Improve Carrier Retention with EZLynx Agency Pulse

Improve carrier retention

Many agencies miss out on chances to improve carrier retention through cross selling opportunities every month. Agencies collect massive amounts of customer data through their normal course of business. The bad news is most systems cannot intuitively gather, analyze, and present the agent’s customer data in an easy to understand snapshot of the agency’s performance.

EZLynx Agency Pulse is a monthly analytics report that helps agencies monitor trends from several important business categories. Aggregate data (generated from an agency’s EZLynx Rating Engine and Management System account) is compiled and delivered directly to the agency principal’s inbox.

Each report clearly shows month-over-month changes to key factors. This allows the agents to quickly surmise whether their marketing tactics are effective. If the numbers are not moving in the right direction, an agency can make quick adjustments.

Agency Pulse email

Key factors include:

  • Close ratios
    • By line and by producer or CSR
  • Retention calculations
    • Total carrier retention by line
  • Cross selling effectiveness
    • Policies per customer
    • Active policy count bands
  • Policy and premium statistics by carrier
    • Ranking by percent of book
    • PIF counts
    • Change to PIF counts
    • Annual premium estimates
  • Commercial lines policy and premium statistics
    • Customers added
    • Customers lost
    • Total number of customers
    • Number of policies
    • Annual premium estimates
    • Summaries by state
    • Breakdowns by line of business
  • Personal lines policy and premium statistics
    • Customers added
    • Customers lost
    • Total number of customers
    • Number of policies
    • Annual premium estimates
    • Summaries by state
  • Business mix
    • Personal/ Commercial split
  • Email saturation
    • Percentage of customers with email addresses
    • Percentage of prospects with email addresses

Lines of business, years of business comparison chart

An example of how an agency could use EZLynx Agency Pulse to increase carrier retention would be the correlation between effective cross selling and retention in the personal lines department.  Improving the policy per customer count is a proven way to increase the agency’s overall retention. Studies show that agencies retain a customer with only 1 policy for a period of 3 years on average. That isn’t really enough time to recoup the cost of selling the policy in the first place.

Let’s say an agency decides to implement a new cross sale campaign. With the Agency Pulse, an agency principal can quickly see the number of monthly quotes is increasing and, given their close ratios, the number of new policies written also increase accordingly. With the new policies added, the resulting policies per customer will also increase. Finally, the agency will soon notice a resulting increase in the carrier retention ratio and, eventually, profit.

Make sure your agents know how to help improve your personal lines retention ratio with EZLynx Agency Pulse.

Learn more about EZLynx Agency Pulse


Integrated Text Messaging in EZLynx

Eliminate the E&O Trap Caused by Texting with Clients

Continuing the trend of providing innovative agency solutions, EZLynx now has a fully integrated SMS text messaging solution – EZLynx Text Messaging. And it’s available today!

EZLynx Text Messaging is Here!Everyone loves to text. It’s quick, to the point, and you can do it from anywhere. Agencies are keenly aware of the huge E&O issue caused by communicating with their customers via text messages because the courts find that if it’s not documented in the agency system, it never happened.

Available as an individual add-on or part of our discounted Communication Center bundle, EZLynx Text Messaging allows your agency to send and receive text messages with your customers using a custom, dedicated phone number for your agency – giving you the peace of mind in knowing the messages are safely stored in EZLynx. No other agency automation vendor offers such a tightly integrated solution.

Text messaging, once used almost exclusively by teens, has grown to encompass a wider age range, with older adults now making up the fastest-growing new population of texters, according to the Pew Internet & Life Project.

In another study, it was found that text message open rates exceeded 98%, and even more shocking was that 90% of all text messages were read within 3 minutes of being received on the mobile phone. In short, texting works!

EZLynx Text Messaging - New Message

When viewing a consumer in EZLynx, select the option to send a text message, choose the phone number, type your message, and click send. It’s as simple as that.

EZLynx Text Messaging - Activity Log

When the consumer responds, the message will automatically be associated with that applicant. You will also receive a copy of the message by email. Best of all, the text messages will be logged as an activity in EZLynx, ensuring you always maintain a two-way record of the entire conversation.

EZLynx Text Messaging - Message Log

When viewing the incoming message log, reply back to incoming messaging without leaving the page, allowing you to quickly work your way down the list. You can also search through your log of text messages by applicant, date, message, and more. For text messages where the phone number does not match, search inline to find and associate the message with the correct applicant in seconds.

EZLynx understands the power of digital communication, and we are continuing to find innovative ways to make technology work for you and not against you. With EZLynx Communication Center, take advantage of our full suite of communication tools, including Text Messaging, Bulk & Drip Email Campaigns, eSignature, and our Microsoft Outlook plug-in, EZLynx for Outlook.

Start texting



Insurance Policy Retention: 5 Tips to Make Customers Love You

Years ago I read a wonderful book by legendary author Jeffery Gitomer titled “Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless: How to Make Customers Love You, Keep Them Coming Back and Tell Everyone They Know” …and how true this is!

Whenever I speak with an agency, one of the first questions that I ask them is “What makes you different than the agency across the street?” and guess what I immediately hear almost every time: “Our customer service is the best, and our customers are all satisfied!” Well, that’s great, as I am sure that your customers are very “satisfied”, but is purely being satisfied going to keep them renewing with you every year, and more importantly are they going to tell a friend about your firm? Most likely not…so what do you need to do in order to make this happen? Let’s take a look…

Keep in mind that it costs your agency about seven times more to acquire a new customer, than it costs to retain what you currently have. …and speaking of retention, most agents that I speak with also brag about having a 90% retention rate. Well that’s all well and good, except that you now have to work 10% harder just to break even from last year, which you worked harder than the year before, and the year before that. In addition, that’s assuming that none of your carriers have cut or restructured your commission plan…and we all know how often that “never” happens!

Having a “satisfied” customer means exactly that: that they have just what they need not to go out and talk poorly about your organization. Statistics indicate that a “satisfied” customer will tell 1 person about your business, where an unsatisfied person will tell 5. With the difference between satisfied and unsatisfied being about the length of a chip shot on a par 3, there isn’t much room for forgiveness in the event of an errant shot. I can walk into a fast food restaurant, in need of a meal, eat till I’m bursting, and walk out “satisfied”…even though the value of that meal may not be what I need from a nutritional standpoint. However, I can walk into a five star restaurant, be treated so special that I feel like I’m a VIP, have a conversation about my choices to see which entree best fits my needs, and walk out feeling like that was the best meal I ever ate. Chances are I will share that wonderful experience with quite a few folks, versus the meal that I had at the fast food restaurant. Both gave me what I need…but the latter made me “feel special’.

So how do you take a satisfied customer and bring them over to a loyal customer? Easy! In all the years that I have facilitated and managed sales teams, as a leader there is one thing that I have stressed with my team members more than anything: and that is “owning the relationship” with our customer.

That’s how you convert a client from a “satisfied customer” to a “loyal customer”. It’s simply all about “owning the relationship”…and we all know that the business of insurance is all about relationships…or else everyone might as well make a 15 minute phone call and not even bother to visit your agency. How do you own the relationship? Very simple: make them feel special, especially in front of their friends and relatives. THAT’S how you get a referral…THAT’s how you increase retention. THAT’S how you impact your bottom line in a positive fashion!

Insurance Retention Tips

So, how do you make someone feel special, and “own the relationship? There are many ways that you can do this, so let’s touch upon just a few “personal tips” this time, and we will revisit this once again at a later date.

  1. Call people by name. Everyone wants to feel like “they’re known”. So call folks by their name, and know how to pronounce it. Know their family members’ names. Remember your clients, and recognize them when they walk in the door. It worked at “Cheers”, and we all know that show was on the air for quite some time!
  2. Stay in touch. Remember that commercial that said “Reach out and touch someone”? Don’t wait until it’s time to deliver a claim check, or remind them about a premium that is due. Give a call to say, “Hello, how’s it going?” Take note of life events that may be pending, or past, and call to congratulate or offer assistance. (EZLynx can help with this. Great testimonial video about switching to our system can be found here.)
  3. Be genuinely warm and gracious to folks, and be appreciative that they came to visit you. Walk around from behind the desk to greet a visitor. Welcome them by offering a beverage, and perhaps if your office environment permits sit in the seat adjacent to them…as opposed to across the desk. Upon their departure, genuinely thank them, and advise them where the restroom is. Make them feel at home when they come to visit.
  4. Send a note. Nowadays everyone is texting and emailing, as opposed to calling. Something that I try to do is to send a handwritten note to everyone that I meet with. Sure, it takes a few minutes, and there are costs involved…but think of the last time that you gave someone a gift at a party, and a week later you received a simple handwritten note thanking you by name for the lovely gift. I’ll bet that you picked up the phone to call and thank them for the thank you note! It makes a difference.
  5. Ask for a referral. Think about what makes someone feel good about them self: helping others. Did you ever see someone you know in a situation, and you knew someone who could help? What did you do? You gave them the name of your buddy who could assist in the predicament. Everyone wants to feel like they are the person that others go to when they need advice…the “I know a guy” feeling. If you helped out your customer, and they are “loyal” to you, by simply asking if they know of anyone who you may also be of assistance to, you will get referrals. Try it!

One last point certainly worth discussing is that the insurance retention tips I mentioned above are not difficult, and eventually they will make a difference in your bottom line. Perhaps you already do some of what I have mentioned, or maybe you do something else to own the relationship. If so, please comment below and share your suggestions with us. We would love to hear from you!

Posted by


Feeling trapped? Find out how one agent found freedom with EZLynx Management System

Brian Burns, owner of Compass Insurance Group in Denver Colorado, recently sat down with us to talk about his experience migrating to EZLynx Management System.  We have heard from our customers for many years now that there is a growing feeling in our industry of being permanently chained to your existing management system.  The sad truth is, it’s intentional that you find yourself in this situation.  The AMS companies that have long dominated the industry have as part of their business strategy made it very difficult for an agency to move to another system for one simple reason: If you must continue using them as your management system, then they can charge you anything they want.  If you have any doubt, just check your bill.

“I felt trapped,” says Burns. And he’s not alone. A big part of that feeling comes from the fear that many management systems have worked to instill in their customers. “I get the fear because I felt it too,” he goes on. “They make it very difficult to get your data. That’s where they try to trap you. They say you can have your data, but they also say it’s encrypted and you have to pay us for it, and we wont give you a drop of support, and you know, good luck.”

These companies have realized that with this data, your business is on the line, and they are often quick to play that card.  It was no different for Burns. “Even though it’s your data, they make you feel like it’s not.”

When EZLynx released our Management System, we knew that our rating customers were going to have a hard time moving to our new system.  With our features, customer service, and price point, many agents wanted to, but they felt that, like Burns, they couldn’t. “I felt trapped by my management system, and it frustrated me,” says Burn. “You’re either going to give in to the fear and frustration that is associated with your old system, or you’re going to turn around and refuse to be frustrated anymore.”

For Burns, his confidence in EZLynx paid off. “I can’t believe there was any resistance at first, because it has been an overwhelming success for us,” says Burns.

However, as a company, helping agents break free from the chains of their old management system is only the first challenge. More importantly, we have worked hard to make sure EZLynx Management System is worth it for our customers, and if we don’t think it is, we won’t sell it. “They took their time to evaluate my data and make a true recommendation,” Burns continues. “If they felt like it wasn’t a good fit, they were willing to tell me that, and I know they’ve told people that before.”

We also realize that independent agents have to be agile and streamlined.  EZLynx is more than a comparative rater, and it’s more than a management system.  EZLynx is a full customer lifecycle suite that can help bring all your various tools together into one cost effective, seamless platform. “They actually developed our website, and we have quarterly meetings with them to make sure that it’s performing the way we want it to,” says Burns.

Part of being streamlined is also controlling your costs. “Every time I added a new employee, I would have to buy a new license and there would be a big upfront cost, and then that monthly cost would be tacked on,” he says. “With EZLynx, I don’t feel like they penalize you for growing. They want me to grow, just like I want them to grow.”

We have also put a lot of focus on making EZLynx Management System as user-friendly as possible.  If you already use EZLynx Rating Engine, then you already have a head start.  “There wasn’t a lot of training needed, and that’s a compliment to EZLynx because it’s very user friendly,” Burns remarks. “If there are certain things that you just don’t get, they have classes for them. I also love the live chat support where I can have someone answer my questions with just a few clicks.”

There’s a reason that EZLynx was the first comparative rater for independent insurance agents to the market over 10 years ago – Our goal from the beginning has always been to make an agents life easier through innovation. “If it doesn’t have a feature that is critical to your agency, I can tell you through experience that it will be there within a few months,” says Burns.

“Hands down, EZLynx is the best management system out there, and I guess it’s as simple as that.”

Watch the full video of Brian Burns here

Brian Burns is owner of Compass Insurance Group in Denver, Colorado.  Compass has been an EZLynx customer since 2004 and uses EZLynx to rate and manage their book of business of over $10M and over 5,000 customers.


 


EZLynx Client Center is now Mobile Friendly

The time and money required to keep an existing customer is often much less than the investment required to get a new customer.  Therefore it makes sense then that you would invest in the infrastructure needed to keep your current customers happy.

EZLynx Client Center - Mobile LoginOur latest version of EZLynx Client Center came out last year, and we have seen more and more agencies take advantage of this companion to EZLynx Management System, providing 24/7 customer self-servicing on their agency website.  And just like our Consumer Quoting product, we have also monitored the growing volume of visitors that come from mobile devices.

After all, it does make sense.  If you’ve got an always-on customer service center, why wouldn’t you make it easy for your on-the-go consumers to log in and access things like their auto proof of insurance? Already, several states have passed or are debating legislation to allow motorists to present digital insurance cards from their mobile devices as proof of insurance during a traffic stop.

As always, EZLynx continues to be at the forefront of innovation in announcing that later this week EZLynx Client Center will detect if your consumer is coming from a mobile device and automatically switch to a more mobile-optimized version of the site.

Users will be able to quickly log in from their phone or tablet, view policy details, send their agent a quick message, and view important policy documents, including automatically generated proof of insurance cards for their auto policies.

EZLynx Client Center - Mobile Document CenterWe also wanted to take advantage of features that are specific to a mobile device, so your customers can also snap a picture on their phone and quickly upload it to the document center.

These days, people are very well connected, and they expect around-the-clock access to their insurance information. In fact, many of your customers probably don’t even bother to keep paper copies of their policy documents, but assume they’ll be able to access the information electronically when they need it. If they can’t, they probably won’t be happy about having to wait for business hours so they can call you and get the information they’re looking for.

All of this information is right at your customers’ fingertips because it’s easy to integrate the EZLynx Client Center with your existing website, and if you already have EZLynx Client Center, you don’t have to do anything to take advantage of the new mobile features.

Even better, our EZLynx Agency Websites are built fully integrated with both EZLynx Consumer Quoting and EZLynx Client Center. When you use our whole suite of products, you’ll find that you’re able to provide a superior level of service to your customers to keep them happy and improve customer loyalty and retention.

EZLynx Agency Websites - Seamless Integration

Take a minute to picture your day without the frantic phone calls and emails from customers trying to find policy documents, ask questions about their coverage, or make changes to their policy. Not only does EZLynx Client Center eliminate many of these interruptions, but it also makes your customers happy, and happy customers tend to be the ones who stick with you!

Find out how you can start delivering superior customer service today.


 


Increase your Productivity on-the-go with EZLynx Mobile 2.0

EZLynx Mobile is Coming Soon

Coming next week, EZLynx Mobile is getting an updated user interface and a few new features to help make your life on-the-go more productive.

If this is the first you are hearing about a mobile version of EZLynx, you should check out this post for details and instructions on how to access the current version of EZLynx Mobile.

Use EZLynx Mobile 2.0 just like the desktop versionOne of our goals with the upcoming update has been to make the mobile and desktop experience more consistent. When using the mobile version, you will still have the same quick access to data that you have with the current version. However, we’ve made improvements to the layout and navigation menus so that things are right where you would expect them to be.

We’ve also added features that were recently added to the desktop version of EZLynx, including Quick Search and enhancements to the Documents tab.

Like desktop, your first stop is the Dashboard, where you can quickly search for an applicant. Typing on a phone or tablet is much more trouble, so the ability to start seeing results as you go will speed up the process of getting to the correct applicant.

Once you land on an Applicant Overview, you’ll find a familiar screen with applicant details and the usual color-coded policy grid, along with some of the usual sub-menu items.

New features to the Documents Tab in the desktop version of EZLynx was a good opportunity for us to integrate those same features into mobile. However, we wanted to take it one step further and leverage some of the common features of a mobile device – snap a picture from your phone or tablet and immediately upload it to the Document Tab. You can also click on an Applicant’s phone number or email address to call or email them right from your device.

Upload Documents with EZLynx Mobile

Get Starting Using EZLynx Mobile TodayYou can sign up to be notified when the new version of EZLynx Mobile is officially released here.

If you’d like to get started using the current version of EZLynx Mobile now, check out this post for details and instructions.

 


Tap Into the Marketing Potential of your EZLynx Consumer Data with EZLynx Bulk Campaigns

According to one study, almost 50% of consumers will make a purchase next year as a result of a marketing email.  EZLynx Drip Campaigns makes it easy for our users to put individual applicants on long term, multi-step email campaigns, but we know that it is also important to be able to send out bulk campaigns to targeted groups of people.  After all, if you’re reading this article, you are probably here as a result of our own bulk email blast. EZLynx Bulk Campaigns, the perfect companion to EZLynx Drip Campaigns, is here to help make the task of marketing and communicating with your prospects and customers in EZLynx even easier!

EZLynx Bulk Campaigns - Campaigns TabYou have a lot of valuable consumer information in your EZLynx account. Aside from the typical data such as names, addresses, and emails, you also have some unique policy and coverage data. Agents need an easy way to tap into this powerful data in order to send intelligent, revenue-producing emails to their consumers. EZLynx Bulk Campaigns, available through the EZLynx Marketplace, will do just that.

Our primary focus as we started to build EZLynx Bulk Campaigns was the list-building capabilities. We know this is essential to agents when preparing bulk email blasts. Specifically, this new tool allows you to filter the entirety of your EZLynx consumer data based on some very specific criteria, such as age, marital status, line of business, expiration date, annualized premium, carrier, and more.

EZLynx Buk Campaigns - ListsThese advanced filters allow your agency to send out highly targeted email campaigns to help your agency grow and retain business. For example, with EZLynx Bulk Campaigns, you will be able to build a list of your personal home clients whose policies will expire in three months and don’t have an auto policy with your agency. Want to narrow your results even more? You can also filter your list to target only those clients whose current policy falls within a certain annual premium. Or, to send an email to all of your commercial policy customers that don’t have their personal coverage with your agency, simply add two filters and you’re ready to go.

The goal of the list building tool in EZLynx Bulk Campaigns is to simplify sending the right email campaigns for your agency’s needs, because the more targeted your marketing efforts are, the more effective they will be.

EZLynx Bulk Campaigns - New CampaignOnce you’ve built the list, starting a new campaign is easy. Simply give your campaign a name, subject, and set the reply-to address to get started. Then, select the template and one of the lists you created. All that’s left to do at this point is fill in the email content. We’ve built in customization tags so you can make your emails as personalized and targeted as possible. For example, you can dynamically include the consumer’s information in the email, such as their first name, and the system will automatically fill in those values before it is sent to each individual recipient. You will be able to schedule the campaign to go out immediately, or set it to go out at a future date and time. This allows you to plan ahead with your email marketing strategy.

This first release of EZLynx Bulk Campaigns is only the beginning. Additional templates, new ways to filter your consumer data, and more powerful ways to customize and personalize the emails that you send are already being planned!

Sign up here to get started with EZLynx Bulk Campaigns and find out how EZLynx can help streamline the entire customer lifecycle for your agency.

 


EZLynx Carrier Consumer Quoting Helps Connect Carriers to Customers

It’s common knowledge that consumers research their insurance options online before purchasing.  Capitalize on this behavior by providing direct quotes on your web properties with EZLynx Carrier Consumer Quoting.

To deliver this type of innovation you need a solution that is both flexible enough for tight integration and can be implemented with expertise.  EZLynx delivers on all counts:

  • Flexible – Supports carrier requirements including custom data capture, screens (down to the pixel), workflows, multi-line quote presentations and more!
  • Integration – Our capabilities allow the carrier to leverage existing IT investments (websites and/or quoting systems) for seamless multiple quote presentations.
  • Scalable – Based on the same architecture and systems as EZLynx Rating Engine and handles millions of transactions per month.

Why pick EZLynx?  We pioneered real-time rating for agencies and consumer quoting.  For 10 years we’ve been partnering with carriers to deliver success with our breakthrough rating engine for agencies.

Already in use by several major carriers, EZLynx Carrier Consumer Quoting is the industry tested solution to directly connect with your customers.  If you need a customized solution to meet the needs of both the online shopper and your bottom line, we can help.  With the EZLynx team you can deploy a tailored direct-to-consumer quoting solution to your website in under 120 days.

For additional information about EZLynx Carrier Consumer Quoting, please contact [email protected].


EZLynx Creates Innovative Communications between Carriers and Agents to Improve Comparative Rating Success

Flower Mound, Texas – EZLynx, recognized as the industry leader in real-time comparative rating and insurance software solutions, announces EZLynx Carrier Messaging. Deliver marketing messages to agents at the most effective time – during the quoting process.

“Imagine delivering a message directly to an agent at the point of sale while they are deciding how or where to place the business,” says David Taylor, VP of Product Integration at EZLynx. “Carriers can now interact with their agents when they are quoting and grab their attention with a variety of risk specific messages in their EZLynx quotes. This powerful tool provides the message vehicle for growing a carrier’s market for specific areas or products.”

The messages, returned by the carrier’s system, are channeled to a messaging section on the EZLynx quote results page.  Banner alerts provide agents with an excerpt of the message content.  A quick click takes the agent to the carrier’s exclusive message, focusing them on the carrier’s specific information.

EZLynx Carrier Messaging is a highly effective communications channel for a carrier to deliver its unique strengths to its agency force.  While the messaging framework may be used for broadcast message delivery, it may also be used to deliver risk-specific messaging via text or HTML formatting.

“For example,” Taylor continues, “submission of a risk that the carrier identifies as an umbrella candidate can trigger a “have you considered” message back to the agent and includes a link to the carrier’s umbrella quoting application. With very liberal space-availability, carriers can employ combinations of text and graphical formats along with interactive methods as agent calls-to-action.”

“With multiple national carriers now participating in EZLynx Carrier Messaging, this is a win-win for the independent agent-carrier channel.” said Taylor.

To learn more about EZLynx Carrier Messaging, please contact [email protected].

ABOUT EZLYNX

EZLynx is an industry leader in property and casualty insurance solutions, with cloud-based agency management, comparative rating, client servicing, and digital marketing tools for the insurance agency marketplace. EZLynx pioneered the concept of real-time quoting and remains today the leading provider for independent agents. EZLynx processes more than four million auto, home and package transactions every month, offering a choice of rates from 160 top insurance companies in 48 states.


EZLynx Mobile 2.0 is Coming Soon!

EZLynx Mobile is Coming Soon

Coming soon, EZLynx Mobile is getting an updated user interface and a few new features to help make your life on-the-go more productive. By the way, if this is the first you are hearing about a mobile version of EZLynx, you should check out this post for details and instructions on how to access the current version of EZLynx Mobile.

One of our goals with the upcoming update has been to make the mobile and desktop experience more consistent. When using the mobile version, you’ll still have the same quick access to data that you have with the current version. However, we’ve made improvements to the layout and navigation menus so that things are right where you would expect them to be. We’ve also added features that were recently added to the desktop version of EZLynx, including Quick Search and enhancements to the Documents tab.

Upload Documents with EZLynx Mobile

We don’t want to give too many details away just yet, so check back soon to find out more! You can sign up to be notified when the new version of EZLynx Mobile is released here. If you’d like to get started using the current version of EZLynx Mobile now, check out this post for details and instructions.