It’s an office scene everyone knows all too well: a co-worker frantically presses the enter button and double-clicks the mouse with a pleading look on their tired face. Technology in any form can be frustrating for any generation, any job, and any industry. When faced head-on with a historically cautious and calculating industry like insurance, anxiety about change is a reasonable response, especially when the benefits are not properly advertised.
Yet here we are in the 21st century, a time when patients can see their doctor on their phone, get a diagnosis and a prescription ready in 15 minutes. Everyone loves technology when they work, but corner offices are understandably hesitant to implement innovative technology if it’s not perfect 100% of the time. So how can tech minds get the support they need to digitize the insurance process?
Getting buy-in for digital transformation from the C-suite isn’t just about waving shiny new products around or trying to play on uncertainty about what competitors are touting. The key to alleviating technology anxiety is to understand all the needs of your audience and clearly communicate the personal benefits to them. In the life insurance industry, the three technology gatekeepers are end users, advisors, and the carrier’s management team, who look out not only for their own needs, but also those of the first two parties.
All three can reap the benefits of learning to befriend new technologies, including increased commissions and more time with family and friends.
The end users
By leveraging technological advances, carriers can take recent lab results instead of a representative going to the applicant’s house to poke and prod fluid samples. What was once an invasive and time-consuming process suddenly became much easier. Customers want less and less work to fill their busy days, and with digital advances in life insurance, carriers can make the process virtually touch-free and produce policies in 24 hours or less.
The ability to apply at your leisure, on the couch, outside of business hours is another way insurers are removing barriers to applicants through technological advancements. When it comes to digital applications, most applicants fill out their details later in the evening. The ability to meet users where they need to be is a strong motivator to encourage greater support for digital transformation from internal forces.
Where policyholders typically don’t want any touchpoints, advisors still enjoy the control that comes with having a key few. They enjoy the opportunity to deliver for their customers, but they also want to run a profitable business. Finding a balance to meet their needs is not always a simple task, but it can be achieved with clear communication and demonstrated value.
These advisors are constantly in a rush – seeing a new product slogan won’t make them change the routines that have led them to their current success. Collaborating with them to create new solutions to the problems they previously tolerated and worked around… now you’re getting there.
There are only so many hours in a day and regardless of effort or hours worked, the commissions remain the same. With the ease and simplification of the digital application process, advisors can get more work and commissions completed for those hours than with strictly analog applications. Even if not all applications are digital, they can maximize their efficiency efforts by spending their time on applications that really need their expertise, instead of the administrative time that simpler applications can take up.
Keep in mind that advisors like to travel with their clients and are used to having access to insurers and carrier contacts. Any digital transformation must also meet this need. Similar to watching the pizza you ordered being assembled in an app, digitally transformed operators give advisors a view of each app’s status where they can reach out to operator contacts when questions arise. This keeps a level of control in the wizard’s hands by being able to monitor the application.
Once you’ve clearly outlined the consumer benefits of your digital transformation, it’s time to share them with the corner offices. Often faced with pressure from their board, market fluctuations, honest feedback from family and friends about their products, they respond best to high-level, results-focused discussions.
Life insurance is typically an industry and product whose profitability is often questioned due to the time and number of touch points required to introduce policies. But investing in digital technology can change that scenario. By making life insurance profitable for consultants to sell and easy for end users to apply for, both bases are satisfied and more business comes through the door.
This bottom line highlights the ability to insure more people because no one knows how much time they have left or what hand they may be dealt.