CRM Systems Help Analyze Workflow, Profile Customers
Customer relationship management software, according to CRM vendors, can help insurers and agencies focus their people, work processes and technology on strengthening customer service and retention.
CRM systems can be a costly investment. Because they can cut days out of application processing and workflow times, however, they offer the potential for a substantial return on investment, the vendors claim.
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Typically, CRM applications are sold in modules, allowing insurers to use whatever functions are most appropriate for their operations. Except where noted, most of these applications run on a variety of systems.
Some of the most widely used CRM products are the following:
Agility:Insurance, from G2X Corp., New York, is designed to help carriers manage customers, agents and underwriting activities. The system can provide management with a complete history of an agents transactions, including details on all policies the agent has ever sold.
The system also helps insurance agents to process new business and build customer relationships, its makers say.
Other modules within this system help manage prospects, access policy status or support the underwriting process. These capabilities can be integrated with the user companys back-end system, a G2X spokesman says.
The system can be operated entirely over the Internet and customized to the insurance carriers specific needs, says G2X.
Agility can be implemented in under 100 days, the spokesman adds. G2X will train company trainers or provide its own personnel to teach end users how to use its system.
Pricing depends on many factors, such as number of users and the functions that the insurance company wants. Costs often range from $500 to $700 per user, the spokesman says.
The company said it plans upgrades of Agility:Insurance in October, then again in April.
E-Z Data Incorporated, Pasadena, Calif., is launching Version 3.0 of its Enterprise CRM Platform for insurance and financial services in November, a company spokeswoman says.
Enterprise CRM has 22 modules that can be customized, including a contact manager, time manager, policy tracker, security system, automatic reporting and standard reports, the company says. One module allows sales reps to schedule and keep track of financial seminars given to customers and prospects.
E-Z Data says the software can be customized to allow the user to avoid duplicate data entries for advisors and clients.
There is an advisor module to help carriers keep track of agents and a carrier module to help independent agents keep track of their insurers. Other modules enable agents to track products, download policies and manage their workload, the company notes.
The program is entirely Internet based, a spokeswoman says.
E-Z Data says it offers ongoing maintenance and support. It will either train a companys own trainers in using its system or provide individualized user instruction.
Implementation typically takes four months to a year, depending upon such variables as degree of customization and depth of systems integration, says E-Z Data.
Pricing varies according to configuration. For instance, license fees may run to $500,000 for 1,000 users, with unit price decreasing as the number of users increases. Customization and implementation fees can vary from 25% to 100% of a license fee, depending upon the degree of customization and depth of systems integration, the company spokeswoman says.
Siebel Systems Inc., San Mateo, Calif., recently released Siebel Version 7.5 of what it calls “the next generation of Siebel eBusiness Applications.”
New features of the systems insurance industry component include integrated broker desktop, preconfigured integration for quotes and claims, pension plan administration and health care referrals, the company says.
Siebel adds that its CRM system includes call center service analysis and agent support features, such as sales campaign execution. Its analytic module allows insurance companies to take advantage of data they capture about their customers to improve sales and service effectiveness, retention and profitability.