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Nothing will ever replace that personal touch to provide excellent customer service. However, in the modern world it increasingly requires the use of technology. Being able to provide your customer with all the information they require at your fingertips and having that information securely stored, are key components to being able to operate a cost effective and efficient business.
Cost effective, secure and efficient systems are an essential part of any business, but even more so within the insurance industry. Software for insurance companies needs to be able to cater the unique needs of both the company and their clients. When you are evaluating an insurance software provider, there is an enormous range of products and services to consider, some are geared towards certain aspects of the business, some are completely unrelated but sold as ‘customisable’, while a select few are able to provide a product that works with all aspects of the insurance industry.
Is it mobile?
You would be surprised at how many ‘out of the box’ solutions are stand-alone desktop options designed solely for the use of your employees in the office. Having a web and mobile option that allows your clients (and potential clients) to access information, sign up or renew policies, and pay accounts online has obvious benefits. But having a secure system that your employees can also access anywhere means greater flexibility for your workforce, and the ability to provide excellent customer service anywhere, anytime, and right when it’s needed. Can you record audio calls? Can you save notes? How easy is it to use?
Is it branded?
This may seem irrelevant but having documentation that has a consistent look and feel right through from website to business cards, to policy documentation and contracts gives your customers more sense of security. It also makes your company look and feel more professional and cohesive. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brand
Where’s the human touch?
You need a system that is automated, or you may as well use pen and paper, but you also need a system that is flexible. In the insurance industry policies do not come as one size fits all. You need to be able to adjust rates, and you do not want to call your software provider for every minor edit. Your employees are trained insurance professionals who know what they’re doing and know what figures and rates they want to have in a policy or underwriting agreement; make sure the software solution you look at allows them the flexibility to do their job well.
With lots of automation
If you have a system that is going to work for you it needs to be customisable, but it also needs to be automated. You need to make sure that if you enter a rate in one screen that the resulting documentation will make calculations and updated data relating to that. You don’t want to print or email out documentation that has pages of information that is irrelevant to the policy holder, you want to make sure that the work flow culls out extraneous information but keeps in vital policy data. An automated system should be able to handle this whether you are Managing General Agent, a Broker or an Insurer. Be it a quote or a renewal, automation can remove many of the minor errors that occasionally crop up do to human entry errors.
Back office system
How many systems do you want to install? Yes, specialist software has its place, but in an ideal world you’ll be able to integrate your website, portal, policy software and have it all work with your accounting software. This creates a seamless experience for both customer and employee, means less spent on training people in different operating systems, and also creates a single point of sale.
Importance of detailed reporting
Being able to put data into a system is wonderful but being able to pull it out and get meaningful insights is even more important. Providing detailed analysis of your business allows for better allocation of resources, changing marketing focus, and lets management to reward or direct staff in meaningful ways.
Security is vital
You are being entrusted with people’s private information, and the confidential business data of corporations. You need to ensure that any insurance software you invest in is able to keep this information secure – whether it’s used on a desktop in-house system or as a web-based portal. Click here for issues around internet security.
Software should be used to increase your business efficiency, not increase the workload of staff or confusion of customers. A good software system for your insurance business is a big investment and you should look at any potential provider carefully. Look at what the software can do for you, but don’t be fooled by lots of bells and whistles that aren’t going to add value to your business. You are in insurance, not hairdressing, so make sure that’s where your focus is.
This is a collaborative post