2016 was a transformative year for technology in the insurance sector and in 2017, the trends will build pace and move to the next operational level of activity and impact. It needs to so that venture capital and partnership interest doesn’t wane.
The Insurtech boom comes at a time when customers are demanding deeper insight, better service and cheaper costs. When technology can come in and disrupt the traditional insurance business model, business and industry experts are advising that incumbent brokers need to look at what is behind it, and how to meet the challenge head on.
Unsurprisingly, it comes down to technology. New types of products, new segments, new types of providers, new business models, new distribution methods and growing use of emerging tech are all made possible because of it.
So, how does a B2B broker with SME clients continue to defend territory and prevent being cut out of transactions in a disrupted sector?
The principals haven’t changed. The importance of customer centricity is at the heart of everything the sector is seeing. Unless you’re providing the customer with an experience they can’t get anywhere else, why would they engage? It’s the same for us. There are many Microsoft Dynamics partners out there, so we must ensure that the service we provide adds and enhances the product at every step.
Have you prioritised digital transformation?
It’s not enough to have an externally digital face. Is your business set up with digital capability at the centre? The systems you have in place to support your employees and to manage processes could propel or push back your customer centric plans for growth. There is little point having good lead generation rates from your offline and online marketing presence if you then struggle to meet expectations for response, service and product customisation. A good CRM system will not only manage those leads and conversions, it will vastly improve collaboration, productivity and insight, as well as customer engagement and retention.
What are you doing with your data?
Data use has stepped up a gear. It’s not just about organisation of it anymore, it’s about using that data to drive strategic decisions and embedding real time analytics for maximum insight. CRM systems are moving on at pace to meet the need. Businesses that were operating in silos are increasingly moving to more scalable and integrated solutions that surfaces meaningful data from internal and external transactions. It’s this insight that allows you to find the point of difference for each of your customers.
What added value are you bringing to customers?
Customer centricity isn’t just about the end product. It’s about the full experience. Why would a SME want to deal with you over another broker? Brokers were traditionally valued for the associated reduction of participation costs but that is one of the areas massively under threat right now.
Risk management expertise still counts. How will you engage your customers more deeply so that they continue to see and benefit from the consultation that you provide? Making sure that every employee who needs to, knows each customer by their sector and areas of interest will enable them to go the extra mile in supportive behaviour, cross sell and meaningful interaction. Your customers should feel ‘known’ and that they can access what they need from you easily and through any channel.
What tools are you using?
If your business hasn’t yet considered CRM, or if it’s not doing the job for you, now is the time. The technology has changed massively and the current Microsoft Dynamics 365 has changed the game offering increased scalability, modularity and role-based licensing and applications. In a few years, all businesses will be working this way and now is the time to get on board so that you are running with it when the competition peaks.