Agency Web Sites Must Be More Than E-business Cards
Todays consumers now have the highest service expectations ever seen in history.
We all know some of the reasons: The explosion of the Internet, cellphones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) that can download pictures and data without even needing to plug into a phone line, and 24/7 services that can be accessed in real time through many different communication methods.
I can access my bank account online, pay my bills, check the status of my order for a new pair of shoes, and send a picture of my child to a friend in a matter of minutes.
What does this mean for insurance? Our industry is beginning to get it. Sure, insurance is still about relationships–between the company, the agent and the customer, the latter of whom trusts that all of us will provide peace of mind for their most important assets.
But here is the kicker–service expectations. Before and after the sale, we must recognize that consumers really want access to services and information any time they want it. That is the critical part of building and keeping our relationship with the customer.
There are obviously many agency and carrier Web sites out there. The quality is all over the map. Ive seen a steady, if sometimes slow, understanding of the business value to providing consumers the services they have come to expect from their relationships.
Agency Web sites can no longer be electronic business cards. We cant forget that busy person–restaurant owner, contractor or return-to-work mom–who after a long day at work, helping a child with homework and getting dinner ready needs to be able to have access to our services.