How To
min read
Mar 31

How To Automate Insurance Sales and Service Requests

Jon Corrin
Chief Executive Officer

Insurance is a lifeline for all who have it. Coverage keeps them financially secure when the worst happens, and many insurance companies want nothing more than to provide that peace of mind. But from the quote, to proposal and ACORD filings, to customer service requests… it’s all a time suck. You aren’t as efficient as you’d like to be, nor are your agents, because everyone is bogged down in manual paperwork. 

At best, manual paperwork in the insurance industry slows down the process of delivering coverage. At worst, it holds your company back from growth, expansion, and providing services to new customers who need it.

Thankfully, automation can handle a lot of those tasks. It’s not about finding a robot to do your job - we know that’s not possible. Instead, it’s about getting as many of those necessary but low-value tasks off your plate so you can focus on what can’t be automated in your business. 

Challenges, meet automation

In any insurance agency, agents spend over half their days doing paperwork. Imagine how much more successful your agents could be if they were freed from that burden? There are four main areas of paperwork that take up an insurance agent’s day - all of which can be automated. 

  1. Data Entry: Getting a prospect is exciting, but it usually comes with hours of manual data entry. Half the time, your agents are re-typing the same data into multiple forms. 
  2. Follow ups: Agents need to follow up with prospects who have gone quiet. If you’re following up with 50 or 100 prospects, even taking 1 minute each amounts to hours per week. 
  3. Proposal generation and ACORD compliance: A lot of time is spent on routine elements and ACORD compliance, taking away time for agents to personalize the sales process. This is a huge problem for the bottom line - according to Accenture, one third of customers who abandoned a business relationship did so because they felt they weren’t getting personalized service
  4. Service requests: Another Accenture study found that 61% of customers stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer experience. So when a customer needs help, your agents should be able to focus on solving problems, not documenting them.

How to solve time-suck challenges

Whether you’re facing time-sucks from manual data entry, following up, compliance, or service requests, there are a few strategies you can use to automate and get the work of your agents’ plate.

Embedded and connected forms

When you have a form on your website - to learn more, to get a quote, or to submit a service request - it should be secure, digital, and connected into a customer relationship management (CRM) system. That way, customers can give you data that automatically fills out the necessary forms and provides your agents with critical information. 

Auto-responders for phone and email

If you’ve got to follow up with someone, don’t waste your agents’ time with writing emails and cold-calling voicemails. Use technology to do that for you. As soon as someone engages to book a call (or if a person answers), your agents are ready to go.

Build quotes digitally

When it comes to proposal generation and ACORD compliance, look at leveraging a technological platform that does most of the process for you. Your agents will still add custom elements and do policy selling and binding, but the paperwork is done for you.

Get a virtual assistant

You may want a virtual assistant (VA) to complete all remaining manual tasks. VAs can save up to 78% of operating costs per year, according to one study, meaning you save money and free up agent time to sell more and service customers.

The tools of automation

When people hear automation, many think of artificial intelligence (AI) robots taking over. The reality is many tools are available on the market right now that automate tasks. 

  • Zapier: The platform has many tools and plugins to help you get what you need. 
  • TurboDial or Conversify: Automate prospecting and follow ups. 
  • XILO: The made-for-insurance CRM, data entry, and proposal generation platform. 
  • Look into what APIs are available from other softwares you already use. 

What not to automate

Remember, automation is about freeing up an agent’s time so they can deliver more value, especially since many parts of the insurance sales process can’t be automated. In particular, make sure you’re not trying to automate the selling or binding of a policy, handling a service issue once it’s been requested, or the human touch of building relationships with prospects and customers. 

Technology is a powerful tool, but only when applied to the right problem. Use technology to remove mundane, time-consuming tasks that are necessary, but repetitive and don’t add to your bottom line. When you do that, your team can focus on prospects and customers, making everyone more successful. 

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