Quality talent is the glue that holds any business together. The insurance industry is no different. People are at the heart of insurance: both the consumers looking to mitigate risk and the professionals who serve them. But the way in which insurance pros need to serve customers has changed thanks to industry evolutions.
Technology has changed what’s possible in insurance, but it has also raised consumer expectations. Consumers communicate those expectations to their networks instantly via social media and electronic communication. And given the complexity of insurance needs, consumers need more than ever fast, easy and helpful consultation to make the right decisions.
To meet evolving consumer preferences, insurance professionals need to adopt four key skillsets in 2017. By doing so, they’ll serve customers better and reap the rewards from doing so. But beware: ignoring these competencies can impede your career advancement and your business opportunities.
1. Solid Customer Service and Experience
No matter how much technology advances, excellent customer service and experiences are critically important to insurance. Professionals must understand a customer or prospect’s unique pain points so they can better meet their needs.
For example, understand how customers prefer to be contacted, (e.g. phone, email, text, social media). Give them their information the way they want, not the way your company wants.
Technology helps insurance pros better serve customers when used right. But don’t let it distract you from a simple, but powerful, fact: most business challenges can be solved by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. In 2017, the insurance pros who win big will be the ones who solve for the customer first.
2. Understand Artificial Intelligence and Analytics
AI has the ability to perform tasks that previously required human intelligence. Some examples include: language processing, automated decision-making and language translation.
In insurance, artificial intelligence can help create predictive models for expense management, high value losses, settlements, litigation and fraudulent claims. It can reduce human error, save huge amounts of time and money, and improve customer satisfaction. According to PWC, AI has the potential to completely shift the “nature of the customer experience, distribution, risk management and operations.”
In order to do this though, the industry needs qualified individuals who have an understanding of AI, machine learning and analytics. The firms that prioritize AI education in 2017 will have a major leg up on the competition as the technology becomes more widely used.
3. Willingness to Embrace Change
Change is happening, and it needs to not only be accepted, but embraced. Big disruptive trends to watch include the rise of non-insurers in the insurance sector, business model disruption and insurtech competition. But whatever trends may come, most important is the attitude you adopt towards change.
This means being willing to entertain and embrace changes, even the ones you’re unfamiliar with. One example is how workplace expectations are changing. Employees, especially millennials, are looking for ways to enjoy a better work-life balance. Some ways they are doing so include working remotely and allowing employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) to work.
Changes like these may seem foreign, but embracing them is how forward-thinking firms will attract and retain top talent in 2017. Additionally, the firms that make calculated bets on disruptive technologies and trends will be the ones who benefit. In short, embracing change can be a competitive advantage this year.
4. Develop Unique, Rewarding Career Paths
Thirty-six percent of millennials feel their work environment doesn’t allow for development opportunities. Without room to grow, top talent begins to feel undervalued and looks elsewhere for employment. And your competitors are happy to give them the opportunities they crave.
That’s why this year it’s imperative to formally prioritize unique, rewarding career paths in your business. Both new pros and veterans must be encouraged to take an active role in creating new opportunities and responsibilities for talent. Management needs to support these activities vocally as well. By doing so, everyone in your firm will better unleash their full potential, providing major benefits to your business and their careers.
Interested in pursuing a career with an insurance firm that’s ahead of the curve? Learn about our career opportunities at INGUARD.
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