auto, and package rating transactions every month. EZLynx has also expanded beyond personal lines comparative rating by creating innovative software solutions that transform every facet of agency life, including agency management, client self-servicing, sales pipeline management, marketing and communications, accounting, eSignature, and more, all available on a unified, one platform solution.