Knight Archer needs no knight in shining armour

Knight Archer needs no knight in shining armour | Insurance Business

Knight Archer needs no knight in shining armour

Customer service has always come effortlessly to Tracy Archer, of Knight Archer Insurance Brokers, so joining her parents at their family owned and operated brokerage seemed like a natural step. The job was challenging and diverse, something she really enjoyed.

“Whether you’re helping a family into their new home or new circumstance, no-one’s life is the same as another person’s. It’s a great reminder that everyone is different,” she said.  

Archer was recently recognized as a woman of influence in IBC’s Elite Women 2020 for her work shaping the future of the insurance industry. A big differentiator for Archer has been her strong focus on technology and being ahead of the curve when it came to adoption. Online customer portals and an online quoting service have been part of Knight Archer’s offering for years, and it was only after the company acquired some new brokerages she realized how advanced this was. Physical files have long been a thing of the past at Knight Archer offices, but Archer says operations acquired as recently as 2016 were still using paper. As such it has been a priority from day one for Archer to have synchronicity across all branches, with all offices having the same information and capabilities, and access to up-to-date information on payments or policy changes.

One of the firm’s big projects this year has been launching self-serve kiosks at the front of their locations. While the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed plans, they are still hoping to use these new tools as an innovative way to help customers understand Knight Archer’s online initiatives, including ArrowQuote, its online quoting and purchase system, and its customer portal.

“We designed these free-standing kiosks that resemble an ATM with tablets that showcase our online capabilities and we have brand ambassadors who can help customers learn how to use them,” Archer said.

Aside from technology, Archer is also extremely proud of the firm’s strong focus on community service. Knight Archer has been the presenting sponsor of Brighter Futures for Children for the past 13 years. It has raised about $1 million for the annual event that supports the healthy development of young children in Regina. Archer said they’ve even raised $62,000 this year despite the pandemic forcing the event to go virtual.

“We focus a lot on our communities,” she said. “We have 17 different locations and I want to make sure the support goes further than our base here in Regina. We ensure our staff are giving back in our smaller locations as well.” 

Being an influential woman in the insurance world wasn’t a foreign concept to Archer, as her mother Gloria served as president of the company from 1981 before passing the torch on her retirement in 2016. She learned a lot from her mother, who ran the day-to-day operations, much of the human resources, as well as marketing. For a while, Archer and her mother were the only women at the leadership table. While this is common in the financial industry, Archer says things are changing, and, for the past three years, there has been a 50/50 balance of men and women on the Knight Archer executive team.

“My dad and brother both have a long-term, strategic view, and, while that’s necessary, I understand that even with great ideas, implementation and communication among the team is equally important,” she said. “We need to make sure that all our staff understand the purpose behind changes, so everyone can work toward the same goals.”

Archer also serves as vice chair for the Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan, following both her parents’ footsteps. Not only is this an opportunity to learn and share with industry peers, she says it’s an opportunity to advocate for the industry as well.

Being a mother has also made a big impact on Archer’s leadership style.

“Being strong has always been natural to me, but becoming a mother gave me more patience,” she said. “Because my daughter is so different to me, it made me take a step back and look at how I connect with others and the importance of appreciating different strengths and skillsets. Being a leader isn’t about what I can do, it’s about working with others and learning what they bring to the table.”