Insurance brokers are under increasing pressure to deliver more. Their customers want more. The legislative bodies are demanding more. Yet, at the same time competition is gradually squeezing margins making it harder to do more. This week we wanted to take a look at 3 technologies that might help you get more for your money.
It seems trite because pretty much every business has a Twitter feed and a Facebook page, but it’s not. The trouble is most businesses don’t understand the word “social” and they waste the opportunities this type of media offers. Here are some hints to make social media work for you instead of acting as a poor brochure for your brokerage:
- Never forget it’s social – that means ask questions, run competitions, and engage your audience.
- On the flip side – stop putting catalogues and adverts in these channels, let your clients (and your prospects) guide you as to what they want to see.
- Start measuring – not all social media is created equal, by all means spread your brand over a few platforms but measure your results and concentrate on the areas that deliver enquiries and sales. Eventually, drop those that don’t perform.
We took a look at the recent launch of Aviva’s application for smartphones that helps measure the risk posed by drivers so that motor insurance premiums can be more accurately calculated. You don’t have to go to this extent to impress clients but applications focused around risk calculation, or even risk prevention can be developed cheaply and easily to add real value for your customers.
In fact if you come up with something really clever it might be possible to turn the application into an additional revenue stream. However, in the majority of cases a serviceable, free to download, application may well be all that it takes to keep your brand in front of potential clients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Hosted and Cloud Based Business Applications
The first two measures, social media and mobile applications are about driving sales. This one is about cutting costs. It may once have made sense to have a bespoke sales and claims application in-house to drive your business – now it really doesn’t.
As margins get tighter you need to get more for your IT spend. Moving to a hosted or cloud based application means no more expensive hardware to buy, no more expensive IT development teams and altogether less fuss. It means you can stay ahead of the curve as changes in the industry as a whole are likely to be quickly reflected within the system (without having to drive this yourself) too.
Insurance brokers that harness technology are more likely to survive as the business environment becomes more competitive. Those that learn the ropes of social media and mobile applications may find these to be invaluable sources of leads at a much lower cost than traditional advertising channels (such as TV, print, radio, etc.). Moving to hosted and/or cloud based sales and claims applications will reduce IT spending significantly as well as enabling the business to concentrate on its core area of competence – assessing and addressing risk.