Given that the U.S. experienced a historic year of weather and climate disasters in 2017, as an insurance agent it’s important to consider how you will effectively support customers and manage operations during an unforeseen event. Your business cannot afford prolonged downtime. According to Business News Daily, small businesses can lose $3,000 a day from being closed.
Even more troublesome than the debilitating financial effects, a disaster can lead to:
Your management system data is the lifeline of your business. If you were to permanently lose your data, could your agency recover?
Physical damage to infrastructure can shutter a business for days, even weeks. Could your business sustain an extended disruption or closure?
Inability to Serve Customers
Being there for customers in their time of need is critical for both your clients and your business. Could your agency withstand reputational losses due to poor service?
of companies that suffer from a catastrophic data loss do not survive.
University of Texas
of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more during a disaster, filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster.
National Archives & Records Administration in Washington
of unhappy customers who are non-complainers simply leave.
Leveraging Technology to Protect Your Agency’s Most Critical Assets
To reduce loss and mitigate risk associated with potentially crippling situations, agencies need to develop a business continuity plan (BCP). Being prepared and having the right technologies in place will allow you to continue to operate and support customers when the unexpected happens.
For business continuity during a disaster, build your agency on a strong digital technology foundation that provides:
With “always-on” cloud, mobile and online customer self-service technology, your digital agency can:
- Safeguard your data assets and operations against any threat
- Remain operational and continue service to customers
- Proactively communicate with customers and staff
- Access policy and claims information 24/7
- Eliminate downtime that leads to lost revenue
Cloud benefits can be particularly useful during a natural disaster or other crisis situation, helping insurance agencies reduce downtime and minimize the financial and reputational losses that can be caused by such event. It provides major cost and customer service advantages over competitors who suffer days of downtime waiting for generators or new computer equipment. Having infrastructure, tools and critical data running in the cloud ensures your data is safe and accessible no matter what. Essentially, the cloud supports continued operational resiliency by removing the need to immediately reinstall software or restore critical applications, data or files, allowing for faster recovery.
For business continuity planning, mobility provides an essential communication channel when other channels, such as landline phones, may not be functioning or accessible. Mobility provides customers with greater access to resources during critical times when they need their insurance agency. Mobility extends beyond servicing customers, however. It allows agents to conduct business from anywhere – whether at the office, a disaster site or at home – providing for faster workforce recovery following a disaster.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Today, customers expect the ability to communicate with their agency and receive key information regardless of the circumstances. Providing connectivity, continuous customer service and the quick dispatch of information during unexpected events has therefore become increasingly important for the successful operation of an insurance agency. Integrating cloud solutions and emerging communication channels helps reduce downtime and bolsters connectedness during events that could otherwise cripple the business. Ultimately, a BCP safeguards your agency’s most important assets: your relationships with loyal customers and employees.
Watch the What It Takes to Be a Digital Agent video to hear from leading agencies on how they’re using cloud, mobile and other digital technologies to transform their businesses and better support their customers.