Michael Spiar, Broker Relations & Communications Specialist | Ontario Broker, March 2017
For an insurance broker, an enormous component of growth comes from out-servicing the competition – which, in today’s world, means embracing and implementing the digital technologies that consumers expect. Brokers everywhere can take heart, then, that technology adoption among brokerages is trending in the right direction.
Since launching its Technology Scorecard last year, CSIO has gathered invaluable data on how its member brokerages are adopting nine key technologies. The goal was to provide brokers with a way to benchmark their own tech adoption against their provincial peers, to celebrate those brokerages with a score of 100% (63 and counting), and to encourage further growth in tech implementation.
After updating the statistics with 2016 numbers, we are pleased to report that overall adoption grew by 12%, bringing national adoption to 69%. Brokerages in Ontario maintain the second-highest rate of tech adoption among all provinces, rising from 70% to 77%, giving them much to be proud of – and yet still much to work towards. (Nova Scotia boasts the highest rate, at 81%.)
Full statistics for adoption in Ontario are:
|Ontario Tech Adoption||2015||2016|
|TLS eMail Security||74%||85%|
|Search Engine Optimization (SEO)||65%||67%|
Technology Impacts the Customer Experience
Customers don’t compare insurance brokers to each other – they compare brokers to the last, best digital experience they had. With that in mind, consider the impression they form when they have to wait on the phone while their broker searches for a paper file, or when they have to print, sign and scan a document when they could do so electronically.
According to Google, nearly 50% of users report feeling that a company does not even want their business if its website is not mobile-friendly.
Brokers owe it to their future growth to seek out and implement those technologies that create a seamless digital experience for their customers, or risk being abandoned for a competitor who has already made that investment.
How Technology Helps Brokerages Grow
For many brokers, finding the time to investigate and fully understand new technology is a challenge. How do the technologies on the CSIO Scorecard help brokerages grow?
CSIOnet connects your BMS to your insurers, enabling the download of policy data and eDocs. This reduces the need for paper, couriers and double-entry, improving workflow and enhancing customer service.
eDocs are electronic policy documents (dec pages, billing notices, etc.) that insurers can send through CSIOnet directly to your BMS, where it will automatically attach to the client file. This puts the exact policy wording at your brokers’ fingertips and significantly reduces the amount of paper entering your office, leading to faster customer service and reduced costs.
eSignatures / Call Recording
eSignatures and Call Recording transform the process of obtaining customer signatures, making it simpler, faster, and more reliable for both brokers and customers. eSignatures enable customers to sign important documents securely and conveniently from their computer or mobile device; no paper, pen or scanner required. Call Recording obtains customer consent over the phone, storing a record of the call for as long as is required. Both solutions create a digital and streamlined experience for customers.
TLS eMail Security
TLS eMail Security is an inexpensive form of encryption that enhances protection for emails – especially those containing sensitive customer information – from cyber criminals. There is no change to the user experience, as TLS operates in the background. By implementing TLS, brokers enable more business to occur digitally over email, further enhancing efficiency and customer service.
Brokerage Website and Mobile-Optimized Website
Customers search for and purchase insurance online in greater numbers than ever before. Simply put, without a mobile-friendly online presence, customers will have difficulty finding your brokerage and turn to one that provides the online experience they expect.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
48% of customers start mobile research on a search engine such as Google – meaning that if your brokerage does not appear near the top of web searches, customers likely won’t find you. SEO strategies can help your website increase its visibility by appearing higher in search results.
71% of Canadian consumers visit Facebook at least twice a week, and other platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn are popular as well. By investing in a social media presence, your brokerage will establish itself as modern and relevant, and provide customers with another means of interacting with you.
Our industry has made impressive strides in many areas of technology – by continuing this progress, it will continue to strengthen the customer experience and set the stage for growth. Is YOUR brokerage a Technology Leader? Complete the scorecard and let us know! Visit: https://www.csio.com/scorecard-tool