How Insurance Agents Should Be Using Technology
Insurance agents today operate in a much different world than the one of 20 years ago. The Internet has made it possible to cut marketing costs and stay linked to customers in a simpler, more effective way. Social media, online forums, a personal website — these are all low-cost, innovative methods for staying relevant and thriving in the 21st Century marketplace. The successful agents have learned to respond in a way that better harnesses these technologies.
The key to their success: taking more of an informational approach than a hard sales approach. In other words, they sell through helpfulness and expertise instead of straight sales techniques. They also use their online presence as a means of serving the customer. Here are some of their best methods.
Blogging And Social Media
If you are an insurance agent without a blog, you’re ignoring a huge forum for reaching out and staying connected to your customers. You should use your personal blog, your social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) to build a sense of community and give your customers (and potential customers) a voice. If you’re ever having difficulty finding topics to post about, just think about your personal experiences as an agent. What are some common questions and issues that your customers face? We recommend sitting down at a computer, opening your word processing program, and writing out a list of these questions — from general to specific. From there, just answer to the best of your abilities, and you’ll have a whole library of content to share with your readers and open a forum for further discussion.
Claims And Crisis Management
Aside from being a general information source for clientele, agents can turn their social networks into a hub for getting things done. One agent I know even opened up his Facebook page as a place to manage claims information. Prior to a snowstorm in our area, he warned his clients about the possibility of bad roads during the days forecasted, then “trained” them on how to respond. First preference was to call the claims processing center. If they could not immediately get through or they wanted to keep him in-the-know about claims information, they could message him through Facebook with pertinent details. The goal wasn’t to replace traditional methods of claim filing; instead it was to open up one more avenue for communication so his customers could feel like they weren’t in limbo waiting for the claims adjuster to call them back. He also used his Facebook page to warn about bad roads in the area. This ingratiated him to his customers and resulted in several referrals.
Safety And Well-Being
When your customers are going through a possibly life-altering event, such as losing one’s home to a tornado or totaling their car or driving on icy roadways in the middle of winter, they need basic information to help them stay safe and prepared until they can deal with any fallout from the event. Starting a YouTube channel that contains videos filled with helpful tips and safety information for disaster preparedness and response is one more way to show that you care about your customers, build goodwill, and field comments and questions.
While many insurance customers are turning to the web to compare policies and purchase insurance, the role of the agent is still as relevant as it’s ever been. People still want someone there looking out for their best interests and guiding them through the unpredictability of life events. By embracing the tools and technologies at your disposal, you can build a closer bond with potential insurance leads, improve the likelihood of referrals, expand your overall reach, and grow your business in a more inexpensive way.