Ben Potts, Managing Director of Novidea
There’s no getting away from the fact that customers are increasingly accustomed to having access to instant answers; smartphones give 24/7 access to online services wherever people are, so users have come to expect round the clock service in all walks in life. It’s quickly becoming the be-all and end-all of good customer service.
Customers are a business’s best asset. There would be no business without them, so putting them at the centre of operations and making it as easy as possible to do business with a broker is vital. Whether it’s via telephone, an online portal or some other kind of interaction, streamlining engagement is key to creating good customer relationships.
Working smarter, not harder
Happy customers are much more likely to stay loyal to their brokers. The pinnacle of good service is to serve customers as quickly and conveniently as possible, in order to meet, and ideally exceed, their expectations. Furthermore, in today’s highly competitive market, brokers need to ensure that they add value and that the customer is as informed as possible. This means giving good advice whilst asking the minimum amount of questions. By using external data and telemetry, we can enrich existing customer data at the back end to reduce the questions that brokers need to ask them. Not only does this shorten the lengthy quotation process, it provides a much better all-round customer experience.
Additionally, every business needs to decide where and how to invest its time and energy, as different customers will both prefer and need different kinds of interaction. For example, it might be best to interact with a small business through a portal, but a large company may need a more hands on approach with regular face to face contact. Technology can help to support these decisions by allowing brokers to see where customer service is performing or not, as well as measuring and tracking how much time is being spent with each client.
The advent of big technology has made it much easier for firms to manage customers effectively. Unlike traditional legacy systems that stored data in separate siloes, modern technology collates all of the firm’s data onto one universal platform, which means that brokers can derive actionable insights more easily and stop basing decisions on instinct alone.
Using these insights, brokers can conduct customer profitability analyses which determine the cost of doing business with each client. From this, they can identify which ones are the most profitable and look to where they should be focusing more of their time and effort. Brokerages can then access the right business intelligence to make better, more informed decisions as well as identifying opportunities to cross or upsell.
Put simply, technology enables brokers to make better business decisions. By providing a 360-degree view of each customer, including their profitability, firms can prioritise clients and resources appropriately. More importantly, they can do this whilst ensuring that the customer remains at the heart of operations by making it as easy as possible for all customers to interact with them effectively. But how do brokers make all this possible?
The age of big technology
As an industry, brokers have traditionally built software themselves or purchased it from niche insurance vendors who know the market and its complexities. Whilst these proprietary systems are often functionally rich, more often than not, they don’t have the technological capabilities to allow brokers to meet the evolving needs of their customers.
However, by harnessing the powers of big technology brokers are effectively able to overcome this. Big technology refers to using cloud-based platform providers, for example Salesforce, Oracle and Microsoft, to exploit their application ecosystems and R&D budgets, which propriety software vendors simply cannot compete with. Brokers can then build on this to create the deep-functionality needed to service their customers more effectively.
Whilst the benefits of big technology are clear, brokers often don’t have the time or budget to set up the industry specific functions and speciality required to make big technology work for them. Fortunately, Novidea has bridged this gap on brokers behalf, creating a platform that allows them to effectively become data-driven, customer centric businesses in a heartbeat. In reality, data can be used to provide more value at all levels, not just to the customers who seemingly bring in the most revenue. Novidea enables brokers to access all of this information anytime, anywhere and on any device, so they’re never left scrambling. As a result, customers can have the seamless and efficient experience they’ve come to expect.