The Connected Business of Insurance
January 24, 2013
Mobile technology has been a frequent discussion topic in insurance circles for several years, and for good reason. It can change the way insurance agencies do business, especially in how they establish and maintain business relationships. Mobile technology frees agents and brokers from the restraints of wired-in, stationary computing. With a mobile smart device, producers can get information just about wherever they can get an Internet connection so they can be more responsive to customer needs and more productive for their business.
The concept of mobile technology and how it can benefit producers is convincing. However, for some to be persuaded something is good for them, they need more than a concept. A recent report from Ovum research, “Taking the Pulse of the North American Insurance Industry: Mobility Plans” indicates that 57 percent of insurance agents and brokers in North America have not begun implementing mobile solutions or have no plans to do so in the near future. That’s a staggering point when you consider the advantages mobile technology can bring to insurance producers and brokerages.
The insurance industry has historically been conservative with new technology. Those who are not yet sure how mobile tech will help them do business better need to see it in action. They need to see specific examples of how it will help them.
At a recent insurance conference, Applied Systems showcased its new product, MobileProducer. This mobile application for tablets gives producers access to their client data, as well as other mobile features that help them when they’re out in the field. When an agent at the conference asked about it, I gave him a demonstration. I showed him how he can view accounts, contacts and policy information from his agency’s system of record.
I told him about the GPS-enabled features, but he didn’t get the full-effect until I showed him what MobileProducer could do. I mapped out where clients were in a given area, got directions to prospect offices, and located nearby restaurants where he could schedule lunch or dinner meetings. And I showed him how he could get in touch with prospects through e-mail or instant messaging.
He let the demonstration sink in for a bit. Then he said to me, “You mean I won’t need to call my assistant to get a phone number or address when I’m on the road? I won’t need to call her at night when I see a client at a networking event and need to know what coverage he has with us?” “No,” I told him. “You will have all of this on your tablet. Quickly. Right at your fingertips.”
He said I made his weekend.
With mobile technology, you don’t need to rely on assistants or CSRs to relay information on the phone. It’s especially helpful at night, when you may not have anyone at your office to provide such information to you. That is the essence of mobile technology: making the most of your time, efficiently serving customers in ways they are accustomed to being served and increasing business productivity.
How are you using or planning to use mobile technology to increase efficiency, improve client service or improve business productivity? Join the conversation and share your thoughts in the comment section below.