A forest fire tears through ecosystems and communities, leaving very little behind. It can devastate homes and livelihoods, and it can change the community for many years to come. Insurance agencies can take a lesson from those wildfires. Sometimes, to prevent wildfires in the future, you may need to clear the undergrowth and remove some of the dead material from your organization. How can you work to clear out some of the problem areas at your insurance business?
Control the Quality of Your Data
According to MarketWatch, "88% of spreadsheets have errors."
Granted, not all of those errors are large, but each of them could have a serious impact on your business. In the forest of your insurance business, these little errors are the weeds that eat up a lot the vitality of your business and push aside some of your plans. You can improve your data quality by:
Implement software products that force you to add specific data to each file
Reduce the amount of data you gather, collecting less data that's better quality
Add forms to your website that guide you and your clients to correct specific errors, rather than mysteriously stating that there is data that's inaccurate or missing.
Use drop-down boxes and other data entry options that give you more limited choices, allowing you to maintain more control of errors such as spelling errors.
Control the Quality of Your Processes
According to Data Quality Pro, "solving data quality means going to the root of the source and implementing preventative measures that increase the satisfaction of the user experience."
This means that you're responsible for not only checking for problems: you're responsible for ensuring that your processes support accurate data entry and customer interactions. For example, you could:
Take a checklist approach to specific interactions with clients, ensuring that you ask them the same questions
Move from paper onto software systems as much as possible
Add safety measures to a process. For example, you could ensure that two people or a person and a computer both look at key client forms.
Simplify your processes whenever possible. If an action requires 4 forms, could you make it involve 2 forms instead?
Talk with clients about your business systems to see what could be improved
Hold regular times for reflection with employees about business processes, sources of error, and potential improvements
Implementing these quality control and data integrity measures clears out the undergrowth in your organization, making it easier to avoid mistakes that could compromise your business.
Determine How Practices Connect To Your Business Goals
As you develop quality control practices, make sure that your business is staying true to its business goals. Everything must point in the direction of those goals. For instance, if you'd like to make sure that you build trust with seniors, you need to not only have marketing campaigns focused on this goal, you also need to have quality control practices that ensure that your connections with seniors paint your insurance business as trustworthy. Instead of viewing quality control as an activity that takes away from your insurance marketing, view it as an essential part of developing a healthy business relationship with your clients.
E&O Insurance: Prepare Your Firefighting Brigade
While you don't want to have a serious problem at your insurance agency, the possibility still exists that one of your employees could make a serious error or omission, causing your clients problems. In this case, your client may suffer ill effects, and that person could decide to sue your company. You can prepare for a fire, and you can make sure that you do everything possible to avoid a fire, but in the end, a fire could occur. In that case, you need E&O insurance. This type of business insurance allows your business to continue functioning, even though you're involved in a lawsuit that could be expensive. It protects you in case of errors and omissions by your employees.
At American Agents Alliance, we're dedicated to the development and protection of your independent insurance business. Talk with us today to see how we can help your insurance company thrive. Learn about our E&O insurance products and other membership benefits.