If there's one thing we learned from the pandemic, there’s no going back to how agencies used to work. Your staff wants a more flexible work schedule. Insureds not only expect but demand the same level of digitization and ease of doing business from their agents as they do from companies like Amazon, Google, and Netflix, where results are available in a couple of clicks or swipes.
Your agency must take a digital-first approach to build your business to keep pace with the rapidly changing environment. Whether your initiative involves embracing automation to streamline workflows, converting paper documents to digital files, or setting up a mobile app to gain a competitive edge, creating a clear-cut strategic map for building your transformation process is more important than ever.
So, how do you get there? Here are 7 steps to help you map out a successful digital journey.
1. Begin the journey with the end goal in mind.
Determine what success looks like and create a game plan to achieve goals. With the end goal in mind, think about your current customers’ behaviors, how their expectations have changed, and the potential business opportunities to achieve. Ensure everyone in the business understands the changes and the benefits, so everyone is aligned.
2. Identify the right digital technology for your business.
Once you have set your end goal, identify the gaps in your current digital strategy and evaluate which digital assets can best serve your business needs. When considering the technology to adopt, invest in technology your customers and employees expect in today’s digital age. Keeping customer experience front of mind throughout this stage will make sure you future-proof your business for success in the years to come.
3. Educate employees on your digital strategy.
With technology selected, encourage your strategic technology partners to support this change and ensure key stakeholders understand the digital landscape. Ensure all business leaders support the new digital-first mindset, schedule milestones and develop a timeline to review progress. Continue to educate your entire company on how the change will benefit them and improve business efficiency.
4. Take advantage of existing and new data.
Ensure that your technology partner provides tools to capture and translate data into your new systems. Focus on existing and newly captured data and set data standards for your new systems to ensure accurate customer management and reporting. Define key performance indicators (KPIs) early in the process so that your business can easily track against business goals and begin to predict customer requirements.
5. Attract and retain talent with the right technology.
Establishing the right digital technology with your current team supports retention and makes your company more attractive to potential recruits. Create a clear vision of a digital business and develop a recruitment strategy that will enable you to deliver a competitive edge.
6. Evolve operations and processes.
As you become a digital agency, embrace a paperless operational model, and standardize workflows around new digital technology. Design, develop, deploy, manage, and continually evolve processes to take advantage of all your digital technology capabilities and gain the greatest return on investment. By reducing time spent on previously manual work, you can focus more time on sales to build a sustainable competitive advantage with efficient processes.
7. Innovate products and services.
Take advantage of your new digital technology and create new customer service and business models to make your business stand out. Use new channels and technologies to provide enhanced customer service and access to products. Use technology to differentiate your business.
Vice President of Marketing
Katie Seitz, Vice President of Marketing at Applied, is responsible for the global go-to-market strategy for the Applied product portfolio.