This post is installment 2 of our 4-part series: “Insurance Agents: Driving Profits with Digital Transaction Management.” Check back each Wednesday for the latest blog post authored by a thought leader in the industry. A transformation is happening in the insurance industry – one that is digital and can open up new possibilities for your business. We hope you will find these blog posts insightful.
The insurance world is rapidly evolving, and smart carriers, brokers and agents are embracing digital platforms that facilitate convenience and data security.
We recently spoke to Joyce Sigler, the Vice President of Administration and Corporate Security at Jones & Wenner, a regional insurance agency that has 3,000 customers with many differing policies.
Joyce is a strong advocate of digitizing the insurance industry. “Insurance companies should and they are moving in this same direction.” According to Joyce, digital transaction platforms have shifted the focus to consumer satisfaction and customer success.
Why did your business switch to digital platforms?
There is an extra level of complexity in these varied and unique policies. It is important that we are extremely diligent about compliance and yet move quickly enough to close business without a hitch.
Beyond compliance, what other challenges does your business tackle?
The rapid evolution of our consumers’ changing behavior has touched each and every agent and broker. 30 years ago, most consumers dropped into the office and engaged in face-to-face conversation. Now consumers want to communicate via email and are on the go. To remain competitive, we need to evolve meet their needs.
Why does your company use eSignature and agency management systems? What problem does it solve?
Because we believe so fully in technology, our philosophy is to use one source for all our data. We don’t keep filing cabinets with policy documentation. We use an agency management system because we want a streamlined and singular source for all customer information. We chose Vertafore for their expertise in insurance technology, security and compliance. We know insurance. However, we also wanted to work with experts eSignature. We chose DocuSign for their product and their global and legal expertise in many industries that feed into the insurance space. DocuSign’s visibility into the tracking envelopes and multilayer authentication was several steps above its competitors.
When Vertafore partnered with DocuSign, that sealed the deal for us. Both have powerful offerings, and this partnership elevates security, compliance and ease-of-use to another level. One of our greatest responsibilities is the security of our customers’ data. Both of these partners bring a level of recognized respectability. DocuSign and Vertafore strive to keep customers top- of-mind, particularly with the security.
Have you been able to quantify the results/benefits? Dollars saved, time saved, faster time to complete a process?
We looked at DocuSign after realizing the amount of paper we burned through. We work in six to nine states and the ability to close a file – complete with documentation and signatures – in 20 minutes or less (in comparison to more than three weeks) is huge. For example, take an account manager who mailed a file that was lost en route. This throws an extra 10-15 hours in sorting through missing paperwork. Now if you’re e-mailing a document that only requires a few clicks to confirm initials and signatures, you’re set without a hint of stress.
Now we can invest in our customers’ insurance needs instead of chasing paper. We can focus on our product and our customers. Not paper. In fact, our paperless platform helps us grow by about 11% per month because we can focus on growing our business.
How has the use of digital solutions impacted how you serve your customers? Has customer satisfaction improved?
Consumers place deep trust in us as an agency. They fully trust our decision to use eSignature. They trust that we have done the due diligence that needs to be done on this new technology and that we will only partner with the best providers. Our customers love being able to sign electronically. For them, the process is much smoother and less stressful. Customers don’t have to invest so much time and effort in having everything squared off. Likewise, we as agents are enabled to provide the best service possible. We are all happier.
What do you think the industry will be like 5 years from now or 10 years from now? What do you hope it will be like?
I think this is just the beginning of the digital customer-centric revolution. This train has left the station. For agencies that are reluctant to digitize. You don’t really have a choice. So, don’t delay. Customers today expect it. They need it. You need to communicate and serve them in a way that is convenient to their lives so they continue their business relationship with you. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. We need to make sure those 24 hours count for our customers. With partners like DocuSign and Vertafore, we’re making every second of our transaction productive and focused on the customers’ needs so it’s meaningful.
Interview conducted by Farah Ahmed of DocuSign with Joyce Sigler, the Vice President of Administration and Corporate Security at Jones & Wenner, a regional insurance agency that has 3,000 customers with many differing policies.
Curious to learn more? Share any thoughts and questions in the comments below or Tweet Joyce @joycesigler.