In a recent Texas Agent article, reference was made to the seven trends identified as “hard trends” by the Agents Council for Technology. According to 2009 JEV Key Note Speaker and renowned futurist Daniel Burres, a hard trend “is something that will happen: a future fact that cannot be changed, permanent and ushering in cultural and societal change. Strategy based on the certainty of Hard Trends has low risk.”
According to Daniel, if agencies don’t respond to these hard trends to create competitive advantages, someone else will. The following is an excerpt from The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) Strategic Future Issues Work Group’s Hard Trends report detailing the first hard trend, “mobile first.”
Mobile, along with social and cloud computing, is what has enabled the cultural transformation and the emergence of the connected consumer. Mobile cuts across everything. It will change the insurance products offered (telematics, health checks, travel, etc.). Mobile will affect quotes, account management, and claims; and it will create a new infrastructure for communication in disaster situations. It will also change the way the customer interacts with agents and carriers, and how agents and carriers communicate with each other.
Equal emphasis needs to be on mobile solutions that connect insureds to both the agency and carrier, as well as mobile solutions that connect agents to carriers. Solutions should enable customers to connect when, where and how they want. Mobile plays a big role in omni-channel communication. The consumer of today is mobile connected.
Mobility with integrated data is becoming an expectation of consumers. Some insurance-specific examples include:
- Taking a picture of a VIN which could then compile data on that vehicle for pre-fill during the quote process
- Identifying a windshield repair shop in an area via GPS, scan VIN and feed data to the shop to make an appointment and determine the price and availability of a compatible windshield
- Scanning a driver’s license to pre-fill forms during the quote process
Data needs to be available anytime, anywhere and any way that the customer wants it. Our industry needs to adopt a “mobile first” strategy. Mobile should not be an added feature but rather the core strategy for the development of new processes, procedures, products and services.
Making Sense of Mobile 2.0 at the Imagine Conference
Mobile will be a featured topic at the 119th Annual Conference & Trade Show in San Antonio, June 15-17. Matt Aaron, co-founder of Insurance Agent mobile apps, will describe the mobile transformation as it applies to independent agencies and help agents better understand how to harness the smartphone to attract and retain more clients while fending off a growing list of competitors. Matt will also be featured in one of the conference Game Changer sessions to demonstrate “How To Train Clients with Your Agency App.” Register to attend.