Around this time of year, most agencies start to give some thought to their goals for the next year. There is a good chance that they will come up with several initiatives and since some of these may involve some degree of financial investment, the agency would probably want to budget for the anticipated costs. The same holds true for giving serious consideration to the establishment of a few E&O goals – issues that will enhance the E&O culture and provide a higher degree of E&O protection.
For every agency, the goals will probably be different based on where that agency is in their E&O loss prevention efforts. One that I want to focus on involves Staff Education.
In preparing for a speech I will be giving in Atlanta in September, I read a report by McKinsey & Company that addressed what insurance might look like in the year 2030 (it will be here before we know it) and the impact of artificial intelligence. One of the predictions they arrived at was “The number of agents is reduced substantially as active agents retire and remaining agents rely heavily on technology to increase productivity. The role of agents transitions to process facilitators and product educators”.
It is that last statement that I want to focus on – agents will have more of a role as product educators. Clients will want to better understand their exposures and how insurance can insure those exposures. This seems to strongly imply that those agencies that have a higher level of education focus will be the agencies that will survive and thrive in tomorrow’s world.
Every day, clients are looking to your agency for knowledge and expertise. To provide that, the applicable staff need to possess that knowledge. Growing in technical knowledge is certainly very important. Other staff education issues might include improved customer service skills and automation skills.
Without a doubt, staff and client education is today extremely important and will continue to grow in the level of importance towards the future survival of independent agencies.
Where does your agency stand on the issue of client education? Where does your agency stand on the issue of staff education? 2019 might be a good year to take the importance of this issue to the next level.