The briefcase seems quaint now. Carrying all that paper around in a heavy, rigid leather bag feels so passé amid our increasingly digitised world. And indeed it is for almost all professions – except insurance broking.
The sector’s ongoing love affair with the traditional work bag is not simply a quaint observation. It’s an indication of how far the industry still needs to embrace change so it remains relevant to its customer and delivers them the 21st Century service they expect.
This is not to say brokers have eschewed all technological advancement. Improved access to customer and industry information proves this is not the case but there’s further to go. The days of paper files and briefcases need to come to an end in favour of real-time telematics.
Fully embracing the future
Brokers need access to information wherever they are. Making sure you have hard copies of all the documents you might need in any situation is virtually impossible.
With real-time technology, brokers can access the files they need digitally, regardless of location or time of day. This allows them to be far more agile in how they work and, crucially, when dealing with clients.
The latter point is particularly pertinent as quick responses to client questions enhance the experience for them and improve a broker’s productivity.
Determining quotes and assessing client needs there and then enhances your offering and provides information at the speed time poor consumers demand. Filling in forms or plugging information into a database, submitting the request and then responding days or weeks later is no longer a viable option for a company hoping to remain in business for the long term.
Proving your worth
Besides speed, technology enhances a broker’s value proposition. With insurtechs making it easier than ever for clients to go direct to an insurer, brokers need to make their value instantly visible.
Real-time technology can enable access to customer data, the insurance options available and the best value premiums. The customer is likely to perceive this as value for money and view their broker as an indispensible, trusted advisor.
Novidea’s software allows brokers to get access to a 360-degree view of the customer, and their business, allowing cross and upsell opportunities to be identified at a moment’s notice, something rival software platforms cannot do.
Our recent survey found that a fifth of brokers (20 per cent) used four or five systems to manage their day-to-day operations. That is unquestionably too many and so brokers need to lead the charge in embracing cloud-based systems that integrate all their business processes in one place.
If not, those outdated legacy systems – just like bygone era briefcases – will keep holding the sector back.