New Report Reveals How Insurance Carriers Can Keep Agents Productive
It might be true that money can’t buy happiness – but a lack of happiness can cost your company money. If your agents aren’t satisfied, your company can suffer.
While there is a lot of interest in direct-to-consumer sales, independent insurance agents and brokers still control a majority of the P&C market, writing nearly 35% of all personal lines policies according to the A.M. Best 2016 Marketshare Report.
If independent agents control one-third or more of your book, take a look at your sales process through their eyes. Imagine what it would be like to walk in their shoes. You may find that it’s not as comfortable as it should be!
In fact, independent agents cited low satisfaction with carriers in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Independent Insurance Agent Satisfaction Survey. The study found that overall independent agent satisfaction with personal lines insurers is 735 (on a 1,000-point scale). For commercial lines, that score falls to 720. These are among the lowest overall satisfaction scores in any business study currently conducted by J.D. Power, lagging even financial advisors (737).
Happy agents are productive agents.
In many cases, 20% of your agents produce 80% of your business. Want the other 80% to produce more business? Focus on making your agents happy.
According to the study, there’s a correlation between how satisfied an independent agent is with an insurer and how likely that agent is to recommend the insurer. Simply put, when independent agents are satisfied, they place more products for the insurer.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Whether it’s a personal transaction or business dealing, people are more likely to recommend the things they like. If agents like your company, they’ll recommend it. If they don’t like your company, they’ll recommend someone else.
In other words, make your agents happy – or risk losing potential customers to your competition.
Know what your agents want.
Money is important, but it’s not the only thing that motivates people. This means that offering good commissions may not be enough to keep your agents happy in the long run.
So, what do agents want?
Pretty much what everyone wants: to be able to do their job without a huge headache. The J.D. Power study found that there were two primary keys to agent satisfaction.
- One is support and communication. This makes sense. Agents want to know that the insurance carrier has their back, and they don’t want to waste time trying to get answers.
- The second is quoting. Again, this makes sense. Agents need to get quotes for their clients. If the process is difficult, so is their job.
Part of keeping agents happy is making it very quick and easy for them to provide accurate quotes in real-time. They should have an instant interface with all third-party underwriting and verification tools reducing the chance of any mistakes. The process should be so simple that someone with very little experience can navigate it with ease. Silvervine policy administration systems achieve that goal. With a completely customizable agent interface and app, you can make the agent process as simple or as advanced as you’d like. Want to see it in action? Request a demo. Want to hear what clients say? Read this Case Study.