Agency Matrix would like to address some confusion surrounding changes to how ACORD Forms will be licensed in 2020. These changes are being made by ACORD, but as your agency management system of choice we want to help our customers understand their impact.
As a successful insurance agency owner, you need to utilize all the tools available to help streamline your business operations and grow your customer base. The Agency Matrix Virtual Employee is an invaluable tool in the agency management system. It's designed to assist in maximizing your retention and reducing loss ratios, while delivering prompt and precise information to your clientele.
Your agency management software just keeps getting better. In version 7.6, our primary focus was further refining features introduced in versions 7.5 and 7.6, as well as adding process improvements that many of you had requested. You know we take your feedback to heart and do our best to accommodate your requests. And, while we may not be able to grant every wish, we take them all seriously and are constantly analyzing and building upon the system to make your job as an agency owner easier.
As an agency owner, you’re probably struggling with how, when and where to spend your precious marketing dollars. Undoubtedly, you have an endless stream of marketing sales pitches coming through your door … your phone, your email, your browser, your mailbox … on a daily basis. So, how do you know what actually works?
If you’re spending too much time on prospecting and networking, and seeing little reward for your efforts, maybe it’s time for a different approach. While traditional networking and prospecting can put you in front of a lot of people, they aren’t necessarily the right people.
Does your insurance agency have a website? Is it attractively designed? Is it inviting and easy to navigate? Is it properly optimized for search engines? Is it safe and securely hosted? If you answered NO to any of these questions, Agency Matrix is here to help.
In a nutshell, the right agency management system (AMS) brings order and sanity to your independent insurance agency by providing a complete view of tasks, sales, agent activities and account information.
As you well know, your agents manage an enormous amount of information and must complete a mountain of tasks every day for your agency to remain relevant and successful. An AMS effectively squeezes more time into every workday, maximizing revenue and ROI through improved productivity. Research shows a $5.60 return per dollar spent on AMS software. It’s that simple.
Let’s face it. Your agency management system is a big deal. It’s a commitment that requires research, investment of time and money, and a significant undertaking of training, no matter how well designed and user-friendly the API. You've made the right decision, now make sure you're not leaving money on the table.
This latest software upgrade comes with some serious improvements to the user interface, further streamlining the agency management process and freeing up even more time for agents to grow and attend to their books of business.
The use of automated marketing is the fastest growing category of business software in the world right now. Even the traditionally slow to adapt insurance industry is beginning to understand the benefits of this efficient and streamlined approach to relationship management. Simply stated, even if they aren’t yet, your competitors will soon be using automated marketing, giving them a guaranteed edge. Can your agency afford to go on without it?
As we welcome April and say goodbye to March (International Women’s Month), it’s important to remember that championing women and equality in traditionally male dominated industries shouldn’t center solely around social media hashtags and “hallmark holidays.”
Can you imagine if the next iPhone or Android device you bought were the very same model, with the exact same features, as the ones available ten or eleven years ago? Of course not. Times have changed. Technology has advanced light years in that amount of time. And, with every new release, there's a huge wave of excitement around the new and improved bells and whistles. We've come to expect bigger and better bells and whistles on a regular basis.
Should Santa start dropping insurance policies down the chimney this year? It’s not entirely shocking that a Christmas gift could require insurance. Tiffany diamond earrings, sports cars with big red bows across the hood … even a surprise cruise should be insured. But those big-ticket items are very special occasion gifts for Santa’s elite … not a $50 toy for your 10-year-old.
When it comes to any business these days, you're going to have your heavy-hitters and your light-weights, and in no business is this more accurate than insurance coverage. Smaller insurance companies often have to work significantly harder than their sizable, nationwide counterparts in order to expand and retain their books of business. This can leave agencies feeling stuck in the proverbial rat race. As with any problem, however, there is always a solution.
We recently met with Steven Petty, the Sr. Risk Manager of Insured Solutions, and a 44-year veteran in the workers’ compensation field. We wanted to know why workers’ compensation is such an under-rated and undersold form of insurance when agents stand to gain so much from its offerings.
Theft is a serious issue with insurance agencies nationwide. Theft occurs most frequently with the agents who don’t spend a lot of time in the office and who have multiple locations. When the insurance agency owner isn’t participating in the management of their company, it generates the perfect opportunity for fraud and theft to occur.
Branding your company is a key component to success. Many businesses out there would not do nearly as well without consistent company branding. Insurance agency branding essentially starts with a logo. When you create a logo, you want it to set yourself apart from your competition. Setting yourself apart doesn’t just come from the logo, though. Your company has to build a brand. The right logo emphasizing your quality, services, products, and customer service care will help build that brand.
A common question from insurance agents is where and how to find quality employees. When we sat down with industry expert, Eddie Emmett, he was unsurprised to hear this. He stated that “that may be the number one topic that comes up, all the time.” Agency Matrix has a large team that involves hiring salespeople, trainers, support people, and others. There are always problems that come with hiring for these positions, even at a company, let alone on the independent agent level.
Neutrality’s Connection to the Cloud
Net neutrality has gained recognition and caused quite the controversy in recent news. Even among the internet policy community, the question regarding how to categorize the internet remains unanswered. It is unclear whether the internet should be considered a public utility or a telecommunications service. Before the Federal Communications Commission voted to refile the internet as telecommunications, all websites were to be treated equally by internet providers. With this requalification, the laissez-faire operation of the internet is subject to change.
It’s a major Red Flag when a policyholder is, or shows signs of being a potential high risk or unreliable driver. Drivers who are irresponsible and purposely get into frequent trouble are not suitable for your agency. Dangerous drivers come with all sorts of liability issues. It’s important to take proper action with high risk drivers before serious problems arise and cause your agency to be negatively affected. Below is a list of 7 “sins” to look out for as an auto insurance agent.
Credit scores are statistics now considered as an indispensable part of rating, underwriting, and determining plan eligibility by insurance companies. Insurance agencies use credit scoring to determine how probable a customer or client is of repaying his or her debts. However, critics of the practice argue that the rationale behind this common practice is not sound. Many suggest that a credit score does not reflect the fiscal responsibility of the consumer as it should and that it rather is a measure of the likelihood that a customer will file a claim. This has caused the practice of credit scoring to come under much debate and scrutiny. Customers often require an explanation as to why insurers pull their credit scores. The explanation? Insurance agents often seek reasons to raise premiums. To better understand the pool of consumers that their agencies tend to attract, it is necessary for insurers to know how consumers may try to change their credit score to their benefit. Since it will inevitably be a topic of conversation between every insurance agent and their consumer, they must know this subject thoroughly to properly handle this controversial subject.
Conceivably, a great ever-growing number of objects in everyday life are connected to the internet. It’s no surprise then that a good deal of business is done online: business transactions and marketing efforts are abundant in the world-wide web. The ubiquitous internet, which is becoming more and more unavoidable for consumers everywhere, offers businesses of all kinds the opportunity to profit financially from web availability. Owning a professionally designed website has become standard for any general business, and since there is a great dependency on mobile devices among customers, it must be fully supported on the wide range of existing platforms and devices in order to maintain a relevant website usability. This is unexceptionally the case for auto insurance agencies.
Scene: It’s 1 a.m. in the morning. You’ve been out on the town having a fantastic night, and now it’s time to go home. You’re physically tired from dancing and the general hustle and bustle of an evening out. You plop down in your brand new self driving vehicle and activate the ignition. After a moment of the customary beeping, whirring, and start-up noises a voice says: "Good evening (insert name), I detect that you’re drowsy. During this trip I may require your driving assistance in the event of an emergency. If you wish to proceed to the destination, you must authorize your auto insurer to increase your premium until arrival. This amount will be added to your monthly payment. To authorize, say yes."
A new year means new clients, a larger book of business, and better yields for agencies everywhere, Right? Well, possibly. Hard-working businesses like yours are not the only ones getting revved-up and motivated for a prosperous 12 months. While you are diligently planning your strategies for customer care, sales, and retention hackers are investing their own energy in finding more efficient methods of breaking into the systems of successful businesses. 2016-2021 is expected to see a definitive rise in cyber security attacks targeting small and large businesses alike, according to the University of San Diego.
It’s time to get innovative and leave your competitors in the dust! To get ahead in the insurance industry, you need to gather reviews. In this day and age your customers are tech savvy, so they will go the extra mile to find out if your products are reliable. But how will your customers know if no one leaves a review? Wouldn’t you want to know if the product you’re buying is worth your time and money? According to Zendesk.com, Dimensional Research reports 88% of online customers make a buying decision based on what online reviews say. That percentage is astounding! If you’re not swayed by that, Jonathon Wolfe, blogger and VP of Techvalidate concludes that 94% of respondents rate company reviews by customers as “very effective” (Survey of 105 B2b marketing and sales professionals). Getting positive customer reviews is extremely important for the success of your insurance agency. The main question to ask is…… how to get customers to leave more reviews?