Technology: it’s great when it works and totally frustrating when it stops working. For many agencies, embracing the features in the agency management system takes a back burner to all of the work that has to be done. Unfortunately, due to insurance agents’ mentality around this, we are often inefficient. We fail to maximize our customer experience and we pay too much for systems that we don’t use to their full potentials. As you read this blog, ask yourself, “Do I want more people? Or do I want more efficient people who can handle more work with technology?” I bet I know your answer. In this blog, we will break down 5 ways that agents can better use their system of choice.
Someone Has To Be In Charge
Technology is moving fast and, often, agents don’t designate the time to keep up with their systems. We strongly recommend that there is an SME (System Matter Expert) for each of your systems. The SME is in charge of keeping up-to-date on technology changes and outages, as well as training any new team members on the system. The SME can update the team routinely on cool new features and developments. It’s strongly recommended that every other year you send them to the system’s conference, if they have one.
Someone Has To Hold People Accountable
In our agency assessment, we have written dozens of process documents. They are great! They solve the agencies challenges, but all too often, they sit on the share drive, only to be referenced when a new person arrives. The bottom line is that process documents need to be the way the agency runs. Now in insurance, it’s complicated and the documents can end up lengthy. The agency leadership needs to identify the correct reports, run them consistently, and inform team members when they aren’t on track. We recommend your agency agree in advance upon the process for handling someone who isn’t following the processes. This helps take the emotion out of the situation.
Make It Mandatory
Once you all agree on how to use the management system, people can have a small trial window of 30 days. This allows you to get the reporting accurate and to answer questions. After the 30-day period, this is when the bill becomes a law. Your processes must go into effect and you, the leadership team, must continue to consistently run reports to hold the team accountable.
Get a System You Like
There is no doubt that changing management systems is a year-plus process. There is cleaning up the current data for prep, building templates, and team training. I don’t say this lightly, but changing management systems should only be done once you have explored your current system. Remember, the devil you know is often better than the devil you don’t know. However, if you are engaging in the systems and you’re still left unsatisfied, that is when it’s time to make decisions.
Lunch and Learns
Even the agencies who embrace their systems the most understand that the system is always going to evolve. Taking one hour per month to invest in your team’s development is critical to your success. If you’re not sure what to train on, ask the team. Also, make this meeting where each team member must take one meeting and review how they do things in the system. You may find some awesome shortcuts that were hiding!
If you’re curious about other ways to buddy up to your AMS, consider our Agency Assessment!