In today’s digital first landscape, it is critically important for insurance agencies to offer their clients self-service capabilities. Thanks to rapid digital developments in other sectors like banking and e-commerce, insurance shoppers have now come to expect 24/7/365 digital access to their insurance information, with additional capabilities to initiate basic tasks like downloading policy documents and ID cards, printing and sharing confidential documents, and requesting policy changes.
Enabling customer self-service is beneficial for insurance agents on multiple fronts, according to EZLynx product manager Vijay Rengarajan. By giving customers the power to manage their own accounts, agents can spend less time on simple but time-consuming tasks like getting ID cards, policy documents, or helping clients with making payments. Instead, agents can focus on revenue-generating activities and meet their core objectives of providing great advice and service to customers.
“It also helps with client retention,” said Rengarajan. “For agents, the time and money required to keep an existing customer is often much less than the investment needed to acquire a new customer. Once agents have done the hard work of finding the leads and selling them insurance, all they have to do is give clients the [experience] they want to keep them happy. Make it easier for clients to get the information they need and service their policies online [so they] will keep renewing their insurance policies with you year-after-year. It makes sense for agencies to invest in the infrastructure needed to keep their current customers happy.”
Giving insurance customers access to digital self-service capabilities should not be a scary or complex prospect for agencies, according to Rengarajan. With customer service software like the EZLynx Client Center, agencies can control exactly what areas of client interaction they want to expose to self-service. The key is to “start simple, and start today” Rengarajan stressed, with one basic activity like giving customers access to their policy documents, before building out other self-service functions.
EZLynx Client Center enables easy two-way document sharing between agents and clients, while also ensuring that confidential information is securely transferred and accurately logged within the agency’s management system. It also lets clients submit common policy change requests online, creating a task in EZLynx so that agents follow up, and it also gives auto policy holders immediate access to their auto ID card, allowing them to download their cards from both their desktop or mobile devices 24/7/365. Through EZLynx Client Center, clients can also upload important claims documents, generate certificates of insurance, and add new certificate holders.
“One differentiating feature of the EZLynx Client Center is the ability it gives agents to cross-sell complimentary insurance products,” Rengarajan told Insurance Business. “As agencies look for ways to expand sales opportunities with their existing customer base, leveraging EZLynx’s vendor integrations, like life insurance or flood insurance, and presenting those cross-sell opportunities in Client Center should be an obvious choice.
“When it comes to sales, the right message at the right time always has the most success. Client Center presents the perfect opportunity to cross-sell because you’re not calling an insured and trying to sell them something when they’re busy or they’re at work; they’re right there in the self-service portal, you have their complete attention, and they’re thinking about their risk and their insurance needs.”
More and more insurance agencies are starting to adopt client service portals. This is highlighted via the growth statistics for EZLynx Client Center. For example, the number of end-consumers who accessed Client Center in 2020 grew by 24% compared to 2019. Furthermore, consumer preference to secured document sharing via Client Center grew by 14%, online certificate processing increased by 22%, and the number of change requests processed through the portal grew by 25% in 2020 compared to 2019.
According to the Applied Digital Agency Annual Report for 2021, which surveyed more than 1,000 agencies across the United States, there was a 9% year-over-year increase in the adoption of client portals, with 36% of independent agencies now providing self-service capabilities.
“This increase was primarily seen among larger agencies,” Rengarajan noted, “but this also presents an opportunity for smaller agencies. For a smaller independent agency to scale and grow its book of business, it needs to focus more on revenue generating activities. It’s important for smaller agencies to adopt client service portals like EZLynx Client Center. It’s very easy to set up and manage, and once you realize the benefits, you can go from strength to strength.”
To learn more about EZLynx Client Center, click here.