In order to stay relevant and visible in the ever changing technology landscape, independent agencies need to be open to changing with the trends. In 2015, only 29% of agencies were optimistic about the future of their business. However, in 2016, that number rose to 49%1. So what changed in just one year?
A key point is that independent agencies are increasing their budgets for business software and technology as part of a 3-5 year growth plan. Nearly half1 of agencies are using customer relationship management tools and attribute them to agency success and organization. Agencies are prioritizing customer service and engagement and are seeing a return from it – revenue for both personal lines and commercial lines has grown1.
A top priority in emerging tech is the shift to mobile. Agents are relying more and more on their smartphones to work, whether that’s looking up information or making calls while out of office. Consumers are performing more searches on their smartphones than on a computer. Any website that is optimized for mobile use will keep your customers’ attention, while having a website strictly for a computers resolution will defer them from fighting to find the information they are looking for. Independent agencies are aware of this mobile shift and are planning on implementing mobile-friendly websites.
Aside from mobile, agencies are noticing the importance of customer self-service. Rather than having to talk to an agent for everything insurance related, a customer can log onto their online portal and get answers. If they need a more detailed or specific answer, they can call their agent, but for a quick answer or to check their policy, it’s easiest to provide a self-service portal.
Agencies are also noticing that new marketing tactics are going to help them reach new markets. 47% of agencies are looking into new marketing ideas1. Customers are exposed to over 3,000 ads a day; it’s important that independent agencies are coming up with creative ideas to get customers attention. Agencies can engage with customers through social media, referrals, and informative, targeted messaging.
Independent agencies are feeling optimistic about the future thanks to the addition of customer relationship technology, mobile optimization and new marketing tactics.
1 Joint Vertafore & Hanover Research Study Finds Optimism Rebounding Among Independent Insurance Agencies. (2016, October 13).