Three key areas of focus for advisors
So, advisors need to get moving. But what areas should they look to tackle first?
1. Client interactions
Catering to clients should be the North Star of any digital transformation that advisors undertake. Their goal should be to implement solutions that expand their clients' options for support and product personalization while simultaneously increasing their own opportunities to cross-sell, upsell, and encourage renewals.
For example, advisors can use automation to eliminate redundant work, such as rekeying data, or improve submission quality with workflows and rules engines by creating a "fast lane" for applications that require no correction. Add in advanced analytics and risk modeling, and such solutions can enhance advisor decision-making too. By automating many of the analyses that make up the advisor decision process and using data insights to inform human judgments, advisors can offer clients better products and the right products at the right time, driving improvements to the bottom line.
Any attempt to transform client interactions should also focus on empowering the client. For example, advisors can implement self-service portals that allow clients to explore options and understand their existing products better in a direct, streamlined, on-demand way, which leads to an improved client experience.
2. Carrier interactions
The sheer volume of advisors' legacy technology, inherited and bolted together over years of mergers and acquisitions, means an ecosystem overhaul is urgently needed. The goal is for advisors to eliminate friction and introduce standardization into the process of insuring clients. This kind of transformation will have the greatest impact on speed and efficiency when it comes to carriers.
An advisor's ability to help carriers access customer data and risk insights accelerates the process of insuring customers and improves the experience for all stakeholders in the value chain. Advisors can greatly improve premium settlement and reconciliation, commission settlement, and other carrier interactions by increasing data transparency, measuring performance effectively, improving quality, and minimizing delays. Optimizing and standardizing key processes is the first step. The next step is automation, which reduces time-consuming work, minimizes human error, and facilitates performance monitoring. Through the improved service that results, advisors can avoid policy cancellations and release literally millions in working capital.
3. Employee interactions
Using data, technology, and augmented intelligence to boost employee efficiency helps in two ways. First, the advisor reaps the bottom-line benefits of higher productivity. Second, their employees have fewer frustrations, a better working day, and are less likely to move on with precious knowledge. Advisors frequently report difficulties with administrative burdens, where suboptimal systems and inefficient processes not only burden them but distract them from their market-facing activities.
Transformation in this area should look at busting up siloed ways of working using digital technologies. It should aim to minimize redundant or disparate processes by implementing routing and workflow management solutions. And it should use automation to reduce the administrative burden on employees. The result? Workers spend their time in the right places – winning new business and delivering higher levels of attention and service to clients.