The category is niche. The desire to save time is universal.
Finding an opportunity in security guard coverage.
Chances are, you passed a security guard somewhere today—on a college campus, in a shopping mall, at an office building—without giving it much thought. But while working as a broker in California, Craig Mount realized that security guard companies were underserved and often unappreciated by the insurance industry.
Guard employers face numerous issues when it comes to liability coverage. Among other challenges, they usually operate at multiple locations, protect a wide range of assets, and often have high staff turnover rates. Mount realized that a broker with category expertise would have an edge over generalists.
“We started writing policies for a few guard companies and it wasn’t long before it was the fastest-growing segment of our business,” he recalled.
Fueled by this success, they decided to make the category their exclusive focus and launched GuardPro, a subsidiary of Pacific Venture Insurance Services, nearly 13 years ago. Today, the agency underwrites coverage for companies across the country, manages roughly 800 different accounts, and enjoys consistent growth.
Growing the business. Not the expenses.
Like any agency expanding its book of business, GuardPro found itself facing the challenge of managing more accounts without significantly increasing overhead. Instead of simply adding additional staff in more locations, they looked to leverage technology and create new efficiencies.
Securing the necessary information for applications and renewals was a process they knew could be improved. Not only was it time-consuming for agents, Mount believed that clients also found it onerous, and he sensed an opportunity to strengthen relationships by making it easier.
“The whole exercise was just so painfully slow,” said Mount. “Send an email with a PDF attached, force the client or prospect to print the PDF, then wait for them to fill in the information, or more likely, call or send another email to prompt them. And once everything was completed, clients or potential clients still needed to scan the completed form and figure out how to send it back to us.”
In this digital era, Mount found it remarkable that his industry was still operating this way.
“It’s not like submitting information online is a new concept for people. When people can make purchases on Amazon in just a few clicks, why should an insurance provider be stuck in an era of printing and scanning or, even worse, faxing?”
Renewals get a shot of adrenaline.
After researching different options, Mount and the team at GuardPro decided that Broker Buddha was the platform that would do the most to increase efficiency and save time. And they saw improvements as soon as they started using it.
Now when it’s time to renew a policy, an email goes out from GuardPro with a Smart Link. Instead of downloading a daunting PDF, clients are connected to an online form with much of the information already filled in.
“I would say 99% of our clients at least start the renewal process as soon as they get that email,” Mount remarked. “When a PDF shows up in an In Box, it’s only human for someone to decide it’s a task they’ll push off to another day. But once they’re in the Broker Buddha interface, people realize they can get the renewal done quickly.”
Automated email reminders have also made a huge difference for Mount. If a client has only partially completed the renewal or has yet to start it, email prompts are automatically generated. For the team at GuardPro, it means they are spending less time checking on the status of existing accounts and more time finding new ones.
“I believe that, for us, Broker Buddha has cut at least five or six steps out of the typical renewal process,” added Mount.
Automation prompts action.
At GuardPro, using Broker Buddha has not only made it easier for the agency to stay on top of renewals, it’s also made them more productive when it comes to securing new business.
Now, when an application is started, the team at GuardPro can see exactly where the prospect is in the process. If something is left incomplete, they can reach out, make a connection, and take any action that might help close the sale.
“When you’re trying to add a new client, it’s important to move quickly. If we lose their attention, we probably lose their business,” Mount said.
Finally, one of the biggest improvements for GuardPro has been the sharp reduction of errors that previously happened when collecting information. Handwriting can be hard to decipher, and a scanned or faxed document can print poorly. With everything typed in and collected online, mistakes that slow the underwriting process have been virtually eliminated.
The right technology improves operations. And relationships.
While Mount appreciates all the time-saving features and positive feedback from clients, using Broker Buddha hasn’t stopped him from making human connections. Fact is, he knows that a well-timed phone call remains critical when it comes to securing new business and retaining current clients.
“The difference is that now I’m not calling someone and hounding them to finish paperwork,” he said. “I can reach out to make sure they have the right coverage for their company and develop the kind of relationship that grows our business.”
Thursday, August 8, 2019