As digital self-service tools and apps have emerged, many tasks traditionally performed by agents are being digitized and automated. Will agents become obsolete? Not so fast. Find out how persona-based apps help insurers and agents differentiate by delivering personalized customer experiences
Ask any life insurance executive to define digital transformation, and the most common responses will focus on customer experience. Other themes you might hear include the digitization of underwriting, artificial intelligence, mobile apps, and direct online sales. Amidst the digital fervor in the industry, agents and brokers have largely been an afterthought — pushed down or left off the digital transformation agenda by many life insurers.
Despite taking a backseat thus far, agents still have a vital role in life insurance companies.
Insurance agents have traditionally been rainmakers, the central figures in the sales process. However, with the rise in direct sales through digital channels, life insurance companies are refocusing their agents on activities that deliver more value. Specifically, providing employer/group and individual customers with advice and guidance, cross-selling new products and ancillary services, and building lasting relationships.
The key to building a customer-centric environment that empowers agents is to embrace technological advancements. Efforts to digitize the agent experience will primarily focus on improving the speed and accuracy with which they serve customers and transact business. Advanced tools will empower agents to build stronger, more loyal relationships through direct engagement and analytics that support personalized customer experiences.
Move beyond omnichannel to “channel-less experience”
As customers journey from a digital channel to a human, agent-led interaction, the experience must be seamless and personalized. This is called the “channel-less experience.” Beyond simply being capable of serving customers across any channel (omnichannel experience), channel-less means the insurer can instantly recognize customers at every touchpoint, regardless of when or where the interaction occurs, without losing progress or data.
For a deeper dive, look at the section on channel-less versus omnichannel in our “Life Insurance Reimagined for the Digital Age” executive playbook.
As is the case with most digital transformation efforts, data and analytics are engines of innovation. To achieve the promise of a channel-less experience, life insurers must outfit their agents with digital tools that serve up rich customer data and product information so they can:
- Maximize every minute they spend with clients, eliminating wasted time spent ferreting out the necessary answers
- More effectively execute marketing campaigns that meet customers and prospects where they’re at through integration with customer relationship management (CRM) applications
- Cross-sell and up-sell new products and services, recognizing when clients go through life events, such as marriages, babies, and income changes
- Accelerate the on-boarding process with rapid or automated underwriting and straight-through processing
Digital agent apps power retention and sales
Getting the right information to agents and brokers at the right time requires life insurance companies to create online solutions. By providing quick access to all the required business functions through a single interface, agents can quickly close sales, open policies, collaborate with underwriters, claims agents, and CSRs, to service existing customers.
The most effective agent apps provide the flexibility life insurers and their agents need to execute processes and automate workflows according to the company’s preferred way of conducting business. A smooth agent experience eliminates the need to jump from one application to another or pick up the phone.
Fortunately, life insurance companies don’t have to build digital agent applications from scratch. Recognizing the need to create frictionless journeys for life insurance customers — journeys that combine digital self-service tools with a human touch — insurance technology vendors like EIS have created out-of-the-box apps that consolidate all agent and company functions. Successful agent apps include the abilities to:
- Access a real-time, 360° customer view in formats that are easy to consume and understand
- Customize processes and workflows to meet personal and business preferences
- Create a consolidated view of product, policy, pricing, and CRM information
- Provide access on the go via a mobile device or in a work-from-home setting via a browser
- Connect to third-party data sources and analytics platforms to simplify or automate decisions and recommendations based on personal customer experiences
- Generate presentation-ready reports that help agents guide clients through complex decisions
- Connect the agent throughout the entire policy lifecycle to ensure positive relationship building and engagement
- Enable sales leaders to monitor and measure the performance of individual agents, offices, and regions.
About the EIS Agent App
At EIS, we built our platform for high-velocity insurance to support every insurer’s ability to become truly customer centric. We equip life insurance companies to conduct business seamlessly across all channels — whether through a mobile app or a face-to-face conversation. We didn’t build the EIS agent and other persona-based apps as tack-on modules. Rather, they are central components of the SaaS-based EIS coretech platform, ready to deploy to internal and external agents.
The EIS agent app empowers agents with the information they need to close more deals as customer demands for fast answers continue to increase. To learn more about how EIS can help your representatives win the moments that matter, improve customer retention, and drive revenue, contact us today.