Blog

3 Steps to Innovative Agent-Consumer Communication

Angelyn Treutel Zeringue
Insurance Experts' Forum, January 29, 2013

Insurance is truly a wonderful industry to be a part of. The products we sell are a valuable safety-net to protect people from catastrophic events in their lives. We should be quite proud of the service we provide; clients require the coverage year after year, and as their lives become more complicated and they acquire more assets or enlarge their families, they need more insurance.

Consumers appreciate the value that agents bring to the complexities of buying insurance. Agents provide expertise, education and advocacy to clients. The recent J.D. Powers & Associates comScore study supports this fact. Consumers find agents easier to use than a black-box 800 number or a website, and while more consumers conduct research online, they still prefer to finalize their purchase through an agent who they can visit or call. In today’s cyberworld, an agent provides that desired personal touch.

The study also confirmed that agents cannot be complacent when it comes to the need for proactive and regular communication with their clients. Carriers can assist with this effort through their support of agencies, including sales and service training, and social media opportunities, and agents should also offer choice to modern consumers in the methods they prefer to use to communicate. Innovative agencies are embracing communications through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn as well as 24/7 call servicing, email, smartphone apps, mobile websites and texting accessibility

Consumers are expecting this more and more, in particular, as younger consumers join the workforce and begin making their own buying decisions. Agents and carriers have an excellent opportunity to attract purchasers for their products in today’s fast-paced world by using three easy strategies:

First, provide convenience. Everyone today is too busy, but if carriers provide real-time interfaces for agents to use, together we can provide a professional, pleasurable sales process, which will be appreciated by consumers.

Second, agents and carriers have tremendous opportunity with new sales tools and business intelligence which will help identify appropriate demographics for niche marketing and cross-selling occasions.

Third, our industry can use the power of social media and search engine optimization to get the attention of consumers. As agents delve into their internet presence, they are able to establish themselves as a subject-matter expert to help consumers understand the complexity of insurance. Carriers can support agents by providing resources and content for agency internet-marketing campaigns.

Angelyn Treutel, CPA, is president of Southgroup Insurance Gulf Coast and the chair of ASCnet's Industry Solutions Industry Initiatives Committee and the past-chair of the IIABA Agents Council for Technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Angelyn by using the “Add Your Comments” box below. She can also be reached at atreutel@southgroup.net.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

What Can Insurers Learn from Home Depot?

The latest cyber-attack highlights the importance of helping policy holders defend themselves.

Not Your Father’s Insurance Company

Carriers need to look at new and impactful ways to be there for their customers.

Watch Out. Apple with Mayo is Heading Your Way

From a health care, health insurance and Internet-of-things perspective, questions still remain.

How to Attract Top Tech Talent

When it comes to rankings of the best places to work, insurers are few and far between. Heres what those who make the lists do to appeal to IT professionals.

New Generation of Data and Analytics in Cloud

Cloud-based data and analytics products are becoming more common among technology companies, small and midsize businesses and departments.

Aligning People, Processes and Technology for Successful Data Governance

Before your data governance project turns into a nightmare, create a data governance team to help people understand and manage the big data challenge, not just their respective pieces.