21. December 2021 By Viyan Kofli
How will the broker ecosystem behave in 2022?
A look into the sales universe of the future
Who hasn’t bought something on Amazon? When we think of the Amazon buying experience, our minds immediately turn to the range of offers it has, the constant availability of products and the quick response from the system. Do insurance brokers invoke the same associations, too? Digitalisation 4.0 and the effects of the pandemic have not made the situation any easier for them – or have they?
The outbreak of Covid-19 and the resulting social-distancing measures have forced brokers to limit the amount of face-to-face contact they have with their customers. It has, however, accelerated digitalisation. Brokers from the insurance industry are seeing this acceleration more than ever. The broker management programme (BMP) is the gateway to digital and smart customer care – even in the year 2022. An MVP is at the heart of everything a broker does and is the key to sales success. A state-of-the-art MVP makes or breaks the broker ecosystem, which itself resembles a large network of a sales universe. Basic functions such as viewing documents and contracts, managing data or communicating digitally with customers frees up more of the broker’s time and reduces manual work. But even an MVP quickly reaches its limits. For instance, the issue of interfaces such as BiPRO, which are not yet connected in every MVP, has not been fully clarified. But how will this situation change for brokers? Various scenarios are emerging with regard to platforms and ecosystems.
What does the sales ecosystem look like in theory?
According to Fraunhofer IESE, an ecosystem is a socio-technical system. It is a construct of all information, tools, interfaces and connections in the digital workplace. The system includes not only technical networks, but also organisations and people. In a common digital ecosystem, participants act on the basis of mutual benefits that arise from working together in the ecosystem.
In my view, the following points are particularly relevant for brokers:
- Appealing visualisation to create a simple and user-friendly work platform – combined with significant time savings and optimised processes
- Central data storage and the possibility to access the data from anywhere
- Collaborative working, for example through access for multiple employees
- Exchanging information between different organisations
- Process automation
- Prioritising tasks, for example in the form of notifications
- Digital document access
What does this look like in practice?
If you look at the definition of the ecosystem again, it is primarily the organisations that generate the added value for the brokers. The sales ecosystem is based on a synergy. It is not a static network – it expands dynamically over time. Brokers cannot do without prominent interfaces such as BiPRO, Open Insurance and various other platforms. A platform is a cooperation of participants in the digital ecosystem. In addition to broker management programmes, these can also be customer relationship management systems (CRM systems) or comparison portals. A CRM system is characterised by precise sales-specific reports, administrations and forecasts. The main task is to manage the customer relationship using a 360-degree view.
To illustrate this in practice, let’s use the following scenario:
- Broker Ms Schmidt logs into her broker management programme and receives a digital notification of a claim from a customer. It is a case of minor water damage.
- Ms Schmidt receives the notification via BiPRO standard message 430.5. Together with RNext and Smart Home Lab, BiPRO is developing further application areas in the ‘smart home’ segment (find out more here).
- She also finds out from the smart home service provider that the alarm was triggered via the sensors and that the customer has already been notified.
- She had already received a notification about the contractor commissioned to rectify the damage. The contractor was arranged through the insurance provider and is already on site.
- A consultation appointment with the customer is created via Ms Schmidt’s calendar planner.
- The customer is happy with this process. This example demonstrates what smooth communication looks like.
The point at which a claim is made serves as a ‘moment of truth’ and has an enormous impact on customer loyalty. The policyholder is only satisfied if processing is fast, transparent and error-free.
The integration of a proprietary broker management programme puts brokers at the centre of an enormous ecosystem and provides a major benefit in the form of sharing data digitally and fast and efficient communication among all of the parties involved.
What will the sales ecosystem look like in the future?
This question is an easy one to answer: the future will be shaped by the needs of the customers. They expect an omni-channel presence, real-time responses and a smooth and high level of transparency. Customers determine the success of an ecosystem. The pandemic showed us how quickly people can adapt to changing times. They also expect the same from providers, service providers and consultants.
It reminds me a little of the saying ‘survival of the fittest’.
The conclusion is that the ecosystem is the only way to overcome the challenges that brokers will face in the future.
Would you like to learn more about exciting topics from the world of adesso? Then check out our latest insurance blog posts.