Why Self Service Tools Should be your Brokerage’s Next Purchase

on Apr 12, 2016

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Of course I’m biased here because I work (and sell) for a company that offers self-service tools for the broker channel, but I do actually think it makes sense – a self-service tool for your brokerage is of utmost importance and it should be a top priority in your strategy. In relation to other “digital” spends, here’s why self-service should be number one:

 

Website

If you don’t have a website stop reading this now. Seriously, you’ve got bigger fish to fry. Go.

For those that do have one, perhaps you’re thinking it’s old and dated and needs a refresh. Maybe we should throw some money at it. Well here’s what I would say to that; a great man once told me “you can have the best website in the world and if people can’t find it what’s the point?” So you need to ask yourself, are people going online to specifically find my brokerage by name? Probably not. They’re going online (via their phone mostly) and Googling “car insurance *insert city here*”. Where do you come up? Is it in the top 3? Is it on the first page? If it is, chances are you’re probably ok with your website and can move to the next topic. If it’s not, throwing money at the webpage isn’t going to help you.

 

SEO / Digital Marketing

More leads! More sales! More revenue! Get people to your website. Get your clients engaged with it.

If you can convert more business – but you’re still doing business the old fashioned way (behind the curtain), what’s that going to do? You might have to hire more staff to manage the book. This means a good chuck of money, lots of time for hiring, training, ramping up, maybe doing it all over again if they leave- you know the drill. It’s the traditional model but it’s a heck of a lot of time and money to support this new business. And how do you think this new business, which came to you through “the digital channel,” is going to like having to call you for everything but only between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday? Simple answer, they’re not.

 

Phone recording

Though this might seem like a good idea to you, it’s only a good idea to you.

I’ve never heard of a client staying with a broker because they could record their phone calls. Your client isn’t concerned with E&O and let’s be honest, you’re not doing voice signatures. Move on.

 

E-signatures

I’m not going to lie, this one is tough. You should be looking at it. It’s important and should probably be number two. My thoughts are that e-signatures are primarily required for new business so you have to look at your new business growth and your base of customers that are ready for it. If you’re getting lots of online leads you’ve probably got most of this list figured out and it might be more important. If people are walking in the door, it might be less important. I’ll leave this one to you.

 

 

The fact is, no one says no to having access to their information in an easy and convenient way. They might use it, they might not, but to have the option is wonderful – who doesn’t like choice. Self-service makes it more convenient for your clients to do business on their terms (which makes them happy and like you). It can technically handle requests from all of your clients at the same time (show me a CSR that can do that!). It can free up time from looking up client deductibles or reprinting pink cards and allow brokers to focus more time on new business or talking to a client when real value can be added to the call. And, if you have less people calling in for basic information and answering their own questions, that means your brokerage can manage more premium dollars per head making you more efficient and more profitable. So then go for the SEO, revamp your website and drive more leads because you can manage it better and maybe you won’t need one more CSR with benefits, vacation time and sick days to handle the new business, you got this.

So let’s recap, your clients will be happier because they have choice in how they get to interact with you and you’ve made it easier for them to do business AND you’ll be more efficient and profitable? Hmmm, I think we’re onto something here!

Ken Sedgewick

Director, Sales

Sharp Mobile

[email protected]