Guest Post by: Stephanie Leschman

If your business lives by your legacy programs and uses the saying ‘this is how we have always done it’, we have some unfortunate news.  That outdated software and response is no longer accepted by customers.  If customers are displeased with the service, process, or cost, it should be no surprise when they don’t stay. 

44% of customers said they would switch to another provider if their preferred communication methods are not available and 80% said they would switch if they were not getting personalized service.  The hassle of switching to another company is no longer a pain point for customers thanks to advances in technology.  With information readily available at everyone’s fingertips, customers can research, inquire information, and move companies easily.  With this flexibility and freedom, competition is fiercer than ever before and businesses either need to shape up or be prepared to lose out. 

Insurance companies have taken this message very seriously. Insurance companies know that insurance is uncomfortable, confusing, complex, and that their legacy processes and programs are not cutting it. When looking to stand out from competitors, it’s important for internal and external processes to change simultaneously, making a major transformation unavoidable. 

However, a change like this doesn’t have to be painful or lengthy.  If you’re looking to take the necessary steps to improve your game, the solution is simple: incorporate a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. CRMs are an essential part of any company that wants to deliver exceptional customer service, stand out from the competition, and allow for exponential growth.  As we kick off the new year, here are 6 ways a CRM can set insurance companies up for success.

1. Take Things Off Your Employees’ Plates

It’s no secret that insurance paperwork is tedious. The documentation required takes a tremendous amount of effort from all parties involved and complexity varies depending on the specific circumstances. This makes it difficult and cumbersome for many employees to manage, pulling them away from other responsibilities. Introducing a CRM into the business plan allows insurance companies to optimize their business by organizing and simplifying the documentation process. 

CRMs are also able to integrate with artificial intelligence (AI), which can handle some of the low-skill tasks, transitioning them from the employees.  AI can be trained to address certain questions and enter and track client data. Implementing this strategy keeps employee costs down and opens capacity for employees to focus on completing more complex tasks and delighting customers.   

2. Simplify Regular Tasks

Employees and customers strive for a straightforward and convenient experience with easy steps, repeatable processes, and simple access.It’s no surprise that insurance paperwork has a lot of sequential steps that must be completed; without a way to track, steps could be missed. Using a CRM to assist with simplifying everyday tasks alleviates that pain.

Internal users can set up tasks, reminders, and even automate certain functionality within the CRM. The CRM will remove the pressure and stress of trying to remember all the steps and whether something was completed. Users can set up reminders, track progress and anticipate any issues before the due date.This is especially helpful as more people are on the move or working remote.

CRM’s are 100% mobile compatible and when integrated with AI, users can send emails, ask questions, or research a client using their voice. Being more organized internally allows better organization for your clients, which provides them with a better experience.

3.  Improve Customer Service

Customer service today is much more than picking up a phone.Customers don’t want to get passed around from person to person, being placed on hold as they search for answers.Customers want fast, personalized responses.Implementing a CRM can help your insurance company meet these customer demands.

A CRM is a centralized hub that connects everyone within a company with easy access to all customer data and employee notes, granting anyone the ability to step in and address any customer inquiry.This allows more flexibility for employees and faster resolution for customers.

However, customer service is now a two-way street; it’s not just about customers calling in, but how companies can reach out to their customers and make sure they consistently have what they need.Businesses also use text messages for policy updates, reminders and confirmations. Through the CRM, they can determine recipients, create messages, and then send them out.

Another great way insurance companies can reach customers is by integrating with social media. Customers don’t mind seeing a chatbot from their insurance company pop up, allowing easy access to a representative.Scrolling through Facebook, it’s convenient to see reminders that a document needs completing or that there is a question to ask. This integration eliminates the risk of uncompleted tasks that can happen when users are forced to leave one platform and log into another.

4. Upgrade Lead Tracking and Following

Insurance is a very competitive market and counting on repeat business is no longer a guarantee.The ability to stand out from the competition, strategize a plan, track progress, and measure the effectiveness is important for sales and marketing.Entering new leads into the CRM allows a lead to be placed on a specific journey plan, and set up touch points to track them all the way to becoming a new client. This allows employees to increase prospecting capabilities without disrupting their current client relations.

Another pain point for the sales team is entering client data.Roughly 17% of sales reps’ time is spent just entering data.The sheer anticipation of meeting someone new and knowing that later, their information will have to be entered, is enough to make any salesperson defer.Without proper data input, it’s near impossible to measure or anticipate client trends, causing major pain for the sales and marketing teams.

Between CRM and AI, collecting and entering client data doesn’t have to be irritating. AI can enter it into the CRM accurately, analyze the data by observing tones in emails and phone calls, and then recommend different ways for the sales team to communicate to clients. This results in increased productivity while cultivating stronger, lasting relationships.

5. Streamline Workforce and Data Management

Legacy programs were not designed to accommodate the needs of today.This means that employees often create workarounds to avoid painful processes like logging into multiple applications, which ultimately nurture individualized processes.This makes it virtually impossible to keep everyone on the same page and causes hurdles when trying to streamline internal efforts.

Through the CRM, insurance companies have been able to take the multiple applications that they use, connect or transfer to the CRM, and make it the centralized hub.Creating one place where all data and communication is managed eliminates back and forth conversations and reduces potential misunderstandings.

6. Simplify Decision-Making

Today’s world, people, trends, and needs are rapidly changing.It has been a challenge for many insurance companies to keep up with their customer’s demands, predict trends, and evolve their business for the future.As discussed before, data entering tends to be a major issue; without data to measure, it’s nearly impossible to target specific indicators and make effective business decisions.

Through the implementation of a CRM and AI, insurance companies have been able to transition their reactive approaches to become proactive, meeting the needs of their clients before they even knew what they wanted – now that’s customer service!

Using the CRM, they can slice-and-dice the data as needed, run reports, and map upcoming trends.They can track client behavior and anticipate needs or analyze behavior/emotions for better client engagement.AI can review historical patterns and make suggestions on how to better close deals, build relationships, or win back a lost client. The overall business benefits are unlimited when you add in the right CRM.

The world is constantly changing, and it’s natural for people and businesses alike to be resistant and want to hold on to what they know.  But change doesn’t always have to be a headache or stressful.  With the use of new and advanced technology, you can accommodate your business’s specific goal and achieve success.

Implementing a CRM that can reduce employee stress and limit inaccuracies while improving communication and customer service should be a no brainer.  CRMs are user friendly and customizable for specific needs. With the right product and a good implementation partner, you can use a CRM to solve some of your business’s largest problems. If you’re thinking about making this transition, try ringing in the new year with a brand new CRM!

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