How Technology Can Address the Challenge of Knowing When to Reach Out to Customers

It’s good practice for insurance providers to follow their customers through every stage of life. But without up-to-date information on customer life events, agents cannot personalize their communication. Many consumers still prefer to purchase from independent agents, so the goal for agents is to spend more time on sales and advice to customers. Agents who have information about customer life events can offer new services that customers are more likely to accept, bolstering the relationship between agent and customer.

There are two challenges facing agencies in this regard.

  1. Policy changes normally happen within the agency’s AMS (Agency Management System), but producers predominantly use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system for work and not necessarily the AMS.
  1. The AMS and CRM usually operate separately from each other, and the only way data is shared is by a cumbersome manual process.  

Without integration between an agency’s AMS with CRM to automate data sharing, it is harder to build a comprehensive customer profile across these systems.  

The Difference between CRM and AMS

A CRM helps businesses manage and organize their customer relationships. A CRM can capture customer behavior such as purchase history, length of the relationship, and other interactions, that give a 360-degree view of each customer. This helps deliver a more personalized service, which is essential for building long-lasting relationships.

An AMS (agency management system) is for policy management and administrative policy tasks. Agencies have gradually developed their AMS over many years to help them and is often their only core software tool.  

The primary distinction between the two systems is that a CRM prioritizes customer-agent relationships, whereas AMS assist agents in organizing and managing their day-to-day activities and policies.

Challenges of Operating an AMS and CRM

Tracking customer engagement across these systems can be challenging, making it hard to identify the right moment to reach out.  

  • Without integration between AMS and CRM, and the ability to analyze and prospect, agents may miss out on potential customers who are interested in their products or services. This can result in lost sales and revenue.
  • Lack of integration means that agents have difficulty measuring the success of their sales efforts. They will be unable to track conversion rates and revenue generated from sales campaigns to refine their strategies.
  • Agents who handle sales may become frustrated and demotivated if they are unable to effectively identify and engage with high-quality customers with potential upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

How to integrate an AMS and CRM

An agency that effectively integrates its AMS and CRM can create a data-driven approach to cross-selling and up-selling, improving customer engagement and revenue opportunities while enhancing the overall customer experience.

The integration of CRM and AMS creates a seamless workflow of information for insurance agents. Insurance agencies that address this integration can gain a competitive edge by delivering a better customer experience, staying ahead of industry trends, and outperforming competitors.

One way to integrate an AMS with a CRM is to assign someone to hand code the integration from scratch. The problem with this approach is that the program is typically written to meet an immediate need without long-term goals such as reliability or scalability. The bulk of integration work then becomes maintaining the integration with continual updates. This requires technical skills and is expensive.

A more modern and efficient solution is an integration platform. This platform is designed to make connecting information between systems easier, enabling quicker and more efficient building of data pipelines.

The Synatic Data Integration Hub Solution

The Synatic Data Integration Hub (DIH) is an integration platform that can integrate whatever AMS is used, e.g., Vertafore, Applied, Hawksoft, with the CRM. Integration is performed using pre-defined connectors that can be adjusted to meet customer requirements, reducing development time and effort, and bring ag agility and efficiency to the work environment. This empowers agencies to build complex integrations between their CRM and AMS. Synatic can automatically update customer records bi-directionally between both systems in real time as new information becomes available. This includes updates related to life events, such as changes in marital status, the birth of a child, or a new home purchase.

Agents can set up automated alerts in their CRM system triggered by specific events or changes in customer information. For instance, if a customer's life circumstances change, the CRM can notify agents to reach out with relevant offers.

Most CRM systems perform better as more data is added. The more data there is the better data analytics can be used to generate recommendations for cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. This enhances the overall customer experience and leads to increased revenue, stronger customer relationships, and improved agency efficiency.

Getting Value from AMS-CRM Integration

The AMS has been the central information hub for most agencies. However, producers often use a CRM, like Salesforce, because of its excellent functionality for sales, marketing, and customer service, with features like automated emails, sales and marketing dashboards, and lead management tools.  

Agencies can be daunted by the difficulty of integrating data between their AMS and CRM. Using manual processes to re-enter the data leads to time and resources being wasted, and increases the likelihood of errors and omissions. The Synatic DIH provides flexibility, scalability, automation, and range of integration options to remove the problems of AMS-CRM integration. Synatic ensures that the right person, has access to the right data, at the right time and gives producers full access to the data they need. If you want to revolutionize your AMS-CRM integration, contact Synatic today.

Wesley Borain
October 25, 2023
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