What It Takes For Agencies To Thrive In The Information Age
Some agencies, to this day, are still deploying antiquated assembly-line approaches from the Industrial Age in todays Information Age.
Considering an ever-competitive industry continuing to move agencies toward being all-products/all-services providers, theyre facing the distinct possibility of not keeping up with, let alone ahead, of the competition.
Many agencies talk about providing customer service. Yet for all the talk about getting and keeping clients, how much has service really improved? Unfortunately, the answer is not much at some agencies.
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Customer service isnt about talk. Its about actions that keep clients satisfied. Its about pleasing people. Its about great service replacing lip service. And, along the way, it can lead to clients spreading the good word about an agencys offerings and top-notch service.
Exceptional service results in client loyalty. Once an agency has such loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising, a golden future is virtually assured.
But none of this is going to happen if agencies dont look within. Whats often needed are specific actions that will establish an emotional bond between clients and their agency, boosting customer confidence. While on the surface it might sound simple, theres most definitely an art to pleasing customers and garnering new ones.
In the Industrial Age, the key to success was based upon the ability to control all aspects of work. Problem solving was the sole domain of management.
In todays Information Age, work is accomplished–or should be–through a series of linked processes where client service, flexibility and cost containment have replaced volume as the high watermark for success.
For up-to-date agencies, the tools of e-business and the Internet have dramatically altered how work is viewed and what staff and clients expect.
Last year, at the annual conference of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America in Honolulu, the Agents Council For Technology released a report citing major technological trends that will significantly affect how agents do business.
Among the trends revealed in the report, “A Vision Of The Future For Agency Technology, Including The Essential Next Steps For Independent Agents,” was the importance of:
Prospects and customers being able to do business with agencies electronically.
Personalized marketing and service.