The Connected Business of Insurance
July 15, 2014
The past few weeks have been a long and exciting journey for World Cup contenders. Following each game closely, I was on the edge of my seat. Brazil’s loss was a hard one to swallow, and Germany’s win over Argentina was epic. Regardless of where I was during each game, I knew the score and possession details within a matter of seconds through Web updates, a mobile alert, or live game stream.
On-demand, real-time access to information is the new norm – whether you want to know the latest news, weather conditions or game score, you can access that information anytime, anywhere and, more likely than not, ‘there’s an app for that,’ as Apple continues to tell us.
Here are some reasons why this year’s World Cup was the most mobile yet:
- 2 out of every 3 American soccer fans used their smartphones or tablets for World Cup coverage
- FIFA’s new website included the “Global Stadium,” which aggregated content from all 64 games, designed specifically for smartphone or tablet users
- Visa used swipeless pin-and-chip technology during the World Cup to make transactions more seamless
- Apple used iBeacon Bluetooth low-energy wireless technology to help World Cup attendees find their seats, send instant messages, and make purchases right with from their iPhones
Additionally, consumers watched the game on their TVs or in-person, while at the same time interacting on their mobile devices, creating a unique and personalized user experience.
How can mobile technology improve your agency?
Today’s consumer is “always-on” and connected, personally and professionally. Just as the World Cup embraced mobile technology, you must also adapt to the changing digital environment by being more mobile compatible. Mobility is a key factor in communicating to your customers and prospects.
Here are a few reasons why you should embrace mobility:
- Enable Your Agents
In an article from Insurance Business Magazine, Jim Schubert discusses how future insurance agents will be able to “sit across the table from prospects they found on social media” and service them using their iPads. Agents will be able to work more remotely with cloud-based mobile tools. Mobile connectivity reduces the need for office locations, resulting in lower overhead cost and increased efficiency, with less time in meetings and more time to service customers. Applications like Facebook, LinkedIn, PocketCloud, Evernote and Applied MobileProducer keep agents connected while in the field. Mobile capabilities become increasingly important during disaster situations, when it’s best for agents to be on-site and quickly to collect information.
Takeaway: More mobile capabilities for your agents will allow them to more efficiently service customers.
- Be a Mobile Technology Leader
Today, consumers are interested in keeping up with the latest technology. For prospective customers, knowing that you offer cutting-edge mobile technology, such as Applied CSR24 or Applied MobileProducer, could be a major factor in their buying decision. Using the latest technology shows customers and prospects that you understand the impact technology has on their lives and establishes you as a leader in technology adoption. Additionally, offering the latest technology will enable you to attract the younger millennial generation, as well as “Boomers” born between 1946 and 1964, who have shown a growing increase in mobile usage.
Takeaway: Stay ahead of the competition by enhancing the mobile experience and catering to a new generation of consumers.
- Provide Customer Self-Service
In an increasingly digital landscape, customers expect multichannel communication on their terms with 24/7 service and the ability to connect with you on social media channels from their iPhone or tablet. As part of the purchasing process, prospects spend time conducting online research, often on their smartphone. If your website isn’t mobile capable upfront, your agency could be omitted when prospects are making their initial purchase decision. As noted in Agents and the Digital Future, “customers who use emerging technologies as complementary channels to their purchase channel are significantly more satisfied than are those using only their purchase channel to meet their service needs.” Being present on channels that are mobile compatible such as social media, email, Web pages and apps will provide extra convenience for both customers and prospects.
Takeaway: Take a “self-service” approach to mobile technology and think about what transactions customers expect to accomplish through mobile devices.
- Drive Mobility with the Cloud
Cloud technology is rapidly transforming the insurance industry by driving greater connectivity and mobile access. The cloud is a collective term for a secure data center that houses information that can be easily accessed by a wired or wireless Internet connection. The cloud allows for greater accessibility, less worry about data backup, and more focus on the business of selling insurance. By housing all information with a cloud provider and connecting your mobile devices to the virtual environment, you are better enabling your agents to be mobile.
Takeaway: Cloud technology allows agents to access data anytime, anywhere while keeping information safe and secure.
Businesses must keep up with mobility to engage and service customers. FIFA and World Cup sponsors like Visa offered mobile technology that created a seamless user experience and increased customer satisfaction. As an agent, you can do the same. Mobile technology enables your agents to work more efficiently, positions your business ahead of the competition with enhanced technical capabilities, and, most importantly, makes customers the top priority by offering them on-demand access.
How are you embracing mobile technology? Has it led to more sales or better customer service? Leave your comments below.
Tom Ives, product manager, Applied Systems, is responsible for strategy and design of Applied CSR24, Applied CertTrax, Applied InsWorld and Applied WebEngine products. Ives served most recently as a director of national accounts with Artizan Internet Services and various other roles for automation providers in the insurance industry, including sales, business analyst, system installer and software support.