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July 30, 2013

Being Different

2 min read

Topic: Insurance Agency Growth Strategies Grow an Agency

If we’re honest, we will admit that we do business in a traditional industry bound by decades of common ways of doing business.  We will admit that there really isn’t much difference between one agency (or company) and another.  We will recognize that, by and large, our value proposition is commoditized price.  

Can you be different?

Yes.  And if you become different you will prosper in unimaginable ways!

Last time I described how virtually all agencies operate.  And the implication was that this isn’t the experience customers want.  How can you change it?

Why not abolish “business hours”?  Or, looking at it differently, why not be open 24/7?  It’s very easy to do with outsourcing of things like inbound calls and email.  Claims can be taken 24/7 by outsourcing.  Quotes can be given the same way.  It could be as simple as forwarding your office phone to your cell, or a colleague, so that anytime you receive a call, you’re open!

Why have an “office”?  Or why not have part of your office be virtual?  If it were, could employees provide the things customers want from wherever they are?  Sure.  

What if your telephone “system” always provided a live person who could do whatever the customer needed right then?

What if you reinvented what you call things covered by the insurance policy and did away with confusing jargon.  Or just provided a lexicon on your website?  What if you made it simple for people to understand what they were buying?

What if customers could receive everything from you electronically?  What if they could sign anything you need the same way?  Instantaneous.  Easy.  21st century.  Legal.  Would that be different?

What if customers could talk to you, anytime, by texting?  What if they could communicate with you however they wanted (phone, email, text, tweet, Facebook, fax, mail, smoke signal)?  Would this be better for them?

What if they could interact with your website and get a quote, file a claim, pay a premium, have a conversation with an employee, leave a message, learn about a product, leave a list of property they own, etc. ?  Would that be different than your competitors?

What would the customer experience be like in an agency that did these things (and more)?  Would the value proposition be something more than price?  

All this, and much more, is easily available to any agency that wants to break out of the commodity trap.  It just requires a little thinking outside of the box and a little effort.  

Being different is pretty easy really.  Especially because every competitor is now pretty much the same.  Those that are different, those that create the customer experience the way every customer wants it uniquely, those that transform a commodity into something else, will prosper!