Succeeding with a New Agency Management System
Congratulations! You’ve done your due diligence, you’ve researched, and you’ve bought a new agency management system (AMS). Now, it’s time for the fun part.
This blog and infographic are intended to assist you and your team in preparing for the coming change with new software. The three tasks we’ll cover are crucial for success.
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#1 Business Process Management (BPM) & Data Migration
Data migration is the “process of transporting data between computers, storage devices, or formats. It is a key consideration for any system implementation, upgrade, or consolidation.” Basically, it’s how you get your data out of your current system and transfer it to your new solution.
Data migration is an essential element of the transition from one system to another because it sets you up for success.
Think of it like a workout. Before you can have a successful workout, you have to get your mind right. Before you can find significant success with your newly implemented AMS, you have to get your data right.
Let’s talk about this a bit more.
We previously wrote about the importance of having Business Process Management (BPM) in your agency. BPM allows you to put together goals for your agency and outline processes to help your team achieve those goals and maintain continuity within your agency.
BPM is crucial to have set up ahead of time because it gives your team direction and purpose. BPM enables you to keep the reason behind moving to the new system in the forefront and to ensure everything is moving in the right direction.
Part of this is setting up your data correctly from the start. It will feel like you’re working backwards, but it’ll save you time and effort down the road.
Create your BPM, get your processes in place, and THEN move your data. That way you have your data set up to match the goals and processes outlined in your BPM. From there, all your efforts will be more streamlined because you have everything set up the way you want.
Once you have your data set up the way you need, per your BPM, you can then take it a step further and start setting up things like Automated Workflows. It will be significantly easier this way. After all, you’ll already know what you want to pursue and achieve because you have it outlined in your BPM.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this. A BPM is tailored to each agency and will be focused on your goals, your agency’s future, and your team. Yes, it takes time, but it’s essential to put in this time upfront to help you achieve a more streamlined, efficient, and effective agency down the road.
#2 Clean Up Your Data
We cannot overstate the importance of “clean data.” Clean data refers to data points that follow a prescribed and orderly fashion. For example, you always write social security numbers as XXX-XX-XXXX or names as First Last.
Clean data is really just organized data. But why does this matter so much?
Consider the acronym GIGO. It stands for garbage in, garbage out. It’s a quick and easy way to say if you’re working off “garbage,” you’ll produce “garbage.” When your team works with "garbage data," it not only hinders their efforts to be successful agents but it can also make them appear unprofessional.
One of the key times GIGO comes to the forefront is with your marketing efforts. This would include email marketing, snail mail marketing, and calling.
If you don’t take the time to clean and inspect your data before moving, the likelihood of incorrect, outdated, mistyped, and downright false information grows. You could be sending emails and letters to people who are no longer your clients, sending them to the wrong address, spelling their names wrong, etc.
Clean data means you’ve taken the time to go through your data with a fine-tooth comb to make sure it’s updated, consistent, and ready for the new system. Yes, it can be a lot of work. While that is true, it could be an opportunity for you to hire a short-term employee to help out —such as an intern or temporary employee.
But the payoff is worth it because your team will be working with the most up-to-date data, thus making your agency more efficient and able to provide better customer service.
#3 Gain Employee Buy-In
To make sure your newly implemented system is successful in your agency, you need to have employee buy-in from your team. If they don’t use the system or put in the effort, the move is pretty much pointless.
So how do you achieve employee buy-in?
Well, hopefully, you included more than one person in the decision for your new system. Once the system is purchased, it is wise to appoint an "expert" in each department to learn the system and answer questions and concerns.
This means you’ll have a leader in customer service, commissions, sales, front office, etc. With the leaders on board, they can then go to their respective departments and get the rest of that team on board, too. It may take a while to complete the process, and there may be some pushback, but that’s completely natural.
Another way is to keep everyone informed and to celebrate small successes. Get everyone together and throw a small party to celebrate the new system, and be transparent about why you chose that specific software.
Giving your team insight into why the decision was made can make a big difference in how they feel about it. Instead of them feeling like it’s been forced upon them, they’ll better see the benefit and give it more of a chance.
These three tasks may seem simple, but together they can make a big difference as you migrate to a new agency management system. Remember, you chose the system for a reason. You want to achieve your goals, and the system will help you do that. Therefore, make sure you’re taking all the steps to make the move as successful as possible.
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by Sarah Rosonke on Thursday, February 23, 2023
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