When it comes to forging an instant connection with customers,independent insurance agents who expect theirbusiness to grow and thrive know that having the righttechnology in place is paramount.

"The forward-thinking agent doesn't see [digitization andautomation] as a threat," says Michael Howe, senior vice presidentof product management at AppliedSystems, a University Park, Illinois-based insurancetechnology-consulting firm that provides insurance agency portals."They see it as a way to strengthen their relationship with thecustomer."

Even longtime agents with ingrained business processes and loyalclients who may presumably not be interested in high-tech bells andwhistles now have little choice in the matter of tech-driveninnovation. Today's consumers demand speed and control, and thoseagencies that best manage consumers' evolvingtastes possess the advantage of being attractive to prospectivebuyers.

Use technology wisely

No longer is the question when or how many tech tools to adopt,but whether the technology an agency currently has in place makesagents' jobs easier and customers happier, all while producing fresh leads faster.

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