The September issue of Tech Decisions will include an article I wrote about the carrier/agency relationship and the term those two sides love to debate: ease of doing business.
Most carriers and agencies have their own idea how that word “ease” actually applies to what they are doing, but after speaking to Nort Salz about it I have three recommendations from him to pass on.
Salz is the founder and president of Deep Customer Connections, a research and consulting group for the insurance industry, and regularly discusses this particular issue with carriers and agencies.
He’s developed three points that every insurer—no matter which end of the distribution channel you reside on—needs to bring into their organization.
The three points from Salz are:
1) The agency/carrier relationship will only work if there is strong, sustainable leadership from the top.
2) Ease of doing business is not a project, it’s a culture. Carriers need to breathe it into the entire organization and everybody, in some way or another, has an effect on that.
3) You have to find a way to reinforce ease of doing business so people within the organization get feedback to support what they’re doing.
There are no great insights into these recommendations, just common sense. But I don’t think any of us should be surprised that someone needs to keep hammering home these points because, as technology keeps moving, ease of doing business doesn’t stand still either.
What it all comes back to, though, is that what’s easy for Carrier A is not necessarily easy for Agency B. Understanding the issues that each side is facing may not make things easier for either side, but it opens the line of communications and that’s half the battle.