Part 1: Competing in a Shifting Marketplace
The insurance industry is changing fast. Consumers expect every interaction to be as personalized, convenient and fast as streaming movies or ordering shoes online. New entrants like Google are threatening to make it easier and less expensive to buy insurance than ever before.
Yet insurance customers still want the same thing now as they did fifty years ago: a relationship with someone they can trust. Because ultimately, insurance is personal; it’s our safety net in our most difficult moments.
And in reality, the vast majority of insurance is still sold through agents. Despite the fanfare that online-only entrants such as Google have received, very little insurance is actually sold over the web today. According to the New York Times, “online insurance comparison is still a nascent business…it has yet to make a dent in the armies of intermediaries that are the backbone of the trade.”
The strength of the agent-based insurance model is the agents themselves. Many customers are willing to pay higher premiums for more personalized service. And when it’s time to make a claim, customers want reassurance from someone with whom they have a relationship, someone who can give them answers rather than a contact center representative. Yet, too often, agents lack the modern tools and systems they need to provide the level of service their customers expect. In Part 2 of this series, we’ll explore which of these tools can make the biggest difference for agents.
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