Let's put it in simple terms: Happy customers stay longer. Given that customers now expect more from their insurance, the smartest agents are turning to digital tools to make sure their customers are always the main focus.
Think of an agency's website like a storefront. Giving customers a way to manage their insurance through a 'self-serve client portal' on your site is like inviting them in for a chat. It means they can handle their basic insurance needs whenever and wherever they want.
"Investing in round-the-clock digital solutions like client portals not only streamlines agency operations, but also significantly enhances the customer experience, paving the way for business success."
What's a client portal?
A client portal is basically an online one-stop-shop that lets customers look after their basic insurance needs. It's been around for a few decades, thanks to some forward-thinking insurance software folks. Customers can go into the portal using a secure username and password from a link on your website.
By providing a client portal, agencies can better help their personal lines customers and small to medium businesses. It gives customers an easy way to access policy details and take care of their insurance needs, making everything quicker and more streamlined. That's why a lot of the top agents offer portal access.
What's in it for agents?
A client portal lets customers do business with you in a way that suits them best while still getting the same level of service. As well as making things easier for the customers, there are lots of advantages for agencies:
- It makes you more efficient: Customers can access their policy information, make payments, file claims, or ask for an insurance card or certificate themselves. This saves you time and money and lets your team focus on other things.
- It meets customer expectations:Our research tells us that customers want more guidance from their agents. Having a client portal lets your staff spend time helping existing customers with their more complex needs.
- It makes customers happy and keeps them loyal: A client portal lets customers manage their insurance needs in a way that suits them best, which makes them happier and more likely to stick around.
- It keeps your brand front and center: Every time a customer logs in to the portal, they're reminded of your brand and the services you offer.
- It reduces risk: Everything done in the portal is secure and paperless, which means less risk.
What do customers want from client portals?
Customers want to be able to access their insurance policy information quickly and easily. While the term 'self-service' might sound impersonal, that's not the case these days. Think of it like using an ATM or buying something online; it's just a quicker, more convenient way to do things. In fact, nearly half of the people we asked said they've used a client portal website.
Using a portal is straightforward. An agency invites a client to use the portal. They then set up their profile online and access it with a unique username and password. This gives customers:
- Flexibility: Customers can interact with your agency when it suits them.
- Quick answers: Customers can get in touch with questions and agencies can respond accordingly. Customers can view their policy, print insurance cards, request changes, make payments, submit forms, ask for a certificate, or report a claim.
- Security: Customers can view their accounts and policy documents securely, which reduces risks.
The future of client portals
Like all technology, there are always new things coming. At the moment, agency information, claims handling processes, and communication tools are all over the place. But digital customer service tools like live chat, CRMs, client portals, and email are starting to come together. This means agencies can use technology to offer more services and run their businesses better.
Things like automated email marketing, reward programs, workflows for keeping in touch and handling claims, secure document sharing, and video conferencing could all become part of the portal. Agencies could also use these advancements to sell more, win back customers, and promote advisors within the portal.
Satisfied customers stick around. By giving customers the digital services they want, like a client portal, you're meeting their expectations and making things easier for them. Investing in round-the-clock digital channels is definitely a smart move for keeping customers happy.