Mobile is an integral part of our daily lives. We use apps to shop, navigate directions, find transportation and quickly answer every question that comes to mind. The insurance industry is taking advantage of this mobile dependence to assist customers.
An Accenture survey found that 64 percent of customers either currently use their insurer’s mobile app or plan to in the future. Mobile apps allow customers to easily contact an agent, file a claim, check payment schedules and update account information.
While customer facing insurance apps are a must-have, so too are apps that benefit agents. Health and life insurance brokers need mobile features that match and assist their busy, on-the-go lifestyles with online and offline capabilities. Some feature sets like a calendar, geolocation and social networking integration, are necessary. Feature sets like a scoreboard and instant quotes, on the other hand, take things a step further.
The insurance industry’s future is mobile, and the time to go mobile is now. Whether you’re just beginning your mobile journey or are ready to take it to the next level, here are a few features on every insurance agent’s mobile wish list divided into three categories: needs, wants and white space.
Do you need to be cutting edge enough to attract millennials or prove to them you are serious about a world where mobile is their main point of contact? Here are some of the features that we think all health and life insurance agents need.
Calendar – CRM
One of the most basic struggles in the insurance industry is figuring out how to give an agent as much information about a client as quickly and easily as possible. Going on the road from appointment to appointment can make it difficult to keep client information together, and the last thing you want to do is fumble around and look for important materials in front of a new prospect. Utilizing a calendar feature that is integrated with your CRM system presents an agent with their next appointment’s time and location while providing a quick snapshot of important client details.
Geolocation functionality helps agents find clients are and gather contextual information relative to their current or client’s locations. Yes, we know map features within in an app help agents quickly determine the most efficient route to their clients saving fuel costs and precious time, but geolocation offers so many more benefits to agents than simply navigation.
As new leads come in, geolocation also helps agents better understand the demographics and neighborhood information around their clients. A home insurance agent, for example, can tell a lot about a client based on the value of their home or the neighborhood he or she lives in. Having this information can lead to a better understanding of the client as well as potential new relationships in the area. A life insurance agent can better understand approximate net worth of the client based on home values, average incomes and other data available just based on the geolocation of their client.
Agents are already using social networks to aid in prospecting. With social networking integrated into your apps, agents can see who their clients are connected to and potentially build more contacts from their network. More contacts can equal more referrals, too, which is one of the main ways insurance agents get business.
Social integration can also allow agents to connect with potential clients that fit a certain demographic. Some insurance agents try to pull very particular types of people, like golf pros or YMCA volunteers. If an agency is looking to target a certain niche, agents could browse relevant Facebook or LinkedIn groups to find new clients.
Wants are those capabilities that can help set your agent application apart by doing something unexpected. These tools can help set an agency apart when a mobile savvy user is being recruited.
Scoreboard / Gamification
Top brokers with multiple employees working underneath them may want gamification capabilities to better engage with their team. A mobile scoreboard feature would allow brokers to see who is leading in sales, gaining the most new leads and meeting individual goals. Gamification is a great way to motivate brokers to keep improving, and it encourages innovation and friendly competition. At PointSource, we worked with Primerica to build an agent application with gamification to engage the next generation of millennials.
Mobile apps can deliver this leaderboard with the touch of a finger – if a top broker is out and about during their work day, he or she can use the app to check in on his or her team’s progress. Similarly, an agent can use it to see how his or her coworkers are doing for the day, which will hopefully motivate him or her to land more deals.
Instant quote and sign
It’s a well-known fact that faster sign up processes lead to more closed deals, so agents want to deliver quotes and registration capabilities as quickly as possible. They also want to make clients feel empowered by providing as much information as possible upfront – good insurance agents don’t want clients to feel like they’re just putting a comment card in a box and waiting for information.
Tablet-based applications, where clients can sign up via a digital form, are extremely effective for insurance brokers. Compared to smartphone apps, tablet apps provide a larger screen that allows clients to read and process information more effectively. Allowing a client to sign and submit a form instantly is both easy and engaging, and the faster they can sign, the faster they will close.
The ever-growing ways of communication, from email to SMS/text messaging, is a challenge for many institutions. It’s vital that insurance providers ensure all communications are recorded and compliant, but customers now expect more.
Some providers have started offering customer chat capabilities to allow and facilitate the real-time communication.
For the customer, it may simply be a SMS message or email they are sending and receiving, but the agent needs an application that can record those messages, ensure timely responses and attempt to meet the real time need of their clients.
White space features are an amazing set of features that need to be uniquely tailored to the agency and brand for each individual. If the brand serves mainly veterans, for example, a necessary feature may be a VA hospital locator.
If the brand services a specific city or state, agents may like to have local news and weather to enhance their planning and client communications. Do not be afraid to look for the white space where features of your unique business can be enhanced to add value.
Insurance apps can surely benefit the client, but if designed correctly, they can also benefit the broker. Creating a mobile solution that caters to both ensures both agent and customer satisfaction.