Manage your data and improve your business

“The more you know about your customers, the more you know about your agency,” says industry expert

Manage your data and improve your business


By Heather Turner

You can’t improve what you don’t measure, and many agencies are missing the opportunity to enhance their business by neglecting to look at and analyze the data it collects.

From customer and website data to transactional data, the facts and figures an agency collects can say a lot about a business.

“Data can tell you how you’re doing and where you currently are,” says Insurance Technologies Corporation’s CEO, Laird Rixford. “That helps you better plan where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.”

If you don’t know how to collect this data, there is good news. Technology already existing at an agency can offer all this data and more; for instance, agency management systems can tell you about the current state of an agency, including sales and service activities, cancellations and agency fees. You can also set certain fields as ‘required’ for when producers enter data, Rixford explains.

Comparative raters also give an insight into the sales process: Where are leads coming from? How many quotes does the agency do in a day or month? How many of those quotes are binded? Furthermore, website data provides an outlook on how well marketing is performing by tracking website traffic, while phone systems track inbound and outbound calls, providing data on how much time producers spend on calls.

“The critical part of all these systems [is that] you need to train your employees to collect data,” he says. “Setting fields as required only does so much … Educate and train your employees to help. Share with them why you need this data and how it’s going to help them and the agency. Make sure they know what type of data you need, what questions to ask and where to put that data when they have it.”

Next, start tracking and hold your team accountable if and when they’re not entering data correctly.

“When you use your available data, you can uncover opportunities to round out accounts. You’ll identify customers of one line of business that you can then market and sell another line of business to … Data is a critical part of any plan to grow. You have so much data available to you in the systems you’re already using. So, take a look at the reports in your comparative rater and agency management system. Check out your Google Analytics. Ask questions about the data and what is affecting those numbers. Then make small changes and watch to see if they change,” he concludes.

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