As an insurance agent, it’s your job to manage and build relationships with your current and prospective clients. Keeping your existing clients happy and keeping your agency top of mind with prospects isn’t always the easiest task. Luckily, there are software platforms that enable you to store valuable information on these people so that you can continue to build relationships with them.
But what kind of information should you be keeping tabs on to ensure you can manage these relationships well? What data-storing tactics can help you work as efficiently as possible? And how exactly can this help you achieve your goals? Read on as we answer these key questions.
Why Is Tracking Client Data Important?
Data is helpful for building and improving connections with your clients and prospects. In this instance, the data you collect consists of any information on your existing clients and prospects that's necessary for contacting them, building connections with them, and serving them best.
When it comes to the kind of data you collect, you first need to ask yourself what kind of relationship you'd like to have with your clients.
When you go to the dentist, for example, you may be able to recall that they remember details about something you were discussing at your last appointment. You probably know by now that they (or someone on their team) keep a record of your concerns, dental history, and overall dental status. They do this to connect with you on a personal level and also make sure they can serve you best by remembering to follow up on important issues with you the next time you visit. This is precisely what every insurance agency needs to be doing.
Not only does this help you efficiently cross-sell, grow your book of business, and provide top level service, but it also shows that you care. People want to be treated as human beings, rather than a transaction. Even if they don’t actually say it, your clients want to feel like they’re getting guidance from an agency that has their best interest at heart.
Considering that 88% of consumers place the most trust in word-of-mouth recommendations and 89% of people read reviews before purchasing something, working to build a loyal, happy client base will pay off well into the future.
As an agent, you are responsible for many things day-to-day, from handling client requests to following industry protocols, and more. You can’t be expected to remember and easily recall every detail about all of your clients–but this information is too valuable to forget. This is where data tracking can help!
What Client and Prospect Data Should You Be Keeping Tabs On?
Data tracking helps you work smarter. It keeps all of your important client information in a centralized database for easy access, enabling you and your team to get what you need when you need it.
The bare minimum of what you should be keeping on your clients and prospects includes their first and last name, phone number, address, and email address. In addition, you should also keep other details like their:
- Preferred method of contact (email, phone, both)
- Contact type (client, prospect, ex-client, ex-prospect, employee, beneficiary, etc.–which you’ll update as the relationship evolves
- Status (quoting, application submitted, enrolled, canceled, etc.)–you'll also regularly update this
- Lead information (lead date, lead source, etc.)
You will also need all of the information on the policies they have with you:
- Policy number
- Coverage type
- Application submission date
- Effective date
- Renewal date
- Term date
- Servicing agent and any additional agents
- Account manager (if applicable)
You’ll also want to keep up-to-date, thorough commission information such as the premium and pay frequency.
For Errors and Omissions (E&O) and compliance reasons, agencies also have to document every contact they have with clients and prospects. With this, you need to be able to quickly and easily write up notes and attach documents after each contact attempt and interaction.
How To Easily Store and Manage This Critical Data
Knowledge is power, and while storing this key data is important, how you store it can make a big difference in your efficacy, and ultimately, the pace at which you achieve your goals. Considering that outdated, poor-quality data costs the US economy roughly $3.1 trillion a year, it’s safe to say you want to make sure the data you’re storing is clean and thorough. But how?
There's only one constructive, organized way to store a large amount of client and prospect data, and that's by using online software. For life and health insurance agencies, the best option is an industry-specific agency management system (AMS).
Generic customer relationship management systems (CRMs) are made for various industries. They may be missing things you need–or worse: they may lack the innovative capabilities you didn’t know you needed. An AMS, on the other hand, is built specifically for insurance agencies; these platforms have the necessary functionality to meet your needs and streamline your processes.
An AMS has several other benefits beyond helping you organize and manage your data, including but not limited to:
Overall, the tools and features of an AMS help you keep thorough, up-to-date data on all of your clients and prospects, enabling you to serve them to the best of your ability.
Use Data and Analytics Reports To Your Advantage
Tracking and managing this critical client information is only one piece of the data management puzzle. Now that you know what data to track and how to track it, your efforts shouldn’t stop there. Your data is highly useful and can help you make strategic, informed decisions that can impact your agency’s future.
The best way to get these insights is by choosing an AMS that has data analytics and reporting features–and since all of your data is already stored in this software, reporting can be as easy as the click of a button. Through these reports, you’ll be able to get a clear view of where you are in comparison to where you want to be and take the guesswork out of your progress. With the right platform, you should be able to view things like email marketing performance, client retention and churn, commissions, sales management, and so much more. All of these insights can help you learn what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to pivot accordingly.
Get Ahead of the Curve With Database Migration
It’s not unheard of for agencies and their agents to be apprehensive about switching their database. In fact, almost all (85%) companies who engage in the data migration process struggle at some point. The top five common areas companies have issues with include:
- Lack of collaboration. Collaboration with your team is essential to "clean," organize, and migrate your data. And collaboration with the AMS vendor is necessary for a smooth transition.
- Poor system design. Adequately planning and preparing people for data migration is crucial. You need to think about where everyone will insert notes, comments, or questions throughout the project and see its ongoing status.
- Lack of data standardization or data consistency. Clean data is necessary for successful migration; companies should look at their current data and how employees are entering data, and create standards to follow in the new system.
- Inaccurate information. Similar to the point made above, you don't want to start a new system with "garbage" data. Inaccurate data comes in many forms: inconsistent data, outdated data, missing data… the list goes on.
- Poor interpretation of business rules. The people helping you with data migration (your software vendor and your assigned data migration team within your agency) must understand your data. It's tough to organize and migrate data you know nothing about because you don’t have enough context to be able to spot errors or make necessary updates.
While this worry may resonate with you, the bottom line is that extremely thorough, consistently updated data will go a long way for your agency. With high-quality data, you can create efficiencies in your daily processes, provide better customer service, and, eventually, have a highly valuable book of business to pass on or sell. In short, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, and with the right systems in place, database migration doesn’t have to be a headache.
AgencyBloc Can Help You Manage Your Data Well
The value of tracking your current and prospective clients’ data shouldn’t be overlooked or taken lightly. Agencies who are currently striving to maintain their data well would greatly benefit from an AMS that has the above features to help them streamline their internal processes and enhance client services. As the #1 recommended AMS for life and health insurance agencies, AgencyBloc has the tools you need as an insurance professional.
From automation tools to commissions software to integrations and API to sales management, and beyond, we’ve got you covered with an industry-specific CRM designed with your success in mind.
This blog was originally published on 10/5/2017. It was updated and republished on 7/21/2020 and again on 3/15/2022.