How to Give Customers the Speed and Efficiency They Want

These days, insurance customers expect on-demand communication and service through multiple communication channels.  

This is especially true of younger customers. Liberty Mutual consumer research found that 96 percent of millennials used at least one digital channel when looking for service on their insurance policy – and half used four or more digital channels.

Bradley Flowers, Owner of Portal Insurance, says the only ways independent insurance agents can trump price are speed, efficiency and convenience. 

“We want to let the customer buy the way they want to buy and do business the way they want to do business,” he says.

Millennials are actually prone to working with an agent, Flowers says. They want someone who can help them make choices and tell them what to do in the event of a claim. 

The holdup, then, is that “millennials are all about speed and efficiency.” 

“Agents lose younger consumers to direct carriers not just because of price,” he says, “but because direct carriers make the online purchasing and service process so fast and efficient.” 

So, how can agents create a better purchasing and service experience for customers? 

For Flowers, a lot of it comes down to opening many different communication channels. 

“Whenever we write a new account at Portal, we ask the client their preferred method of contact,” he says. “In the last two years, every single person has said they prefer text or email. As a result, a lot of our agency is centered around texting.” 

Portal is also working on integrating their AMS with other programs and channels, including an Amazon Alexa skill that would notify customers when their policy is renewing and let them access their insurance cards. 

“We want to be everywhere to make it as easy as possible for customers to find us,” Flowers says. 

Using technology to augment the capabilities of agency staff can help independent agencies stay competitive.   

“If you take the direct-to-consumer technology and pair that with an agent on the back end, it’s unstoppable,” Flowers says. 

Read more about how to engage your customers online in the new Agent for the Future research report.

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