March 27, 2023

The term automation was first used in 1946 in the automobile industry, but it has become a vital component of our everyday lives and has improved human efficiency for over half a century.

However, not all industries have caught on. The insurance industry has historically been slow to adopt digital transformation, often still relying on paper-based manual processes.

Investing in automation is how agencies can update and future-proof their business. Despite a looming global recession, the insurance market is set to grow to over $6.4 trillion by 2025.

Agencies need to adopt digital-first strategies now to make the most of this opportunity.

So, how do you know if your agency is ready for automation? Let’s find out.

An overly complicated process
The commercial insurance application and renewal process can often become a recurring nightmare for customers. Forms can be lengthy and full of unfamiliar jargon, requiring the repetitious entry of simple information.

In their confusion, customers may fill out the wrong answers, put off the task, or drop out of the process altogether. In turn, this creates a tedious and laborious process for agents. They lose valuable time in a back-and-forth with customers to ensure forms are filled in correctly and in a timely fashion.

As frustration increases on both sides, so does the chance of customer churn. Agencies are less likely to receive a word-of-mouth referral from the customer—limiting company growth.

Likewise, agency employees can feel burnt out due to these common pain points that stand in the way of efficiency.

Growth isn’t always about getting bigger; it’s also about getting better. If you’re looking for a way to make things faster and less complicated, intelligent automation makes it possible to polish and perfect current processes for both clients and agents.

Knowing what to automate
Intelligent automation software and responsive smart forms are vital for a frictionless user experience (UX) that upgrades the customer journey. It not only saves busy agents’ time but also boosts customer recommendations, bringing in more clientele and increasing revenue.

For agents wanting to break tedious cycles of incomplete or incorrectly filled forms, there are several ways automation can be used to remedy processes:

● Required fields and e-signatures: Ensure a form cannot be submitted without every relevant section filled in. Fields can also be designated with numerical or text values to reduce the chance of incorrect inputs. At the same time, e-signatures make it possible for customers to fill in a form from their computer or mobile device.

● Renewal fields and form pre-fills: For returning customers, smart forms can automatically show last year’s responses for a faster and easier renewal process.

● Conditional logic: Automation helps streamline processes by hiding and revealing questions based on customers’ previous answers, and creating a seamless digital experience.

● Single entry: Inputs such as names and addresses can be auto-filled to make applications are faster and less time-consuming.

● Automated reminders: For customers that may require a little nudge, automation takes this task off the agents’ minds and reduces the chance of a customer dropping out of the process.

● Customer support: Built-in chatbots and explanatory tips for tricky questions can be embedded into smart forms to provide 24/7 customer support, far beyond the capacity of an individual agent.

Automation is a valuable tool that agents can use to address traditional pain points and better manage their workflows. And, when processes are streamlined, client relationships improve. As a result, an increase in customer recommendations and retention means a boost in agency growth and helps to protect your company’s bottom line.

Customers have come to expect fast and easy digital experiences and starting to require them in RFPs for new agency representation. Agencies that don’t respond with the best possible user experience for customers will lose out to competitors that do.

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