How P&C Insurers Can Enhance Digital Engagement for Agents
The velocity of business and innovation is ever increasing, and insurance carriers are diligently working to meet evolving customer, agent, and market demands. In response to evolving business needs, 66% of insurance executives report that the pace of digital transformation for their organization is accelerating, according to a 2021 Accenture report. But what are the key priorities for digital transformation and digital engagement? How are the digital customer and agent experience being impacted?
There is a misnomer that Property & Casualty (P&C) insurance carriers need to de-prioritize support for Agent Networks in order to support a growing base of end customers coming directly to the carrier. In fact, many carriers are investing heavily to drive consumer traffic to digital properties and reaping the benefits with increasing insurance sales results. But does that have to be at the expense of their independent agents?
The very same digital innovations that are helping P&C insurance carriers enhance services for their end customers can also greatly improve how they support their insurance Agent Network. It doesn’t have to be a choice. Agents are all but demanding digital tools. In a May 2020 McKinsey survey, 44% of agents rated agent digital tools or customer tools as the top capability that insurers can invest in to support agents. That number has likely gotten higher since.
By embracing a forward-looking digital approach for agents, carriers can help them become more productive, accelerate sales and ultimately grow overall business for themselves and their agents alike.
Leveling Up Agent Experiences
Agent Portals (also known as Producer or Broker Portals) are often the main communication engine between carriers and distribution representatives. As carriers have realized the increasing importance of their distribution channels and their ability to differentiate their offerings as products become commoditized, a new focus has been placed on the Agent Portal. Once a simple location where agents could send emails or access a minimum amount of information, Agent Portals have become a key business engine.
A vital hub for communication between agents and carriers, Agent Portals are a way to easily initiate critical processes and connect instantly when they need help. Further, they’ve emerged as a key to agent satisfaction and brand loyalty. Agents often represent multiple carriers, which means that they have to navigate multiple portals. So, the easier that carriers can make it to navigate and communicate within their Agent Portal, the more likely agents are to continue to engage. The same technologies that make for great customer experiences can also enhance how agents connect with a carrier. A positive agent experience builds favor and can lead to a strong, ongoing revenue stream.
Using an agent’s preferred digital channel to guide, advise, and resolve requests can increase loyalty and business. A digital-first approach enhances the user self-service experience with live support from customer service representatives (CSRs) as requested, all within a continuous digital environment, like the carriers’ Agent Portal. Now, agents have no need to break that digital connection to make a phone call, write an email or wait for a specialist to get back.
Learn more about the impact of improving digital experiences for your Agent Network in our white paper, “How P&C Insurers Provide Digital Engagement for Premium Agent Experiences.”