Mark Parrish: What I’ve Learned From Tech Assessment Consults

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One of the essential features available for the agents that subscribe to Catalyit.com is our Tech Assessment. It’s a 10 to 15-minute survey that dives into what technology you are currently using in your agency, and you receive a free report with a customized roadmap to your current and potential technology solutions. As a Full Access subscriber, your benefits include a free consultation with me to discuss your assessment results. I’ve completed over 100 consults with agents and gained insight into the most consistent recommendations. Let’s take a look at a few.

Utilization of Tech Already Owned

At the top of the list is the utilization of technology already owned by the agency. Many agencies have excellent tools, however, taking full advantage of the features is a challenge. I understand that every agent’s focus is the business, and most owners wear several hats. Being able to also dive into the interworking of technology is a lot to ask. Know that there is help out there. We have consultants at Catalyit who can take over setting up and creating the processes you need to be effective.

Cybersecurity

I rarely find an agency that is properly protected against cyber attacks. The most common mindset of the agency is “everything is in the cloud.” 

Two important things on that point. First, I’ve yet to find an agency that is completely clean regarding documents with Personal Identifiable Information (PII) on their local computers and network. The thought is that all employees attach documents to their AMS (Agency Management System) in the cloud and then delete them from their computers. It doesn’t happen 100% of the time. If that data gets out, it is a painful process you must follow to rectify that. Second, the mindset I often find is “everything is in the cloud,” so why spend money on better protection? If you get ransomware, it’s not just files that get locked. Your internet access is compromised and will keep you from accessing your cloud-based data. When that trucker is sitting at a factory gate and needs a certificate of insurance, it won’t happen if you can’t get to your cloud data. It is usually three days minimum to get back up and running after an attack, depending on if you have data that has to be recovered. If that is the case, it is a week to ten days and a ransom.

Both of these can be addressed with the right cybersecurity partner who has insurance industry experience and whose sole focus is keeping your agency secure and compliant.

Client Access to Their Data

Your customers want to do self-service. I’m old school, and I still want to use my cell phone or computer to pull up my policies online to check coverages, get an auto ID card, text my agent, etc. Agents should use every tool to give their customers as much access as possible to offer a self-service option. One of the reasons agencies put forward as to why they don’t see the need to do that is they want the customer to call. Because that is how they maintain their relationship with the customer, by talking with them on the phone. Trust me, there are a lot of systems out there that will automate the process of keeping in touch with your client much better than you individually can. Choose a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software that will do that for you. Let the customers take some of the mundane work off your account reps.

Integration Across All Platforms

A huge frustration for agents is that all their technology needs to talk to each other seamlessly. I hear this often.

First and foremost, no silver bullet allows everything to talk to each other. Some providers are working hard to devise ways to make a lot of this happen. As mentioned earlier, it is not advisable for you (the agent) to try to work through this. You should sell insurance and leave it to the experts. Working with a consultant is a wise investment that will bring significant returns in efficiency and sales. Contact Catalyit, and we can put you in touch with the right people.

Agents must spend more on technology, but you must be smart about it and create a plan. See it as an investment allowing you to focus on the most important thing: providing efficient and effective service to our customers and increasing sales.

If you have any questions, let’s talk. Schedule time on my calendar now.

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