Long gone are the days of insurance agents carrying Blackberries and dealing with limited access to email (though, really, those days weren’t too long ago!). For insurance agency owners, it’s now possible to run your entire insurance agency from your smartphone; for consumers, any price shopping, quote research, or purchasing decisions that they can do online or via text message, they probably will. So what insurance tech trends should agents and producers keep an eye out for that might be the “next big thing”?
We spoke with agent Mansour Hasan, creator of TodayApp Pro, to share his thoughts on the top technology trends in the insurance industry, as well as new innovations on the insurance industry horizon—read on to learn more.
7 Technology Trends In The Insurance Industry In 2021
1. CRM Databases
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is essentially a digitally stored customer filing cabinet. It replaces the “pen-and-paper, manilla file folders” system that took up space in your office and gives you and your team near-instant access to all clients and contacts. If you work for a captive agency, you probably already have a CRM supplied to you. If you’re an independent agent, you will likely need to purchase and manage your own CRM.
CRMs are the heart and brain of an agency, as they store everything you’re doing with every single contact in your book of business in a single organized place. They allow for automation of follow-ups, reminders, and customer service. CRMs can also track your sales flow and help you keep easy-to-access notes in client files. Salesforce and HubSpot are two well-known CRMs; there are also agent-specific CRMs like AgencyBloc (for life and health insurance) and Ricochet360.
Trends to watch for: Artificial Intelligence (AI) in CRMs. AI is already changing the landscape of insurance sales, and it will also continue to affect how we manage customer data. Make sure your CRM solution is forward-thinking in this area.
In the future, AI will be predictive instead of reactive. From a claims, underwriting, and customer experience perspective, AI in CRMs will allow us to make calls prior to our clients contacting us. AI will also lead to improved conversion rates, as well as better risk-based pricing (because we will have more data that provides an accurate representation of what a potential customer needs to be charged for their risk level).
If your agency can have a more efficient, effective claims process by using AI in your CRM, you will be seen as that much more of an expert in your area.
In terms of insurance technology trends, call centers are a thing of the past. Instead, chatbots are taking over as the future of customer service. As chatbots grow more sophisticated, expect to see them everywhere, from providing automated responses on your Facebook page to using them for lead generation events.
3. Social Media
It’s no surprise that social media made this list; people will continue to want more authenticity and more personal information from the businesses (and business owners) they choose to support.
Trends to watch for: Look for social media (and social media plugins) to become another way your clients will potentially be able to reach out and file a claim. Some tips for dealing with social media as an insurance agent:
- Be accessible and relevant on multiple platforms.
- Stay up-to-date with the rapid evolution of different platforms. Wherever you choose to “live,” make sure you’re staying consistent with posting, commenting, liking, sharing stories, etc. Facebook is my top recommendation for agents because you can build bots, target advertising, and more.
- Use Google to your advantage. Google is the new yellow pages; it’s not difficult to make it work for you.
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4. Video Conferencing
The challenges of 2020 brought the importance of having professional, reliable video conferencing to light. While as agents we love to have prospects sitting in the chairs in front of us, the reality is that the new “butts in chairs” is “faces on cameras.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are either reluctant to come in or just not interested in visiting an office when they have more convenient options. I believe this trend will stick around.
Trends to watch for: If we’re not adopting tools to have efficient conferencing, adapting our sales to do reviews over video conferencing, or doing risk management through video conferencing, we’re going to be left behind. There are both proprietary video conferencing software (often hosted by agencies) and options like Zoom.
5. Appointment Scheduling Software
The days of back-and-forth calling and emailing to set an appointment are going by the wayside. Now, calendar and appointment scheduling tools make it simple for your clients to book a time on your schedule. Look for scheduling software that integrates with your calendars, so you can seamlessly schedule. Options include Calendly, Acuity, and ScheduleOnce; additionally, some CRMs have this functionality built-in.
6. Systems Management
One trend we’re seeing within agencies is increased turnover. People are not coming into a job and staying for 15 years—they’ll be there for a year or two and move on. With that churn comes the need to create systems within your agency so you can “plug and play” people into the roles for which they’ve been hired.
Systems management tools like TodayApp allow agency owners to use systems management software to create replicable workflows and use predetermined systems to hire, screen, and train new employees, in addition to tracking daily activity.
The app includes:
- Daily Goals
- Daily Activity Tracking
- Custom Scripts
- Compensation Calculation
- Time Card
- Central Production Tracking
- Custom Reports
- Daily Team Emails
- User Support
- Team On-boarding
- Unlimited Users
7. Remote Team Management
You must have all of the tools listed above to have remote team management. Daily accountability, systems, reporting, etc. are crucial for agencies hoping to thrive in a post-pandemic workplace. This trend will continue to grow as agencies do more work remotely (which is why a tool like TodayApp Pro is so important).
What would you add to this list?
What new innovations in the insurance industry have you seen or do you recommend? Leave a comment below, and your suggestion may end up in a future update of this post.