Customer relationship management software isn’t just about tracking and storing information—it’s about creating a collaborative environment among product managers, brokers, carriers and clients. It’s important to let data flow—in a well-organized, transparent way that treats every person as a distinct individual with his or her own expectations and needs.
The most obvious benefits of a good CRM system are:
- Accessible client information, with the ability to view it in multiple dimensions
- An automated tool for reminders
- The ability to document prospect and broker files
But those are just the baseline benefits. With a more comprehensive system, you get usability that exceeds these minimal expectations. It can bring an insurer into a whole new technological landscape that improves retention levels and increases efficiency.
Choosing the Right CRM
Before selecting CRM software, determine who’s considered a customer since that will dictate the features the CRM software must have. Prospects and policyholders are certainly customers, but many insurers miss out when they neglect to recognize that brokers, too, are customers and the CRM software chosen needs to serve them as well.
For maximum efficiency, you’ll want to choose a customer relationship manager that has certain integration functions. It should connect with other sales technology systems that you and your brokers use often because service is the key differentiator.
To take sales and service to the next level, the CRM system should allow for data to be entered once and then pushed out to other systems, including quoting and underwriting. Distribution channel and prospect information can then be populated into a sales and underwriting system. Not only is this a more streamlined way to conduct business, it also helps the process feel more personal and customized for each user. Every sales representative can have all their information immediately. It also provides for more effective self-service on the web.
One-time entry also makes selling much easier for both brokers and sales offices of the insurance company, who will always have access to updated information. This in turn makes your products more accessible and appealing. An advanced CRM system will also make reporting and reviewing analytics easier, allowing insurers to identify issues more easily and respond to them faster.
Activity tracking is also an important feature. Having an accurate record of changes and updates is important in both relationship management and regulatory compliance. Regulators increasingly demand that insurers be able to document compliance.
Finally, you want to make sure that your CRM software has configuration options that will maximize its utility for your company and brokers. Every company is unique, and CRM software that forces you into its box isn’t useful. You should be able to tailor a CRM system to make it work more efficiently for you, not have to work around it.
Perhaps the most important thing an insurer can do to keep clients and brokers happy is to implement the right kind of customer relationship management system and process. CRM lets the insurer anticipate their customer’s needs and communicate effectively to meet them.