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Today’s Digital Success Won’t Be Found in Core Systems Replacements

October 12, 2016
By Kathleen Garlasco

Todd_blog_3_10.12.jpgThe last time we checked in with Agent Todd, he was happily writing new business and acquiring new customers thanks to the digital capabilities and product selection he’s gained from his digital distribution platform. He knows that nearly 80% of his current and future customers want the ability to interact digitally, and he’s happy to have a platform that finally supports everyone’s needs, especially after talking to his friend Agent Ned who works for a competitor.

Todd used to be a little jealous of Ned. His company was a forerunner in the industry, leading the charge toward anything new and better. In fact, they were one of the first to see the writing on the wall about changing customer expectations and decided the only way to reach digital superiority was to scrap their decades-old legacy technology for all new core systems. Well, all of Todd’s envious feelings disappeared today after he learned about the rollout of Ned’s company’s brand-new systems.

Experiencing the Risky Side of Core Systems Replacements

Todd got the feeling from Ned that the new systems were rushed through production and rolled out too quickly. Planning and development started just two years ago, but unfortunately, even in that short amount of time, customer experience standards have changed. In a rush to implement the new core systems before they became obsolete, Ned’s bosses pushed developers hard. The result was a not-quite-ready-for-prime-time production.

Just today, in the middle of assisting a customer with quoting a new product, Ned’s new system went down, and when the lights came on, everything was gone. Not just the policy Ned was quoting, but all of the customer data had vanished. It was as if she had never existed.

Feeling more than a little frustrated, the customer decided to pull a vanishing act for real. In fact, Todd just got off the phone with her. After quickly quoting home and auto coverage through his digital distribution platform, he instantly clicked his mouse to seal the deal. Todd understood how Ned’s customer felt. She’s a busy woman and didn’t have time to wait for Ned to re-enter all of that information for the two policy lines.

That’s the other thing that’s surprising about Ned’s new core systems. They aren’t very user friendly. Ned has to enter information into multiple consoles to ensure front and back end systems are aligned, and despite the fact that the company is now sporting a flashy new website touting direct-to-consumer functionality, there have been nothing but complaints coming from customers. The interface is slow, and it seems Ned isn’t the only one re-entering information. In order to generate quotes for multiple policy lines, the customer has to input the same information over and over.

Todd knows this because he just spoke to one of the site’s defectors before selling him auto, renters and pet coverage. It was simple for Todd. He entered the customer’s information once into his central console and generated quotes for three products in a matter of minutes. The customer was thrilled to so quickly and painlessly obtain all of the policies he wanted at a price he could afford.

That’s the thing about Todd’s digital distribution platform that Ned’s new core systems don’t have—access to a universal network of products. No matter the needs or budget of Todd’s customers, he can easily accommodate them by bundling his own products with those from other carriers. His company expects a revenue increase of 24% over the next five years, and he believes it. He’s been selling 1.4 more of his own products for every bundled solution sold, and he’s well on his way to a 12% increase in customer retention.

Making the Inevitable Easier

Todd knows that core systems overhauls are inevitable for P&C insurers. Those legacy systems won’t last forever, and that’s why he’s grateful for his digital distribution platform. It gives him and his company all of the digital tools they need to improve customer engagement and allows him to ensure that all of his customers’ most valuable assets are protected and safeguarded against unnecessary risk, while his company has time to prepare for core systems replacements.

Consumer data is safe in the platform’s central repository where built-in analytics keep him continuously apprised of customer needs and products from the network that could benefit them. In addition, the platform is easily adaptable and always changing to the latest in customer expectations. Todd never has to worry about not being able to deliver what a customer wants and his company is satisfied knowing that whatever they dream up for the future, their digital distribution platform is always at the ready. With no disruption to customer or internal systems, neither Todd nor his bosses have to worry about experiencing the productivity losses, errors and disruption that Ned and his clients are facing.

To understand more about the benefits of Agent Todd’s digital distribution platform and its advantages over core systems replacement for achieving digital prominence, download our new thought leadership piece,Replacing Core Systems Now Won't Deliver Digital Prominence.

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