How do independent agents use self-service portals?
A self-service portal usually sits within an insurance agency website. It allows customers to log in to their own personalized account to access their policy information and perform simple service tasks. Self-service portals can help augment the capacity of an agency’s service staff and free up staff members to focus on more complex service tasks and relationship building.
Why should insurance agents use self-service portals?
- Save time on routine service tasks. A self-service portal lets clients do simple service tasks on their own time. This saves your agency staff time they would be spending on routine tasks so they can instead focus on interactions that add value and deepen relationships.
- Meet customer expectations. Many clients have come to expect easy self-service options from any company they do business with. Clients want instant gratification – they don’t want to have to come into the office to do simple tasks such as getting insurance cards or signing policy documents.
- Answer frequently asked questions. Your self-service portal can include a knowledge base to help educate clients about insurance. This shows your value as a trusted advisor.
- Allow for 24/7 options. Self-service allows clients to access simple items, like insurance cards, at any time – not just when their agent is in the office. Many agencies don’t have any 24/7 capabilities, so this differentiates your agency.
- Drive revenue growth. Liberty Mutual and Safeco research found that self-service portals was one of the seven digital capabilities highly correlated with revenue growth.
Insurance customers are used to having self-service capabilities in their lives, such as mobile banking, or bill pay.
Based on our research and consumer research in general, customers who simply know they can access self-service capabilities have higher retention, even if they never use those capabilities.
Here’s the key to making it work though: Inform your customers you have a customer portal and routinely direct them to it to get them in the habit of using it, freeing up your agency staff to work on more important things like selling insurance.