Agent to Agent: Leveraging Technology to Increase Agency Efficiency
From left: Eric, Bob and Craig Most
By Bob, Craig and Eric Most
How many times have we said “can’t do with it, can’t do without it?” Well technology in the insurance industry is one of those “can’t do with outs.” Love it or hate it we need to understand that it is the future of our industry, and the future is now. We may feel we are insulated from it in our little niche, but trust us, the business world and customers are passing us by if we are not on board.
Technology is pervasive and absolutely affects every aspect of our sales and service processes.
Being able to market through various data sources has assisted our agency in reaching out to potential customers. Data sources such as County Property Appraiser and the State Department of Business and Professional Regulation has helped us progress in locating customers that fit our agency’s appetite.
Most Insurance has employed numerous advanced technologies to further develop the communication between our customers and carriers. As an agency, we continue to email and fax, but we have consolidated the two communication methods into one called Metrofax. We have also signed up for electronic delivery of underwriting memos. This saves on the scanning of paper documents and it has drastically improved the response time of agents to customer service needs. IVANS, a third party policy download tool, has improved connection between clients, carriers, and our team. In addition, another great tool we have utilized is carrier web chats. This has reduced time on the phone with carrier staff and increased the availability for customer phone calls.
One of our major advances in technology communication has been in relation to customer sales. E-signatures have played a big role in the customer sales process. Electronic signatures better accommodate customers and agents and have accelerated the completion of the sales process.
Agency operations here at Most Insurance have become very successful with several new programs. New additions such as a Tech Tuesday lunch have helped to train staff on new tools and improve their proficiency with existing tools. With hardware updates, our PC’s have been significantly updated in a timely manner. We also have added new technology, telecommuting, and instant messaging amongst staff. All of these additions have really helped us leverage technology for the benefit of staff and clients.
At our agency, internal agency communications are utilized to synchronize service and sales efforts. We use a secure internal website for updates to coordinate agency procedures and carrier forms and updates to carrier’s procedures.
Ergonomics, the relationship between workers and their environment, have also been a factor in our agency’s success. Each agent is able to work with three flat panel displays in their work space. Agents are also provided wireless telephone headsets. These amenities have better equipped our agents to tackle any task.
Leveraging of technology not only makes us more efficient working with prospects, customers, and carriers, but it also help us be more effective working together as a team, regardless of role and location of workspace.
Bob Most founded Most Insurance, located in Tampa, Florida, in January of 1973. For over 10 years his sons Craig and Eric have been instrumental in continuing the agency’s growth, continually positioning the agency for the future of the insurance industry, serving on various carrier agent advisory groups, serving on the board of directors of the American Insurance Marketing & Sales Society (Craig), as well as speaking at numerous national conferences. Most Insurance was honored to be named the Rough Notes Marketing Agency of the Month in May 2013. The agency’s web address is www.mostins.com.