Technology: Independent Agency Friend or Foe?
Oh, technology: sometimes it's your best friend, and often it can seem like it's working against you. When you have an independent insurance agency, is it better to invest in technology and leap into the latest area of excitement, or should you stay with the processes and trends that you know? You can't ignore technological change, so you need to choose what you'll focus on right now. What investments in technology are essential to keep your business ahead of the curve?
Building Online Relationships
The majority of Millennials are online for a large portion of the day, often using multiple forms of media at a time. When Millennials interact online, they expect relationship and transparency, not just advertising. This tech trend dovetails with the expectations of Baby Boomers as well: Boomers expect personal interaction whenever possible. Should you focus on building social connections through social media? Yes. This is an essential part of new marketing.
Online Purchasing Has the Potential to Transform the Industry
Being a large company isn't always an advantage anymore. This can be helpful to smaller independent insurance agencies, which can now compete online with larger companies. This means that you'll be challenged to develop your web presence and communicate with potential customers online rather than in person and in your community. This change is coming. If you're ready, you can take advantage of it to build your business and bring it to those who are not traditionally part of your audience.
Predicting the Future
What does the future hold? That's what the insurance agency has always tried to determine. Today, predictive analytics have transformed the insurance industry. This means that through the internet and the analytics performed by computers, individuals have access to the information that they thing they need to make an informed insurance purchase, all without speaking to your small insurance agency.
Changing to a more online-based format may seem difficult. After all, you have the information you need, but it's not in a format that is cloud-based or easily accessible to your customers. That's just not how most insurance agencies were set up. Use the support of an insurance technology company to move your information and purchasing from internal to external, so that individuals can access your information and products 24/7.
In a world where data and accessibility that was previously available to specialists is now available to everyone, the independent insurance agent is being challenged to find a stronger place and provide more value to customers. One role for the independent insurance agent is as an educator. In today's world of inbound marketing, those who provide information draw in customers and build a rapport with them. Being available online to communicate and being reputable are your best ways to stay relevant in this rapidly-changing technological landscape.
When you're looking for support in your independent insurance business, contact the American Agents Alliance. With our educational courses, conferences, and networking opportunities, we'll support you in your efforts to integrate and understand new technologies. Contact us today and learn more about our membership benefits.