How your agency can save $$$ and improve customer service!
The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) has published The Real-Time Revolution: Redefining How We Work which cites examples of the many benefits of using Real-Time technology:
What is Real-Time technology?
"Real Time is the ability to click on a button from a client file in your agency management system or comparative rater for immediate access to carrier information on that client. The transaction may be a quote, billing inquiry, claim inquiry/loss runs, policy view, endorsements or a request for information. This approach provides a single workflow for servicing or quoting. "
Consumers would receive better customer service and get immediate answers from their carriers, agents and brokers;
Independent agents and brokers could handle inquiries and transactions in a “once-and-done” manner, eliminate multiple data entries, save time, shorten training efforts, eliminate mailing costs and file space and dedicate more time to sales activities;
Managing general agents would receive complete, legible submissions, rather than the handwritten faxes with missing information many receive today;
Carriers would have billing, claims and policy inquiries automatically handled, and could transfer books of business from other carriers electronically.
How can Real-Time technology save my agency money or increase net income?
Upload and Download will save your agency money by reducing duplicate entry in your agency management system and reducing errors. There are also applications that will help you automatically access your companies’ web sites, thereby eliminating the hassle of multiple carrier logins. AUGIE has developed a spreadsheet to help you figure out approximately how much money you will save. You can view it by clicking here. AUGIE has also developed a web based workflow timer. You can access it by going to www.acordadvantage.org/augie.
Your agency will also improve your agency net income by improving customer service.
The more satisfied your customers are the more likely you will retain their business!
How can I find out the type of real-time transactions my carriers offer? In order to easily view carrier real time links go to getrealtime.org.
Some of my carriers do not offer download or real-time transactions (Billing Inquiry, Policy View, Loss Runs, etc), what can I do to encourage them to implement it?
There are several steps that you should do:
1. Every time you see or contact your marketing rep or other carrier staff, make sure you stress how important download and real-time transactions are to your agency.
2. Contact Ken Clark, IVAN'S Industry Sales Executive who regularly meets with insurance companies to encourage them to start download and real time transactions. Ken's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-758-0683.
3. Encourage other agents who are utilizing the company to do the above two steps.
What type of processes are possible using real-time?
Billing Inquiry, Claim Inquiry, Loss Runs and Policy Inquiry are common real-time transactions. However, there are many other types of transactions. Click here to view the list of possibilities listed on ACT's web site. If your company is not currently doing these real-time transactions, it is very important that you take every opportunity (visit with the marketing officer, advisory council meeting, industry meeting) to stress the importance of increasing real-time capabilities.
How can I start to implement Real-Time technology?
Real-Time transactions are usually included free as part of the annual support fees. Therefore, the easiest way usually to implement Real-Time transactions is to contact your agency management system support.
Real-Time technology is based on your agency management system. To find out more information, click on the appropriate link for your agency management system.
Click here to go Agents Council for Technology (ACT) web site to view other Vendor Possibilities.
I have implemented Real-Time technology in my office. Is there anything else I need to do?
There are a few steps that should be done after implementing Real-Time technology:
1. Make sure all employees are trained. Also, check with all employees to make sure they are actually utilizing it. Some employees find it difficult to adopt new work flows even when they are easier. Some agency management systems and insurance companies can issue reports to help tell how many transactions are being initiated via real time transactions.
2. Check with the carrier's on a regular basis to see if they have implemented any new features. If you are utilizing the Applied agency management system, you will need to run the wizard in order to have access to the new features.
For additional Real Time information, you should go to getrealtime.org.