In the last few years, customers have come to expect streamlined digital experiences from every company they do businesses with. Companies are evolving to meet these changes, adopting technology tools to reach out to customers through various digital channels. This year we’ve seen the importance of those technology tools more clearly than ever as companies have had to quickly adapt to doing business remotely. Digital transformation is no longer a far-off ideal; it’s a necessity. Read more about creating your company’s digital presence.
For more traditional companies, it may be helpful to think of your company’s interconnected technology tools in terms of the role they play in your digital “office.” Your company’s digital space can augment your physical office and extend your agency’s capabilities. It can make it easy for clients to do business with you even when they can’t come into your company’s physical office.
Websites: your digital storefronts
Your website is where many customers start their digital journey with your company. As a basic starting point, make sure your website is well-designed and easy to use – just like you would want your storefront to look clean and professional.
It’s also a good idea to test your website’s loading speed and mobile-responsiveness. Potential customers are going to bail if the pages are slow to load or if they have to pinch to zoom in to see the website on their phone.
You can test your website’s responsiveness with the Google mobile friendliness test.
Content strategy: attracting digital “foot traffic”
Once you ensure your website is solid, you can expand upon it with content strategy. You have your digital storefront, how are you going to get people to come inside?
First, ask yourself: What is your strategy as an agent? What kind of content and education will you provide on your website that will help potential customers find your company? Do you want to be all things to all people? Probably not.
Things like search engine optimization (SEO), paid search and Google ads can help you target specific types of customers. SEO and paid search will help ensure that your company shows up when people in your area research certain industry-related terms online. Google ads can let you show up in other places potential customers are visiting online (think of it like advertising in your local papers, but with a broader reach).
After you’ve established your website content strategy, you can marry that with a social media strategy. Pick one or two platforms where you can consistently post well-thought-out content and interact with customers. Social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can let you communicate with your customers in more personal ways and give you a glimpse of things your customers are talking about.
Again, there are many helpful resources to help you plan your content strategy, invest in SEO and get started on social media. A few good places to start is Google’s SEO starter guide.
Digital communication tools: reaching clients where they are
Technology tools can help you reach out and connect with customers in the ways they want throughout every step of the customer experience lifecycle. Well-placed technology tools can give clients a streamlined, personalized experience whether they are first visiting your virtual office, making a policy change, or submitting a claim.
Ideally, your communication strategy will include a balance of hands-on and hands-off approaches.
For example, an online chat feature can serve as a digital receptionist – this could be a chatbot, a tool that plugs in to let visitors chat with one of your staff members online in real-time, or a combination of the two.
Texting with clients can also help you achieve that balance of hands-off and hands-on, giving them a personalized interaction while also letting them respond at their convenience.
The hands-off part is setting things up so customers can complete simple tasks electronically instead of having to call you or stop by your office. For example, integrating a comparative rater on your website, using eSignature to let clients sign forms electronically, or allowing clients to submit service requests through a customer portal or app.
When you marry easy digital tools with the white-glove service that only you can offer, it provides the ultimate solution well over and above what competitors can provide.
Video: virtual meetings and reviews
Your clients may not always have the time or the ability to come to an in-person meeting. Video can help you add a personal touch to digital communications.
This is a great time to start to become comfortable with things like Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, or other video tools. You can use these tools to meet with clients virtually and even record video proposals or reviews for clients to watch on their own time.
Plus, if you have staff working remotely, video platforms are great ways to hold staff meetings and continue strategic planning amongst your staff.
Cybersecurity: locking up your digital “office”
Digital tools can bring certain risks, especially if your staff is working remotely. Make sure to train employees on cyber risks and implement some guidelines for security precautions.
For example, set up a virtual private network (VPN) for employees to connect through when working from home. Train employees on threats such as phishing emails and have an agreement about when and how employees can use personal devices for work. This will help you protect client information and guard against “break-ins” to your virtual “office.” The FCC’s cybersecurity guide has helpful tips for protecting your company.
Sprucing up your digital strategy
A well-functioning digital “office” can help our company generate more revenue, communicate effectively with clients, and extend the capabilities of your team.
This time of rapid change can be a great opportunity to evaluate your agency’s technology systems, think through your digital strategies, and accelerate your transformation.
Learn more about Momentum Insurance and how we can help you and your business. We’re always here to help, reach out for a free review of your personal and commercial policies – anytime, any day.
Content from Safeco, Liberty Mutual, Agent For The Future