How insurance firms can save 1 hour a day

One of the biggest challenges facing any small or medium-sized business – and that includes insurance firms – is a lack of hours in the day.  What with all the endless admin, meetings and unexpected problems, the constant stream of jobs to be done is seemingly endless.

So think of all the things you could do if you could have just one hour of your time back every day… Maybe you’d be able to get the end of that to-do list for once, put a greater focus on how to keep your business ahead of the competition, or perhaps you’d even get to spend a bit more time with your loved-ones.

Then think of how powerful that could be if everyone in the business had an extra 60 minutes to spend as they wished…

And the good news is, winning back that hour doesn’t have to mean sleeping less – a few smart business manoeuvres can usually get you there. So here are my five surefire tips for how insurance firms can give themselves that useful dose of extra time…

1. Help your customers to self-serve

How many hours a week in your business are wasted fielding simple customer queries – either on the phone or via email? There are many easy ways to cut down on those simple questions that eat up your employees’ time.

A great place to start is ensuring your website has lots of useful information, is simple to navigate and has an FAQs section that’s easy to find. Then there’s your outbound customer communications: is everything clear, concise and written in plain English? Or another great solution is installing a chatbot that can handle basic queries – these days, this is a fairly simple process and is considered standard practice among most larger organisations.

If the easy stuff can be handled without your employees getting involved, that frees up more time for everyone to give a human, personalised service for customers who require greater attention and expert decision-making, such as those with more complex insurance requirements.

2. Increase automation

In a similar way to the above, the more you can automate the basic stuff, the more time you can free up for activities that create added value for your core business. This is particularly useful with back-office functions and could be, for example, a software solution that automatically calculates and pays commission to your sales team, rather than someone having to manually process it.

What’s more, the more you can automate processes like this, the less likely you are to be susceptible to human error or fraud – which is definitely a bonus in a regulation-heavy industry such as insurance.

3. Stop duplicating data entry

If you have useful data in one place (for example, information about a customer or prospect), then make sure your tech systems can talk to each other properly and share that information across multiple business functions – rather than, for example, your accounts or marketing teams having to waste precious time re-keying information into their systems that copies the spreadsheets being kept by your sales team.

There are some great enterprise-grade systems out there that will help you to do this, at a price that’s affordable to smaller businesses, such as Salesforce’s cloud-based software solutions.

What’s more, the less data that’s inputted by human hand, the more accurate it will be (see the next point).

4. Master your data

There are few bigger time-thieves than inaccurate data. And if I had a pound for every time I’d seen a business where, for example, HR has one figure for headcount and payroll budget and finance has another, I’d be on a beach in the Caribbean right now. The number of hours it can take to resolve discrepancies like that is, frankly, scandalous.

So the more you and your executive team can be sure that your data comes from one trusted source – a ‘single source of the truth’, as we like to call it – the more time you can spend confidently making smarter decisions based on that lovely, accurate information that you know you can trust.

5. Use data dashboards to regularly review performance

If you have accurate data that you can trust, and that data is collated in a single place on dashboards that are easy to read, you can spend your time using it to generate valuable business insights, rather than having to go out and find the info you need.

A great use case for this might be to review the performance of various teams – for example, being able to spot where effort is being duplicated by more than one person or team, or noticing that absences tend to increase at the end of every month. And, by having clear visibility of such information – and trust in its veracity – it becomes a lot easier to understand the underlying reasons and act accordingly to create greater efficiency within your business.

If any of these tips make sense to you, we’d love to have a chat about how Cognition24 can help you apply them to your business – get in touch with us by phone or email. Or if you’d like to find out more about keeping your insurance firm ahead of the competition, take a look at one of the following articles:

5 ways the insurance firms of the future will win

How winning insurance firms choose the right consultants

How winning insurance firms choose the right technology

Insurance Case Study: How we helped one firm move ahead of the game