According to McKinsey, the average professional spends almost 2.5 hours a day reading and responding to emails—28% of the entire work week.
Email is an important part of your job but unfortunately, the more time spent communicating via email, the harder you’re making it for your customers to do their own job. Communication is a key component to creating an excellent customer experience.
Consider the traditional way an agency communicates with its customer:
- Agencies create bulky emails to send to their customers, filled with long directions and stuffed with attachments.
- Agents continually send follow-up emails to their customers, often inundating their customers with reminders, updates, requests, and due dates.
- Customers are forced to sift through old emails to find relevant documents, applications, and forms that are necessary for completing their renewals.
- Agency staff is spending valuable time living in their email inbox rather than leveraging the time to help consult and advise their customers.
This traditional process can also be a hotbed of E&O and miscommunication.
Below are five actionable ways that your agency can start improving your email processes today.
Provide Customers an Online Portal to Alleviate Back and Forth Communication
Modern agencies are streamlining communication by leveraging tools and software that take communication off email and into a collaborative portal. Consider it a “hub” where all of your customers’ documents live and can be accessed by both you and your customers at any time, from anywhere.
When leveraging an online portal, you no longer are forced to create bulky emails filled with attachments and detailed instructions for the renewal process renewals. Instead, because everything is stored in a digital format in one online location, you can send a single link to your customer to login and access everything that you would previously have to craft into an email for.
Instead of spending time writing tedious follow-up emails to customers who are dragging their feet, you can use the online portal to send auto-reminders from within. The entire application process becomes more streamlined and easier for both you and the customer.
An online portal can become the foundation for collaborating with your customers, saving email and phone calls for higher-level or pressing matters.
Make it Easy for You and Your Customers to Track Changes in Documents
Tracking changes to important policy information within applications is difficult when passing paper and PDF forms back and forth via email or in person.
Comparing the accuracy of updated information on insurance forms and applications between two years is time-intensive for both you and your customers. It also opens up room for E&O exposure.
Using technology, such as digital smart forms and applications, will allow both you and your customer to easily track changes made year-over-year. It also removes the need to pass documents back and forth as each party makes a new change. With digital smart form technology, you and your customer can collaborate on the same form in real-time while being completely remote. The back and forth process is eliminated and communication is streamlined.
Leverage Video Conference Technology When In-Person Meetings Are Not An Option
Face-to-face meetings are an important part of building rapport, deepening customer relationships, and providing a superior experience. Unfortunately, meeting in person is not always an option and video conferencing technology helps fill that void when needed.
The ability to access the internet from anywhere, whether at your office via computer or at an airport on your phone, has allowed for video conferencing to become available to everyone and a simple solution to maintaining the human touch with your customers. Being able to look someone in the eye when delivering updates and news can solve miscommunication that often arises in other mediums such as email and text messages. Using a video conference or chat technology may not replace a handshake but it can be the next best thing in a time of need.