Finding the right agency management system becomes increasingly important, as your agency grows. You’re going to want a system that helps you retain your existing customers and helps you find new ones. In general, that means you’ll want insurance software that:
- Increases efficiency
- Provides an easy-to-use, seamless platform
- Strong customer support
There are currently more than 70 agency management systems available in the country. Agencies can purchase anything from a single CSR-one producer management system to a complex multi-user system with more than 200 terminals. You need to learn about the different systems available to find the best system for your agency. Participate in seminars, read about existing software and discuss options with fellow agents and vendors.
How to choose the best Agency Management System for your agency
Start by reviewing publications from the industry such as The Anderson Agency Report. This publication focuses on insurance agency operation and technology improvements. Furthermore, the author, Steve Anderson, offers a free e-mail course, Choosing the Best Agency Management System, which reviews five critical steps that an agency must take to ensure that they choose the best management system for their agencies.
One of the best ways to determine what a system can do is through user group meetings. These meetings give you the opportunity to discuss a particular automation system’s different problems and their remedies.
You can get in touch with a user group in your area by contacting the sales representatives of the system you are considering buying. Some user groups charge membership fees — an expense included in a system’s price by many vendors.
You should also question vendors about the capabilities of the AMS. Prepare a list of relevant questions that applies to your agency in advance. Also, invite your agency staff to sit in on these discussions to ask questions about the procedural issues they face in their daily routines.
Too often, heads of agencies make decisions about automation entirely on a financial basis. While price must influence which system you choose, remember that for the next three to five years, the system should satisfy the operational needs of your agency. Many agencies lose money in the long run because they don’t consider operational costs while making purchase decisions.
Look for these things while choosing an Agency management system:
1. Manage all clients in one place.
It can be a nightmare to try to track clients manually. Whether you need to access customer data to request endorsement or you want to find the right form for a binder, having it all in one place can minimize your stress.
2. Track potential clients.
You don’t want to lose a sale because you’ve lost information about a potential customer. Powerful Agency Management Systems can help you keep track of all your leads, accounts, policies along with quotes and renewals. This can help you keep track of all the servicing that you need to do to earn a potential client and retain existing ones.
3. Service current policies.
Clients can go for weeks and not need a thing from you. But when they finally do call you, they want their needs met immediately. But they want their needs to be met immediately when they finally call you. Suddenly, you turn somersaults trying to get the right form to the right carrier with the right information. Agency management systems streamline this process by organizing in one place everything you need.
Sometimes the high cost of automation hardware, software, and start-up costs can be hard to justify. But as we look back and see where we were without automation 30 years ago and compare how our agencies work today, it is obvious that the benefits far outweigh the costs. Today’s biggest decision is not whether to automate, but which system to purchase. Your agency management system needs to be a management system tool for running your agency.