Parker, Smith & Feek, Inc. is an insurance and risk management brokerage firm that offers first-class service and a variety of insurance options. Also one of the largest firms in the U.S., the agency strongly values teamwork in order to achieve the highest level of excellence for clients. Sherisa Crevier, PS&F Vice President and Agency Operations Manager, says, “Our cultural thought process behind serving clients is anything that we’re doing, whether it’s technology-based, workflow-based, whatever it is, we need to be thinking of the client experience.”
But with almost 2,000 clients and 265 brokers, tending fully to every client’s needs is no small task. To assist with processing, the firm needed an application platform; one that could be adopted across the board by the PS&F team while simultaneously improving the client experience.
For PS&F Insurance, creating a positive, consistent client experience is everything. However, when clients spend more time on application processing and not meaningful conversations with PS&F staff, it’s difficult to achieve this type of experience. As Crevier explains, “There was a lot of back and forth between clients and staff, which resulted in frustration on the client’s part. The process wasn’t streamlined by any means.”
Specific challenges included:
- Agent time consumed by the application process. The team would put together submission packets that included all of the required client applications. But then the carrier would inevitably come back with a different version of the same application, which PS&F would then have to send to the client. This resulted in multiple conversations and documents being passed between the carrier, PS&F staff, and clients. It was frustrating for the client and for agency staff, who had less time to spend on risk management consulting.
- Delayed application turnaround time. After sending the application forms, PS&F would have to wait for the client to send back the app — with email, they didn’t have the ability to go online and walk through the application with the client. PS&F staff was instead going to the client’s office, sitting down in front of them and saying, “We need you to fill this out.” If the client was confused by any application questions or sections, this process took even longer.
- Slower customer onboarding. Selecting a new broker is a difficult process for a client. As Crevier explains, even if they’re not satisfied with their current broker, clients still have someone who knows their history — a downside for PS&F customer acquisition. For example, a broker and client might have ten years of history together; the broker understands exactly what’s happened on the client account. It’s then overwhelming for the client to endure the entire education process again. This reluctance made it more difficult for PS&F to capture client business.
To combat these challenges and continue to improve the client/employee experience, Crevier and her team began searching for an efficient solution for the PS&F team to manage client applications.
Indio turned out to be the perfect fit for PS&F to improve their client experience while still being easy for staff to adopt. The firm took an incremental approach to integrate Indio into their process — starting with a test with their small business team. “That’s the group [where ] we look to streamline things as much as possible,” explains Crevier.
Indio’s online portal stores digitized smart application forms. The client receives a single link where they can fill out their application form directly within the portal. Common answers (e.g., name, phone number) are automapped across forms, meaning clients don’t have to enter the same information six times in six different applications. An application’s progress (e.g., “50% completed”) is also visible in the portal to both clients and staff members allowing staff members to easily keep track of time to completion, rather than going back and forth with clients via emails or visiting their office.
Indio features are also easy to demonstrate and explain; this helps improve conversations with prospective clients as they learn about how much faster they can complete applications with the platform. And instead of relying on a “Request a quote” page for capturing leads, account executives can embed Indio’s lead capture forms on landing pages, which gathers all of the necessary information for new client applications.
Once the PS&F small business team started to work with Indio, they quickly caught on to the advantages Indio had to offer. “They really jumped in and got excited about it,” Crevier remembers. “That’s how we created internal advocates for Indio. Then we rolled out the implementation department-wide for commercial, and it just became part of the standard workflow.”
Combined with PS&F’s internal implementation process, the intuitive Indio platform has helped create a streamlined application process that benefits both staff members and clients, as well as positively impacts the PS&F employee/client experience.
Due to a high internal adoption rate of Indio and consistent platform activity, PS&F staff can spend more time consulting clients on their risk, clients are turning in applications faster than ever, and new client opportunities are increasing.
More time for strategic consulting.
The overall Indio platform helps make application processes as minimal as possible so that agents can truly serve as risk management consultants for clients. For example, instead of sending multiple emails, PS&F staff members only have to send one link to application forms. And with the autopopulate feature filling out common information across all forms, clients save significant amounts of time on form completion.
Crevier says, “Either it’s a direct facing client experience, which Indio very much is, or it’s an employee experience, which Indio is as well. It creates more capacity for teams to think about higher-level strategic tasks.”
Faster turnaround time for applications.
Clients are getting completed information back significantly faster than they were in the past. What once took three or four conversations to get client applications back to PS&F agents, they now often get it the next day. PS&F is then able to get applications out to market faster, which also improves the client experience.
In addition, PS&F clients now have a “metrics” mindset due to the Indio application progress feature. While PS&F staff members can see progress within the Indio platform and determine if they need to reach out, clients are also keeping track on how far their applications are to completion and feeling motivated to get them back quickly.
Opportunities to close new business.
PS&F’s team of professionals are the ones who ultimately win over new clients; however, Indio acts as a strong selling point in prospect conversations. PS&F can now demonstrate how the Indio platform will save their prospect hours during the application process. Highlighting features makes conversations easier for when PS&F agents are bringing someone new onboard.
For example, Crevier was speaking to a group of risk managers of a large organization. The risk management team was excited about the PS&F innovations and Indio, but one risk management consultant was skeptical. She found it hard to believe that all of the carrier applications their company required to be insured would actually be available within Indio. “When I explained that Indio has 100% of the applications they need to be digitized in the system, the room fell silent,” Crevier says, “The group was amazed and thrilled at the capabilities of the platform.”
In addition to Indio assisting with prospect conversations, PS&F is able to generate many new leads with the Indio Lead Capture form tool. Using these forms, PS&F creates different lead capture pages for various PS&F partner associations. They then distribute these lead capture pages to the respective association, which allows the leads from the association to be captured within Indio.
As a result of using Indio’s Lead Capture tool, PS&F is not only capturing information that a generic quote request form would solve for (i.e. name, email, company, phone number, etc.), but leads now have the ability to jump right into the application process and fill out the applications that are relevant to them — all without interacting with a PS&F producer or account manager.
Lead Capture forms within PS&F webpage
PS&F account executives are then notified every time someone completes a lead capture form. The beauty of the process is that when the account executives receive leads from the Indio Lead Capture tool, the prospect has already been created in the Indio system, labeled as a prospect, and has already started their applications (if not already completed them). The PS&F account executives can simply review the information and reach out.
By combining PS&F’s commitment to teamwork and client satisfaction with Indio’s capabilities, PS&F has added an extra layer of efficiency, resulting in multiple benefits for the firm. “Indio has streamlined our processes,” says Crevier, “Along with the helpful Indio team, Indio is a fantastic partner in improving the client/employee experience. And that, in my opinion, is what sets Indio apart from other vendors that work in the insurance space.”