The New Must: Online Customer Self-Service

EZLynx Client CenterThere was a time when “going digital” was a long-term goal for many independent insurance agencies. But as this pandemic continues, one thing becomes very clear: Digital is no longer optional.

But is your agency providing online customer self-service, or is this an area that is being overlooked?

Almost overnight, online customer self-service has become a must. And this trend is not temporary—customer expectations have been changed forever. Providing your clients with access to self-service options anytime, anywhere is an expectation your agency will need to continue to meet. If you don’t, your competition will.

Insurance shoppers have changed. They desire websites and apps they can interact with at their own convenience. Why? Because other industries have taught them to expect it. (No, it’s not just Millennials.)

The goal is to meet your customers where they are. And those customers are online, actively seeking ways to insert themselves into every possible aspect of their transactions – including customer service. Unless they feel the need to communicate with an agent directly, they would prefer not to.  It’s all about immediacy.

Insureds should be able to Download ID cards, view policy information, upload documents, check in on active claims, make payments, and submit changes to their policies. For commercial lines, policy holders expect to generate certificates, request changes to schedules, and provide the required (extensive) data for their applications when and how it’s most convenient for them.

You’ve worked so hard to attract and win modern insurance consumers, be sure to invest in the infrastructure required to retain them.

Here are some key takeaways for success:

  • Get started now. Customer expectations are only growing.
  • Commit to making online customer self-service a strength of your agency.
  • Don’t wait for the process to be perfect – it never will be. You have to start somewhere, and your clients will recognize you’re making moves in the right direction.
  • Technology is driving these demands, so choose solution(s) that can scale with you.
  • If you don’t deliver on the desired customer experience, someone else will.

As 2020 unfolded, EZLynx shifted its development priorities even more toward expanding agencies’ online self-servicing capabilities. EZLynx Client Center makes it possible for agencies of all sizes to deliver the customer portal experience their clients expect. Whether your book of business is mostly personal lines, commercial or somewhere in between, we have a solution that is simple to establish and easy to maintain.

Here are some links to more information:

EZLynx Client Center webpage

Agency Experience video


What’s New in EZLynx 20.3

The EZLynx September 2020 release is now available! Here are some of the highlights:

Automation Center adds Dashboard and Texting

EZLynx 5 users will notice the brand new addition of a dashboard to Automation Center. This new feature provides an overview of the automation driving your agency. Gain valuable insights into your agency’s total number of automation executions, top executed workflows, the number of workflows enabled and the branches executing the most workflows. Usage data can be viewed for this month, last month and year till date.

Texting has also been added as an available action for select customer Triggers. The Send Text Message option reflects clients’ growing preference for texting when communicating with your agency on transactional matters. You can also opt for Text Messages as a backup method within workflows where the Send Email Action has been chosen, but no email address exists for the client.

Text Messages can even include attachments, such as images or videos. You can also provide a direct link to your agency’s Client Center portal within the text message.

Claims added to Client Center

The claims experience is ultimately how insureds judge their carrier, their agent… and really “insurance” altogether. That’s why customer self-servicing has become so important. It delivers a sense of immediacy that can be accomplished no other way.

With the addition of Claims to Client Center, your agency can now share relevant and timely claim updates via this convenient customer portal. Keep insureds engaged, up to date and less stressed during the claims process. Your clients can view claims, status, adjuster information, and even provide feedback.

To help keep your clients informed, we’ve also added a Claims trigger to Automation Center. This trigger automates a notification to insureds when there is an update to their claim. Once a claim is closed, insureds will even be prompted to take a quick survey about their experience.

Client Center can now be added to Insureds’ Mobile Devices

Give your clients the reassurance of knowing that your agency is never more than a button press away!

That’s right, your customers can now add your agency’s Client Center customer portal to the home screen of their mobile devices. When logging in, they will be prompted with the option to add this new “Insurance” icon to their home screen. Once installed, your customers will receive convenient, complete online self-service with a single click.

Just one more way EZLynx is helping your agency deliver a modern insurance experience.

Flood Insurance

EZLynx has partnered with Flood Risk Solutions, Inc., to provide flood insurance as a new cross-selling opportunity during the quoting process. This new integration is available to EZLynx 5 users through the EZLynx Connect Marketplace.

Once the integration has been added, it will automatically identify applicants residing in a flood zone when Auto and Home quotes are returned. From there, you are walked through the process to generate a quote.

New! 24/7 In-Product Help and Information

Now you can access product Help and Information without ever leaving EZLynx.

Look for the new “Question Mark” Icon in the top-right to search 500+ articles in the EZLynx Knowledge Base. Simply type your question, and EZLynx will display the resources available to answer it.

Use the “Book” Icon in the Main Menu (left side) to access training and webinar information.

 

For more information on any of these exciting new features, please visit the EZLynx Solution Center.


EZLynx Partners with Netstar, Inc. Telecom Navigators to Provide Complimentary Internet Service Provider and Telecom Services

Now agents can easily get the telecom and technology solutions they’ve been dreaming of

Through EZLynx’s partnership with Netstar Inc. independent insurance agents can easily access a free consultative service designed to procure the best voice, internet, cloud and security services for their businesses.

Netstar, Inc. is a leading telecom and cloud solutions expert with more than 20 years of experience helping organizations find the best IT strategies to allow their businesses to effectively communicate with their clients. As a trusted advisor, Netstar gives thousands of customers peace of mind by cutting through the confusion of the communications industry and ensuring that they receive the best value for a complete and unified communications solution.

Insurance agents’ number one goal for their communications services is to provide stellar service to their customers. With Netstar’s help, agents will find the perfect phone system, one that will function the same at home as it does in the office and is capable of effectively handling their call capacity and load leveling.

“Just as insurance agents find coverages that best protect their customers’ interests, Netstar discovers the perfect package of communications services that enable businesses to run smoothly and efficiently,” said Tony Cheng, Principal Partner at Netstar.

“EZLynx’s goal is to provide services to meet Agency IT Operations while enabling them to focus on increasing market share and running their book of business better,” said Srinivas Vaddi, EZLynx product manager.

Netstar, Inc. is the latest addition to the EZLynx Connect platform. EZLynx Connect provides third-party businesses an avenue to distribute their products and services directly within the EZLynx platform. The EZLynx framework has been opened and carrier and vendors have been invited to work side-by-side with EZLynx’s technologists to innovate and integrate solutions to better the agency workflow.


EZLynx Partners with Clearent to Offer Secure Online Payment Processing for Independent Insurance Agencies and Their Clients

New integration answers the call for remote, contactless payment method.

EZLynx is proud to announce that it has partnered with Clearent to offer secure online payment processing for independent insurance agencies. Insureds can remit payments via credit card or eCheck easily and securely within EZLynx Client Center.

This new integration provides a simple way for agents to collect electronic payments from their clients. With current restrictions on travel and face-to-face meetings, providing a remote, contactless form of payment is particularly important. This added functionality to EZLynx Client Center eliminates the need for clients to visit the agent’s office or provide their credit card information over the phone. Electronic payment is also a safer, more efficient alternative to paper checks.

“Especially now, insureds need online options for the payment process, both paying from home and deferring payments,” said EZLynx Product Manager Derek Armentrout. “Our partnership with Clearent makes it simple for agents to provide these alternatives.”

The industry trend toward customer self-service has never been more pressing, and the addition of payment processing to the EZLynx ONE PLATFORM answers this call.

“It is imperative that insurance customers have the ability to make payments with flexibility. That’s why we are excited to announce our partnership with EZLynx,” said Clearent Vice President of Partner Solutions Doug Bernier. “Through a single integration, EZLynx’s customers will be able to safely and securely take payments online right within the EZLynx platform.”

Clearent is the latest addition to the EZLynx Connect platform. EZLynx Connect provides third-party businesses an avenue to distribute their products and services directly within the EZLynx platform. We’ve opened the EZLynx framework and invited carriers and vendors to work side-by-side with our technologists to innovate and integrate solutions to better the agency workflow. More information about this exciting new integration can be found here.


EZLynx Introduces Integration with Secure24 Alarms for ADT Home Alarm Systems

EZLynx is proud to announce its partnership with Secure24 Alarms for ADT Home Alarm Systems. Now agents can easily cross-sell home security to interested shoppers from within the EZLynx Rating Engine and earn commissions.

This new integration acts as a lead generator for clients interested in learning about ADT Home Alarm Systems. Secure24 Alarms contacts the prospect to provide more information and manage the complete sales process. When a lead results in a sale, the agent earns a commission. There is no cost to the agent for this new feature, only opportunities to earn more.

The entire process is kicked off with a single button press. During the normal quoting process, agents will find ADT Home Alarm Systems conveniently located within the “ADD VALUE TO YOUR QUOTE” section of EZLynx Rating Engine.

“Shopping for insurance or purchasing a new home is a likely time for homeowners to reconsider their security options,” said EZLynx Director of Strategic Partnerships Kevin Coplin. “Insurance agencies are looking for ways to introduce additional revenue streams with their existing client base. ADT Home Alarm Systems is a great way to do this, and our partnership with Secure24 Alarms makes the process about as simple and seamless as it can be.”

“Secure24 Alarms is truly excited to be partnered with EZLynx,” said Secure24 Alarms Chief Marketing Officer AJ Vogler. “Our strategic partnership creates additional value for policy holders, agents, EZLynx and Secure24. Allowing agents to seamlessly refer clients to exclusive security packages from the leading home security company in the world while creating an additional revenue stream for agents is a win-win in our book. The push-button referral process will make this very simple.”

Secure24 Alarms is the latest addition to the EZLynx Connect platform. EZLynx Connect provides third-party businesses an avenue to distribute their products and services directly within the EZLynx platform. We’ve opened the EZLynx framework and invited carriers and vendors to work side-by-side with our technologists to innovate and integrate solutions to better the agency workflow.


EZLynx Client Center: Foster Happier and More Profitable Customers

We are making some big improvements to EZLynx Client Center. Client Center has long been a staple of the EZLynx ONE PLATFORM. The portal provides the online customer experience insurance shoppers have grown to expect from their agent. Insureds can access policies, submit change requests, view their ID Cards and generate certificates from anywhere—even on the side of the road.

With the release this month we will make some key enhancements to the product, with a focus on making customer self-service easier and more convenient. We also made the product even more profitable for your agency. We have enhanced the product in three key areas:

  1. Life Insurance Quoting
  2. Promoting Client Center to Customers
  3. Updated Client Experience

Life Insurance Quoting

As agencies look for ways to expand sales opportunities with their existing customer base, Life Insurance should be an obvious choice. EZLynx Client Center now makes the process straightforward and at the customer’s convenience.

Many of you are already enjoying access to Life Insurance rates through the Quote Results page in EZLynx 5. Now, we’ve added the option for your clients to proactively request a quote through the Client Center portal. This feature works in both EZLynx 4 and EZLynx 5.

This latest development is an extension of our partnership with BackNine Insurance, made possible through the new EZLynx Connect program.

This process works from any internet-enabled device. Clients will be asked a series of questions from BackNine. The system will return a list of monthly term life premiums, based on the insured’s health. BackNine will communicate the lead to your agency, so you can follow up with the prospect.

To take advantage of this new cross-selling feature, enable BackNine integration from Connect Market Place. You will be asked to enter your National Producer Number (NPN) to verify your credentials with BackNine Insurance. Once an Assigned Agent has enabled BackNine Insurance, their customers will begin seeing this new quote feature as they log in to Client Center.

Promoting Client Center to Customers

When you remind insureds that online customer self-service is available 24/7, everyone wins! That’s why we have added two new ways for you to promote Client Center and its use.

  • Client Center Email Campaign.
    From EZLynx account overview section, agencies can quickly initiate a Client Center email campaign with a single click. The campaign will automatically apply a Client Center template to the email, containing a link for customers to access your Client Center portal.These emails can engage insureds and prospects at any stage of customer life cycle.

If your agency has been upgraded to EZLynx 5, you will also see the new Client Center Email Campaign icon.

  • Provide a link to Client Center as a personalization Tag within an email.
    You can also provide a link to Client Center with a personalization Tag. This option inserts your agency’s Client Center portal URL into any email campaign template.

Updated Client Experience

We’ve also enhanced the client experience with a new interface and simplified workflows. Insureds and prospects will immediately notice the improvement. From the landing page, Quick Menu options will direct them to the most used features. And the associated pages have been enhanced for more straightforward usability.

The Policies page has a streamlined look and feel.

The Documents page displays more pertinent information for the client, making file sharing even easier.

It’s never been easier for customers to submit Policy Change Requests for their personal and commercial line policies. The change request options are clearly highlighted, saving them a phone call to your agency.

The Certificates generation workflow is now even smarter. Because certificates are perhaps the most time-consuming and costly activity imposed on agencies, these new changes encourage your insureds to generate certificates themselves, instead of always requesting them from your agency.

Additional Resources

These are just the latest updates to what was already a powerful tool. We understand how important online customer service is in today’s climate, and we want your agency to exceed your clients’ expectations.

EZLynx Client Center gives your customers access to important self-servicing functions 24/7:

  • Client-Generated Proof of Insurance ID Cards
  • Policy Change Requests, with activity notifications sent directly to agents
  • Secure two-way document sharing with insureds and prospects
  • Clients can view policy details and coverages

To learn more about EZLynx Client Center, please visit these resources:

Client Center 101
Client Center User Manual
Client Center Best Practices
Client Center – Digital 24/7 Self-Servicing During COVID-19


Why EZLynx 5?

We strive to look beyond the status quo to see the bigger picture and create new, innovative solutions. This principle is so important that it is one of our core values at EZLynx – THINK. In the office, we see it each day on the wall, and even working from home, this value drives our passion, creativity, and desire to bring value to our customers every day.  It has been a force for change at the company since the original EZLynx Rating Engine pioneered the concept of real-time rating, and EZLynx 5 is another step forward in our evolution.

As more information runs within our platform, the underlying technology that supports it must scale too. This technology needs to be updated to keep up with the rapid pace at which EZLynx continues to become more powerful and useful to our agents. Our priority is your success. This is the primary driver for EZLynx 5, and with it comes more ways we can help your agency improve productivity, profitability, serviceability, and scalability – the four pillars of our product philosophy.

Our world is changing, and we’ve watched two major trends emerge: an increased use of mobile (tablets and phones) and a driving need for automation. EZLynx 5 was built with these things in mind, and it can provide additional value to your agency through powerful automation features, enhanced mobile support, and new third-party integrations.

Prospects expect agents to produce an accurate quote at any time or place. In order to get a quote on a mobile device, we needed to streamline the application process by intelligently answering the carrier specific questions needed to get a rate while also simplifying the interface. Leveraging the massive volume of data flowing through our platform (half of the quotes in the country), EZLynx 5 is able to intelligently prefill many of these questions based on your agency’s location.

We know that agents who choose EZLynx are forward-thinking, resourceful, and ready to embrace the advantages these evolutions in automation and artificial intelligence can bring.  Particularly in challenging times, customer retention becomes paramount, and EZLynx 5 builds on top of our existing retention and communication tools with new automation features.

We dreamed of a way for agencies to easily add value to every quote and every policy that flows through our platform. EZLynx Connect provides third-party businesses an avenue to distribute their products and services directly within the EZLynx platform, and this new architecture has been built into EZLynx 5 from the ground up. We’ve opened the EZLynx framework and invited carriers and vendors to work side-by-side with our technologists to innovate and integrate solutions to improve your workflow. EZLynx Connect will allow us to seamlessly exchange data with third party vendors and allow for complete automation.

We realize changing something that you use and depend on every day can be frustrating, but “we cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”  This is the same with technology and software. For it to evolve, to become more powerful, and more innovative the technology must change. At times, we’ve had missteps, but we know that, as with innovations before, we will get it right in the end. There is a vital need to adopt new technological advantages, yet the insurance industry is often slow to embrace these changes. Our goal is to change the industry for the better. We want to build products that aid in your success, and while there is not a perfect path to that vision, we believe that EZLynx 5 is the first step.


EZLynx Introduces First Network Management System for Market Access Providers

EZLynx is the first insurance software solution company to provide a complete, cloud-based network management system designed specifically to help Market Access Providers (MAPs) and their members reach their full growth and profit potential.

EZLynx MAP helps organizations thrive in today’s hyper-competitive insurance market by streamlining the daunting task of managing a quickly growing network.  Every aspect of network management is made easier, smarter, and less time-consuming.

In recent years, Market Access Providers have seen tremendous growth. As MAPs grow and expand the scope of their services, management becomes overwhelming and scalability becomes an issue. Visibility diminishes with each new agency, eventually hitting a plateau. EZLynx MAP addresses this problem by giving unprecedented visibility into the network by slicing and dicing the data at every level.

EZLynx MAP is an innovative solution that helps manage the five key elements needed for overall network scalability and productivity:

  • Member Management – Drive network members to success by managing their licenses, Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance requirements, agreements, and more.
  • Carrier Management – Strengthen relationships using aggregate carrier data, including policy downloads and commission allocation in one, easy-to-use location.
  • Commission Management – Boost productivity by eliminating the manual work of creating reports/spreadsheets with member commissions.
  • Performance Management –Master Agencies can set, track and monitor performance goals across all levels of their organization, including specific markets and territories, and individual agencies.
  • Member Portal– Give member agencies the tools they need to self-manage and stay in compliance. Securely share documents, performance goals, book of business and agency health reports, and more.

EZLynx MAP provides key data allowing Market Access Providers to analyze production across their members’ books of business in real-time. Continual data flows give master agencies the power to monitor the success of its members and make informed, data-driven decisions and effectively set goals to support growth strategies.

“Business growth is about developing powerful strategies and then executing on them,” said EZLynx Product Manager, Vijay Rengarajan. “The soundest strategies are derived from meaningful, actionable data. As MAPs grow, the data demand becomes less about their own corporate-level information and more about the collective data of their swelling membership ranks.”


EZLynx Announces Full Functionality For Its New Analytics and Reporting Platform

EZLynx is pleased to announce the transition to the new EZLynx Reporting & Analytics platform is complete; full functionality will be available to all customers as it is rolled out in the coming weeks.

This is a great step forward in an ongoing effort to bring agencies state-of-the-art reporting and reporting technologies. Users can obtain crucial agency insights easier and faster than ever before. The EZLynx Reporting and Analytics platform enables independent insurance agencies to effectively leverage their data for greater agency growth, service, and profitability.

Features include:

  • Powerful export options make sharing specific reports with other users throughout an organization possible
  • Pixel-perfect reports
  • The ability to schedule the automatic delivery of users’ most-used reports directly to their inbox
  • Interactive charts for in-depth evaluation of important KPIs
  • Revamped Agency Pulse report for agency owners, featuring valuable trend analysis and peer benchmark data

“The Reporting & Analytics team hears our customers’ voices and we are excited to continue to bring new reporting features that will help agencies meet their goals.” said EZLynx Product Manager, Aaron Rainey.

To ensure a smooth transition, EZLynx users will still have access to the legacy platform for a limited time.


What’s New in EZLynx 20.0

The EZLynx April 2020 release is now available! Here are some highlights of the release:

New! Carrier eDocuments

EZLynx Carrier Messaging is expanding to include eDocuments (eDocs). This new feature promotes better and faster communication between agents, carriers and insureds. It will also streamline your carrier connections and provide your agency access to the most accurate policy documents throughout the insurance life cycle.

  • Supports eDocs and Messages coming through IVANS
  • Automatic Carrier eDocument association to customer accounts and policies
  • Secure transfer of documents such as declaration pages, ID Cards, payment overdue notices, and more through Client Center
  • Full tracking of all policy documents sent directly from the carrier

If your agency is not already set up to receive eDocs and Messages, please reach out to carriers to enable this capability.

Improved Application and Policy Entry Workflows

EZLynx has made enhancements to policy and application screens for many commercial lines of business in the management system. The screens provide a more logical flow to enter data and navigate between different tabs in the screens.

The following LOBs have been updated with a new look and feel:

  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Workers Compensation
  • Commercial Umbrella & Excess Liability
  • Commercial Property
  • Errors & Omissions
  • Directors & Officers
  • Equipment Breakdown
  • Cyber Liability
  • General Liability
  • Commercial Auto
  • Crime
  • Commercial Inland Marine

Transition to New Reporting & Analytics Platform

We are excited to report that the transition to the new Reporting & Analytics platform has been completed! Look for this latest update to roll out to your agency in the coming weeks.

For those of you who have been enjoying the new platform since its initial release, full functionality is now available.

With this latest release:

  • Save the filters on any new report for easy access later
  • Share specific reports with other users in your organization
  • Schedule the automatic delivery of your most used reports directly to your Inbox

Other highlights of the new EZLynx Reporting & Analytics include:

  • Interactive charts
  • Significant speed enhancements
  • Additional export options, including Excel, PDF, CSV, and XML
  • Pixel-perfect reporting capabilities
  • Revamped Agency Pulse report, featuring trend analysis and peer benchmark data

When your agency switches over, you will immediately notice your Reports defaulting to the new version.

NOTE: Users will still have access to both the new and the legacy platforms for a limited time. For instructions on porting any saved or scheduled reports over to the new platform, click here.

 

For more information on any of these exciting new features, please visit the EZLynx Solution Center.