Customer experience is one of the most important aspects of any business. How your insurance clients feel they’re treated by you and your staff is often the biggest determining factor of whether they stay with you or take their money elsewhere. So naturally, it makes sense that you invest in that experience and take steps to make your customers feel heard, understood and valued. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools help you do just that - improve the customer experience. But they also help you stay on track to see the most profit from those relationships.
Many options already exist when it comes to CRM tools, and technology’s constant state of evolution means that new solutions crop up with every new software generation.
Look for a few key elements in a CRM tool:
- Management of communication to clients
- Detailed sales funnel reporting that makes sense to your business
- Information sharing across your agency and team structures
- Support and upgrade capabilities
Those functions all help your business to be more efficient when it comes to maintaining relationships with insurance clients. They give you fast access to information you need without searching through mounds of paperwork, prompts to keep customer conversations and interactions fresh, and better in-house communication to avoid doubling up of your team’s efforts.
As technology expands, the crowded field of CRM options takes on new dimensions, leaving agents and agencies with a lot to consider. These are just a few things to keep in mind when evaluating whether your CRM needs a tech upgrade.
Client Management via The Cloud
The CRM software options available to agents are virtually endless, but one of the most significant distinguishing features is whether a particular software is Web-based or non-Web-based. While both have advantages and disadvantages, it’s up to each agency to determine what best matches its needs and abilities.
Web-based CRMs may offer cost savings, depending on the program you choose, and there’s a movement - as in other business sectors - toward cloud computing, in which data is stored remotely and can be accessed from virtually anywhere. Non-Web-based software might be better for integration with other software already on your computer, and can be used in the case of Internet outages. It’s important to thoroughly review each CRM option you’re considering, as each will be different.
Assisting Insurance Clients in Social Media
Social media is a powerful part of customer management and the insurance space is no different when interacting with clients. Some CRMs are on the leading edge of this trend and have social media capabilities integrated into the software, making it easy to connect to and post on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter simultaneously as well as reach clients and prospects directly. One major benefit of more robust Customer Relationship Management tools is the ability to utilize and manage several platforms under one roof saving you time in helping you manage several accounts but also helps you avoid becoming distracted by a social channel.
Lead Management Systems
Lead management systems (LMS) are a great way to specifically track lead activity. While that’s often part and parcel with customer management tools these days, having specific capabilities to follow up on leads and record lead information can help keep things streamlined.
Some CRM tools like Velocify, offer built in analysis of your leads that includes a collection of additional tools to assist you in defining the revenue of each client. This can be a crucial step in helping your agency carve out a better sales process and funnel that fits your unique business.
CRMs are all about using your time more efficiently. That’s why many agents look for a system that will allow them to contact clients as they’re working - right from within the platform. Some software allows users to send emails or texts to clients without having to move to a different program, making it easier to track all communications.
“Click to Call” is a feature becoming a standard with CRM systems. Basically it allows telephone numbers to be recognized by smart phone or tablet devices and offers a single click to initiate a phone call to the prospect. When contacting insurance leads, this technology can be the difference of being the first to contact a client or getting a prospects voice mail message.
Support For CRMs
The complexity of CRMs means that at some point, you’re likely going to need help from a tech expert. The availability of support will naturally depend on which package you choose, though many Web CRMs offer it, and fewer non-Web CRMs do (in which case it would be up to your internal IT team). When you’re shopping, pay attention to whether upgrades are included in the initial cost. It’s important to know how much upgrades will cost in the future and factor that into the overall value of the product you’re buying.
Consider your scalability and backup as well. Though it may seem cheaper in the short-term to leverage the cheapest platform, if there is a major challenge in upgrading to a new system or your faced with a system bug preventing you from accessing your client list, you could be faced with new integration costs if you outgrow old systems or lose all of your insurance contacts.
In summation, CRM tools are a must for any business owner that manages a certain amount of clients. It’s a challenge in today’s market to know exactly where to spend your hard earned dollars on new efforts with so many technologies in the cloud claiming to greatly improve your efficiency. Finding and leveraging a useful Customer Relationship Management tool will not only help you manage your customer database but can also help you determine points of strength or weakness in your insurance sales pipeline.