Tag Archives: client relations

5 Ways AI Helps on Client Service

Artificial intelligence has become a hot topic in the insurance industry as the push to modernize the agency with digital solutions reaches a fevered pitch. Especially now, as our society and business operations adapt to a global pandemic, agencies are scrambling to leverage technology and analytics to make smarter decisions for their clients and their own business.

For many independent agencies, however, AI still feels like a theoretical concept — a capability reserved for and only accessible to big companies with deep pockets. But the reality is, AI has tangible benefits for even the smallest independent agencies when it comes to improving client services and strategic business growth. And, it’s more accessible than many might think. 

Leveraging AI can enable better business strategy for agencies of all sizes, today and in a post-pandemic environment. With AI, agencies can:

  1. Better advise clients. Now more than ever, insureds are looking to their insurance agents for risk management, stability and reassurance. With AI, agents can draw on industry insights to better understand the risks their clients face, provide more relevant, data-driven advice and do so with confidence. With the right tools, agents can look at data about similar individuals, businesses or industries and spot trends early to offer coverage suggestions. For example, the demand for business interruption insurance has risen sharply since the pandemic began. By leveraging AI, agents can see these potential risks coming down the pike and can make sure their clients are protected.
  2. Accurately predict risk. For years, actuarial services have attempted to quantify the economic value of risk to help carriers and agencies arrive at appropriate levels of coverage and premium costs. But today, AI provides a much more insightful and accurate risk assessment. By delving into industry-wide historical data, AI tools can arrive at a more accurate risk value based on real, documented data rather than conjecture. This allows the industry to set premium rates accordingly so that insureds get the coverage they need at a price that’s competitive and makes sense. 
  3. Find business opportunities. Without AI, agencies must rely on hunch, experience and clients to find and address new opportunities. AI technologies let agencies quantitatively analyze client needs, market dynamics and carrier appetite. Based on this insight, agencies can make smarter, faster and more confident business decisions to spur growth. For example, with industry intelligence, agencies can identify valuable opportunities to upsell coverage, identify new clients and expand into new markets based on carrier appetite for certain types of policies in specific geographies. 
  4. Improve agency efficiency. Digitizing processes to eliminate rote, manual tasks not only improves agency productivity and performance, but also client relations. When agents can spend less time pushing paper and more time talking with clients to better understand their needs and provide expert advice, everyone wins. AI can help drive this efficiency with predictive and automated workflows that can make many common insurance processes move faster. 
  5. Enhance client relations. While many agencies fear that AI and other technologies might take away from the personal relationships they’ve built with clients, AI can actually do the opposite. By automating processes and surfacing data-driven insights, AI can give agents more time to spend in meaningful conversations with their clients, providing informed counsel on how best to protect their assets. AI can also improve one of the most frustrating processes for clients — claims processing — to deliver a better experience. For example, we can now automate the submission process by using AI to analyze damage photos and natural language processing of the description of the claim submitted to rapidly assess the probability of fraud. Below a certain threshold, the claim may be automatically and instantaneously paid. This accelerates the process, delivering a more positive experience for the individual or business submitting the claim.

See also: How AI Can Stop Workers’ Comp Fraud  

As digital modernization becomes imperative for agencies, AI is proving to be a crucial ingredient for delivering the level of service that clients expect and for driving agency growth. By scaling AI implementation, agencies can not only keep pace with their peers but also offer innovative solutions that give them a competitive advantage, positioning agents as confident and dependable risk advisers in an increasingly uncertain environment.

4 Tips to Improve Client Relations

I love to celebrate the New Year. I’m energized by the opportunity to pause at the end of the year, reflect on my accomplishments over the past 365 days and think about what I hope to accomplish in the year ahead. My annual rumination centers on two questions: What have I done that is working for my clients and me? And what can I do differently to achieve better results personally and professionally?

Turns out I’m not alone. I have found myself in many conversations with early-career insurance professionals who are pondering the same questions. I also have found that, for those new to our industry, coming up with useful answers to these questions is difficult.

So, in keeping with the hopeful spirit of a new year, here are four tips for new insurance professionals (and even seasoned ones) to improve their client relations in 2019:

1. Understand your strengths and set goals for the skills you wish to improve.

When I started out in my career, I was intimidated often by what the people across the table knew. Could I answer their questions? Did I understand their questions? Could I make a meaningful contribution?

What helped me advance was to understand that, while I might not have the technical knowledge of more senior colleagues, I could still offer a number of strengths that could differentiate me from others. I was good at asking the right questions, at reading people’s body language and the overall tone of the room and at capturing meeting takeaways and following up on them quickly.

See also: Restoring the Agent-Client Relationship  

I soon realized that we all come to the table with strengths and with areas to improve. Even the most seasoned professionals can identify skills of theirs that they need to sharpen. For those new to the industry, begin building your professional brand based on the transferrable skills that set you apart. Set measurable goals for the personal and technical skills that you would like to enhance in 2019.

2. Evaluate current relationships.

Over the past several weeks, my team and I spent many hours evaluating the client relationships that we have built, maintained and grown throughout 2018. Who are our closest clients? Who should we spend more time with this year? Who should I help my colleagues build better relationships with?

Now that I understand the landscape of our current client relationships more clearly, I can reflect upon how purposeful the relationships are to me and if the clients will be long-term partners. If I believe a relationship has the potential to grow, the real challenge is dedicating the time and attention to carry the relationship to the next step, while identifying the relationships that may be stagnant or not worth pursuing.

3. Be mindful and deliberate with your time.

Time is a limited commodity, and every client does not deserve an equal share of it. If you are spending a lot of time fostering a relationship with a person or organization that is not reciprocating the effort or that has not turned into an actionable business partnership, it may be worth re-evaluating whether you could use this time better elsewhere.

See also: 5 Ways to Enhance Client Engagement  

4. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Even if you have mastered the art of client relations and all your relationships are in good standing, your work is not necessarily finished. If anything, this success is an opportune moment to reflect – again – and evaluate the approach you used to build these strong relationships, and potentially apply it to other relationships that may need more work.