Let’s Talk—How to Improve Internal Communication in Your Agency
Effective communication is essential for the growth and productivity of any insurance agency. But for all the opportunities communication affords us, it can also be difficult at times.
Business Directory defines internal communication as: “the sharing of information within an organization for business purposes.”
Whether you’re working remotely or in the office, your internal communication can always be improved. Some of the go-tos for internal communications in an office include:
- Phone calls/voicemails
- Video calls
- In-person conversations
- Written messages
- 3rd party app/project management software
However, sometimes the problem isn’t the communication but finding the communication. Mckinsey & Co. found that you can spend up to 28 hours each week writing, reading, and searching for information in emails.
Lacking the ability to effectively communicate or find prior communications can put a hitch in your plans or create turmoil in your day-to-day operations. Today, we’re going to discuss how an industry-specific agency management system (AMS) can help your health and life insurance agency streamline communications and save you time.
How Businesses Communicate Internally
For the vast majority of businesses, the number one way to communicate and collaborate is email.
Currently, there are more than 3.9 billion active email users globally. Compare that to the 3.5 billion social media users, it really puts it into perspective how important email is. Additionally, The Radicati Group, Inc. found that by the end of 2019, the average worker in the US was receiving 126 emails every single day.
That’s a lot. And that number could very well have gone up.
Another top contender businesses use to communicate is chat apps like Slack, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc. There are definite plus sides to this type of communication, but the same problem with email remains: locating the information you need can take time.
Using an AMS to Improve Communication
Using an industry-specific agency management system like AgencyBloc can help you improve internal communication. The goal of an AMS is to streamline your processes to make your health and life insurance agency more efficient and more effective. Three main AMS tools you can use to help streamline your communication and boost internal productivity are:
- Task Assignment
- Workflow Automation
- Reports & Productivity Management
We often discuss the benefits of having a to-do list within your cloud-based management system rather than relying on third-party apps or handwritten notes. The are 2 reasons for this:
- Your assignments and to-dos are always with you regardless of where you go
- You have direct access to your notes and documents
With Activities in AgencyBloc, you can view your to-do list from wherever, whenever. If an agent has more questions, they can click into the client’s profile and see all of their notes, documents, and demographic data.
Image Source | AgencyBloc
Since it’s cloud-based, you can take this information on the road with you to help you better service your clients from anywhere.
After you assign a task to the agent, the activity will appear on their Dashboard to help them stay on track and ensure no contact goes overlooked. You can assign priority so the agent knows what needs to be done first every single morning.
"AgencyBloc’s cloud-based capability and activity assignment helps my team save up to 30% of our time communicating with one another about client and prospect information."
—Jim M., Morrison Insurance Services
Workflow automation, or Automated Workflows in AgencyBloc, help you work smarter and streamline your internal and external communications. It’s basically like having a virtual assistant keeping tabs on what’s happening in your book of business and determining what needs to happen next.
Set up a workflow once, then it’ll run on its own with its predetermined path. A workflow works on an if/then situation. If X occurs, then Y happens next.
You can set up one-off workflows like a Happy Birthday email to a client, or create a series of tasks that happen over a specified time table. An example of this would be an E&O licensure expiration workflow. Let’s break it down.
2 Months Until Expiration
- Send an email to the agent to alert them of their pending E&O license expiration
1 Month Until Expiration
- Send a second email to the agent to remind them of the expiration
- Assign a high priority task to the agent to update their E&O
2 Weeks Until Expiration
- Send an email urging them to update their E&O license
- Assign an urgent priority task to the agent
The workflow you build reads that the expiration date is 2 months away, so it releases the action (the email) to alert the agent. This creates a standard operating procedure (SOP) for your agency to follow. Other SOP workflows you can create include:
- Lead nurturing
- Prospect nurturing
- New client onboarding
- New agent onboarding
- New Medicare client onboarding
- Policy renewal reminder
- Continuous client touchpoints
This helps simplify the communication within your agency to ensure nothing is missed. It saves you time and boosts productivity. You create custom workflows to fit a variety of your needs to help streamline your efforts and keep all of your employees on task.
Running reports may not seem like an obvious answer to improving internal agency communication, but they do provide data to help you better oversee your agency. With a reporting system like Custom Reports in AgencyBloc, you can better monitor your agency to see where it’s thriving and where changes need to be made.
With everyone working remotely recently, many agency owners in AgencyBloc are running Activity-based reports to see how productive their staff members are and what’s being completed.
Activity-based reports can include:
- Activities completed
- Open activities
- Past due activities
With this information, you can better manage your entire business regardless if you’re in the office or working remotely. This is incredibly beneficial when you’re traveling for work regularly as it allows you to keep tabs on your business from afar.
The other benefit of customized reports is that you can be as granular or as broad as you like. Dig deeper to find more specified data, or get the eagle’s eye perspective to manage from a macro level. Use this information to start conversations with your employees that are mutually beneficial.
Having this knowledge and insight in your back pocket can help improve agency communication because you can get to the root of the problem instead of spending time trying to figure it out. This saves you time and money and helps you put procedures in place that boost productivity throughout your agency.
With these 3 communication tools in place, you can put together an internal communication strategy that helps you all stay on track. Additionally, it can save you time from managing your book to allow you more opportunity to pursue revenue-generating, goal-oriented tasks for your agency.
Interested in how workflow automation can help your agency reach its goals?
Download our free eBook to learn more about how workflow automation is transforming agencies and turning their manual process into efficient, consistent processes.
By Allison Babberl on May 19, 2020 in Technology
Allison is the Content Lead at AgencyBloc. She manages the creation and schedule of all educational content for our BlocTalk and Member communities. Favorite quote: “Conversation is the bedrock of relationships. Without it, our relationships are devoid of substance.” -Maribeth Kuzmeski More articles