Deloitte’s 2021 Insurance Outlook recently captured responses from 200 global insurance executives regarding the impact of COVID-19 and its aftermath on the insurance industry. One significant theme that emerged from the report was that the insurance industry, like many other customer-facing industries, had to move quickly in 2020 to offer virtual services to a suddenly digital-only client base.
Pandemic Spotlights Digital Deficiencies
The survey revealed that 79 percent of respondents believe the pandemic uncovered shortcomings in their company’s digital capabilities and transformation plans, and 95 percent are making plans to do something to improve the situation.
The question is, what will you do this year to improve your digital capabilities? Particularly, what will you do to improve the virtual services you offer to your clients in 2021?
Why and How to Improve Virtual Services This Year
It is anticipated that, even when the immediate effects of the global pandemic fade, many consumers will likely continue to prefer to do business online rather than going back to the more traditional way of conducting business in person. That said, it makes sense to invest in improving your virtual service offerings to appeal to modern consumer preferences.
Here are some tips to help you elevate the customer experience you provide during every online interaction with your clients and improve your offerings:
1. Identify what your clients want from online services.
The first, and most important, way to provide a good online experience for your clients is to figure out what they want when they come to your website or service portal. Are they looking for a way to make a payment, a quick answer to a common question, a way to contact a live agent, or something else? Put yourself in your clients’ shoes to determine what types of services to offer online.
2. Figure out how your clients want to communicate with you.
Offering more than one way to connect with your insurance agency digitally will improve client experience as well. For instance, some clients may prefer texts, while others prefer email. Still others will appreciate a fully automated customer service portal, complete with chatbots and integrated unified communications and telephony.
3. Choose client-facing staff and technology carefully.
Remember to put your best foot forward as an agency by staffing your client-facing positions with the right people using the right technologies. Choose staff members who are enthusiastic and committed to providing exceptional client service at every opportunity. Give them the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively, including collaboration and communication tools, payment solutions, and client management solutions. Depending on call volume and size of your agency, you might also want to consider contact center solutions.
4. Train everyone in your agency to be client-obsessed.
Though it is true that you will be designating specific employees as your client-facing support staff, you will need to train everyone in your insurance agency to focus obsessively on client experience. Building a client-centric culture will spur your entire team to brainstorm ideas to improve the client experience at every possible interaction, sparking innovation and, ultimately, growth for your agency.
5. Leverage partnerships to expand your services or marketing capabilities.
For many independent insurance agencies, offering online services is much easier if you find partners that can provide support to help. The American Agents Alliance provides independent insurance agents and brokers with the tools they need to thrive in the insurance industry today. Learn more about membership benefits today.