Today, I am sure you will find that most independent agent websites tend to be more informational and brochure-like than interactive. However, more and more people are looking for the ability to research, access their info, and complete business transactions over the Internet…and our customers aren’t any different – especially those in the Millennial Generation as I discussed in this previous post.
So how do we provide our customers with the functionality they want from our websites? First, we must understand our customers’ needs. Most want the ability to check on their billing information, account information, request an endorsement, request a certificate, or get a quote.
As our agency management systems have evolved, they now allow us the capability of giving this access to our clients over the Internet. This is done by providing a link to the management system from our website and giving the client a unique username and password. Clients enjoy having the ability to review their policy information over the Internet or from their mobile device whenever they want; thus allowing 24/7 access for your customers.
Personal lines customers might be shopping for a new vehicle over the weekend and need to request an endorsement to add this vehicle. Also, they might want to rate this online to see the cost associated with adding the vehicle. One of the most requested services is billing information. Many personal lines clients want to quickly verify payment or check what is due to the company. Just imagine the efficiency gained in your office if your clients were able to gather this information online.
Your commercial lines clients are always looking for the ability to access certificates. Many truck drivers and construction workers are often needing certificates after our regular 9 to 5 working hours. Providing a way for them to get the certificate when they need it enhances the ability to retain these customers and provide better service.
Recently, I was speaking with an agency that lost a client because they did not have this feature on their website. However, there was another insurance agency that provided this capability so the client moved their coverage to the new agent. As you can see, informing potential clients of your ability to service certificates 24/7 can be a great selling tool.
Websites should give your clients easy access to the information they need. Providing a dynamic website that offers your customers access to their account information, certificates, billing and quoting helps your retention and the ability to acquire new business.
Does your agency have a dynamic website? Has adding these interactive features improved your customer retention or helped with prospects? Do you have other ideas for improving independent agent websites?
George is IIANC’s Technology Consultant. With over 25 years of experience in the insurance and technology industry, he is available to help your agency with questions about agency management systems, technology concerns, social media and much more including enhancing your website. Contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org.