Like many other industries, the life insurance business finds itself at a crossroads moving into 2016. According to a report by Deloitte, life insurance firms will need to step up their drive for innovation if they want to stay at all competitive. The best way to do this, the report suggested, is encouraging synergy between a company’s business and IT departments. One of the best ways to achieve this harmony is through the adoption and implementation of a robust, intuitive customer relationship management system. But taking the steps to migrate over to an entirely new platform can be expensive and time-consuming, leaving many executives to conclude such a move isn’t worth the risk. If your firm is pondering a switch to a new CRM, take a step back and allow for concrete reasoning to take precedence over quick decisions.
Age: more than a number
While the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mantra may get applied to an old CRM, it could be that the system is very broken indeed, even if it’s working as well as it always has. Property Casualty 360 noted in a guide to switching to a new CRM that anything considered top of the line 10 years ago is seriously outdated today. While it could still be humming along just fine without major problems, your business is missing out on the latest capabilities of advanced software and the speed and reliability of new hardware. It’s common for a modern CRM to be entirely web based, making it convenient to use yet easy to implement and maintain.
An in-house system is also more prone to security risk, especially in the event of a natural disaster or other peril. While it may seem less trustworthy, putting your data in the hands of a reputable cloud software company means a safer data environment, as well as easier access and general convenience. Servers need not be maintained and routine maintenance is out of the question with a cloud-based platform. Survey your options for a new CRM and the benefits of an off-site solution become more clear.
According to a blog written by Brian DeMaster, a senior executive at consulting firm Accenture, life insurance companies that can successfully utilize the full spectrum of data available to them have the potential to seriously boost productivity gains and profit margins for years to come. And there is a huge amount of data up for grabs. DeMaster mentions a new phrase that began as a buzzword but now has real implications for life insurance professionals. The Internet of Things describes the new concept of the Internet as a network of interconnected devices, constantly aggregating huge amounts of data. That data can come from computers reporting it, or from independent devices.
Life insurance providers have already begun leveraging data from the IoT to increase customer experience and improve productivity. Some providers now offer customers the option of wearing a small wristband that can track their vital health markers, for example. Using this data, insurers can offer better coverage and more accurate rates, and the providers themselves not only save in the long run, but benefit from a stronger customer interaction. Without a modernized CRM that can utilize these advanced data gathering and communication channels, less-optimized businesses may get left in the dust while competitors see significant growth.
Financial professionals should survey their full range of options when choosing a new CRM. While it’s a large investment in time and money, it could prove more than beneficial several years down the road.