Keeping up with the constant stream of digital tools can feel like drinking from a firehose. However, there are several things agency owners can do to ease the process and ultimately become a tech-savvy business.
It’s no wonder so many agency owners are overwhelmed by the thought of new technology and unsure where to start. Keeping up with the constant stream of digital tools can feel like drinking from a firehose. Plus, for a variety of reasons, agency staff can be reluctant to learn new systems or ways of doing things.
Ignoring technology is no longer an option. The good news is there are several things agency owners can do to ease the process and ultimately become a tech-savvy business. Here are 10 things you can do right away:
1) Put customers first. The No. 1 reason for choosing new technology should always be to improve your agency processes to make life easier for clients. To accomplish that goal, agency owners must know what their customers want and consider any impact that technology changes could have on the overall customer experience. But remember, improving things for your staff can improve the client experience, too.
2) Know what you have. It’s important to identify the problem you are trying to solve and ensure your existing tools or systems are not able to solve it. If your current solutions are not being effectively utilized, seek assistance to maximize their efficiency.
3) Don’t make decisions based on cost alone. With so many technology options available, it’s tempting to go with a solution that costs less but appears to have the same functionality as a more expensive, proven product. Sometimes, agency owners must be willing to spend more to get the right product for their business and clients.
4) Don’t chase shiny objects. Agency owners should have an overarching technology plan for guiding their business toward their goals and determining the investments needed to get there. Without a plan, your agency may waste money on new products or systems that aren’t needed or accessible.
5) Include your agency team in technology decisions. Agency staff are more likely to accept and adapt to new technology if they understand why it’s necessary and how it will benefit them and their clients.
6) Enlist someone to be a technology champion. Having another leader or team member besides the agency owner who understands a new product or system can be especially helpful when encouraging staff to adopt new processes.
7) Provide ongoing training and support. After a new technology tool has been implemented, it can be easy to forget some of its features, particularly if they are not part of the agency’s regular workflow. Taking advantage of education and support opportunities ensures your business gets the most out of its investment.
8) Choose the right technology partners. Look for vendors and carriers who are continuously innovating and improving their products and systems—and want to include your feedback in the process.
9) Prioritize technology as an organization. Motivating your team to embrace and adapt to new technology is ultimately about the agency’s overall culture. Employees should know your agency is a future-forward organization focused on making its clients’ lives easier.
10) Don’t be afraid to fail and learn from your mistakes. When it comes to technology, agency owners must be flexible and open to trying new things, even though it may not always work out how they hoped. You’ll never know if you don’t try.
Dean Giem has more than 15 years of experience leading various technology initiatives in the industry. In addition to his current role as principal and CEO of Paradox Insurance Agency, Giem serves as past chairman of Network of Vertafore Users.