Agency-Carrier Connectivity: The Agency View
A few months ago I asked you to participate in a research study conducted by Strategy Meets Action (SMA) regarding agency carrier communication issues, options, and future trends. The survey is designed to uncover strategies, pain points, usage, priorities, and investment plans from both insurance companies and agencies.
As an incentive to complete the survey, every respondent was entered into a drawing for a $500 Amazon gift card. I am pleased to tell you that Julie Jennings from LMC Insurance & Risk Management — a TechTips reader — was the lucky winner of the Amazon Gift Card. (Congrats, Julie!)
A total of 210 individuals from agencies completed the survey representing multiple roles within the organization. Included below are some of the initial results of the survey.
Highlights from SMA
- Respondents indicated that keeping customers is a huge driver of investment, but small agencies are in a more defensive mode than the general agency population: for smaller agencies, “customer retention,” “new business,” “improving customer experience,” and “revenue growth” are all higher drivers than they are for the general agency demographic.
- The defensive position is so strong that profitability is taking a backseat, even more so for smaller agencies.
- “Cost reduction” is not a significant driver of investment, particularly for smaller agencies, which is positive. The more strategic drivers are winning out, most notably, customer experience, at least perceptually.
- Despite the fact that agents indicate their number one priority is keeping the customer they have today, much of the investment is around new customer acquisition. Agents, regardless of which side of the house they are on, still have not circled to technology adoption for customer retention.
- On the commercial line side, the role of the agency management system is clearly important. Upgrading or acquiring entirely new agency management systems are spend areas. That activity will positively align with “real time upload — quote” “except policy download.”
Hopefully, this information will help you understand how other agencies are approaching communication options between carriers and clients. Adopting new communication options based on customer preferences is an important part of your strategy going forward.
What is your agency strategic focus regarding connectivity between carriers, prospects, and clients? Let me know in the comments section below.