Digital, Accelerated: Why Agents Must Go Digital, Today
COVID-19 has touched each and every one of us in unique, yet interconnected ways. Our world is incredibly different than it was just a few short months ago, and how we go about our daily lives – both personally and professionally – has changed seemingly overnight.
In looking forward, I truly believe this is both a time to slow down and a time to accelerate. We can spend more time with our families while strategically investing in the future of our businesses. We can isolate in our own homes while finding new ways to form deeper connections with our customers.
For many independent agents across the country, technology is the only thing keeping them connected and moving forward.
It’s interesting to be writing for Agent for the Future right now: the new truth is that all agents need to be agents for the future, today. Agents will continue to thrive, that we can be sure of – despite how the world is evolving around us, independent agents maintain their competitive advantage by offering customers the ease, choice and advice they need to make smart insurance decisions.
Yet thriving in today’s dynamic marketplace has become even more challenging, and retaining that competitive advantage requires a digital-forward approach now more than ever. This is the time for independent agents to double down on digital investments, so we can meet customers where they’re at: online.
Which is why I’m proud to introduce a new Agent for the Future series: Digital, Accelerated.
Some agents are exploring digital for the first time. Others are adding new tools and technologies into an already digital-forward strategy. Most will experience their fair share of growing pains.
We’re launching this series to minimize those growing pains and support independent agents no matter where they are in the digital transformation process. We’ll be offering ideas that can be implemented quickly and effectively in the coming days and weeks, because we know that digital is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must.
To ensure we’re addressing the real concerns that agents have during this unfamiliar time, the Liberty Mutual and Safeco team reached out to thousands of independent agents to better understand the challenges that are most pressing. We heard there are several areas of concern standing in the way of agents moving to a fully digital model, with the most important questions being how to:
- Stay connected with customers without losing the personal touch
- Quickly adopt new tools like eSignature to cut down on in-person interactions
- Make up for lost foot traffic
- Move coverage-critical services, such as payments, to digital when many customers remain digitally averse
These themes and more will be discussed throughout the series, which will include a new article released weekly, paired with a bank of tools and resources, to guide agencies in accelerating their digital action plans. Readers can expect Digital, Accelerated to tap into a diverse set of voices across the independent agent channel for practical advice, case studies and how-to guides for going digital, today.
Digital transformation is already hard enough. Going digital as the world requires we do so will be that much harder. Independent agents can trust that Agent for the Future will be there to guide them through.
Tyler Asher is president of Independent Agent Distribution at Liberty Mutual, leading Safeco personal lines and Liberty Mutual business lines distribution through independent agents. Tyler joined Safeco in 1999 and has served in a variety of leadership roles, most recently as president, Safeco Insurance. He has a deep understanding of the industry and how carriers and independent agents must adapt together to succeed in the rapidly changing marketplace. This ensures the combined $13 billion Liberty/Safeco organization is focused on deepening partnerships with agents. During Tyler’s tenure as president, Safeco introduced Safeco Ignite®, a best-in-class rewards and recognition program for independent agents, as well as expanded Safeco’s industry-leading book transfer capabilities.
Prior to his role as president, Tyler was the vice president of Agency Insights where he led strategy, innovation and analytics. Prior to that, he held several leadership roles in finance, reporting and analysis.
Tyler is active in the Seattle community, supporting several health and human service organizations.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington.
Get the good stuff
Get regular hits of insurance inspiration delivered to your inbox.