UNLOCKING AGENCY DATA: HOW INDIO USES DATA TO HELP AGENTS IMPROVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (FEATURING ADAM BRATT) – EPISODE 045
This episode was originally recorded on December 27th, 2018.
In this episode of The Digital Broker, Steve and Ryan talk to Adam Bratt, co-founder of Indio Technologies, to learn more about how Indio is already helping agents and brokers and will continue to do so by introducing new features. By listening to this episode, you will learn:
- A bit about Adam’s background and how Indio got started
- How Indio’s existing features help the insurance industry as a whole, saving agents and brokers time, keeping clients happy, and directing more business to carriers
- How Indio plans on stimulating even more operational excellence by introducing new business intelligence features
- How insurance agencies at large are dealing with pressure to keep up with data technology, where they have made progress, and where there’s still work to be done
Indio has been The Digital Broker’s sponsor since the podcast’s inception, and we’ve talked about the product when we thought it was appropriate, but many of our listeners are still curious: how does Indio help agents and brokers do their jobs better?
Adam Bratt, Indio’s co-founder and Chief Technical Officer, answers that question in depth on this episode. Adam is a newcomer to insurance but a pro at helping financial service companies use software and data to hit their targets. Prior to Indio, Adam was consulting with a debt settlement firm out of his native state of Michigan, where he identified a multitude of operational inefficiencies that could be solved and automated with software. This led to Adam designing and building software to help streamline these processes for debt settlement firms across the nation. Later in his career, after selling his debt settlement software, Adam met Mike Furlong, who was just starting Indio as a means to help insurance agencies streamline their operations. It didn’t take long for Adam to notice that insurance agencies experienced many of the same inefficiencies that he had solved for debt settlement firms. In both industries, firms front their office with salespeople while account managers in the back crunch the actual data. It’s all very data-driven work that can be streamlined. The parallels were too powerful for Adam to resist, and he came on board.
Information fuels insurance. Carriers require insured information to calculate a premium, and the more they can get, the better. The job of getting it, though, is so big that the carriers seldom go at it alone. Agents and brokers are a lifeline to the information gathering process, which is sometimes as easy as asking the client a few questions. Other times, it’s not so easy. Clients have to fill out several forms, entering the same information several times. More coverage means more forms and complexity, which is enough to repel some customers from seeking the coverage they ought to have. Whoever could streamline and facilitate that process would be doing the insurance industry at large—agents, brokers, carriers, and clients—a huge favor.
Enter Indio. At the core, Adam explains, Indio helps agents and brokers collect and store information better. This is done primarily by digitizing and streamlining the application process. One of the tenets of operational excellence requires avoiding having to do a task more often than necessary. Without Indio, clients typically have to fill out tons of forms and answer the same questions over and over. With Indio, clients only need to answer the same question once. The information is saved and repopulated across every other form, eliminating keystrokes. When the time comes for the yearly renewal period, an agent loads up the new year’s applications and all of the client’s data from the previous year will map over. The client never has to start an application from blank again. They simply verify the accuracy of the info from last year and make edits to only what has changed.
Those features alone save the agent and the client a considerable amount of time, making Indio an instrument of operational excellence. But there’s more to improving the application process than merely streamlining it; Indio has the means to transform it. With tens of millions of data points collected across over 4,000 forms (and growing), Indio can measure patterns that would be invisible to the naked eye. For example, if you’re an agent, you’re often in the habit of asking the client a series of time-tested questions, but are you sure you need to ask every one of those questions? Could you slim down or eradicate parts of the process to make operations and the customer experience better? Indio allows the agent to customize existing applications on the fly. The agent can hide questions that are irrelevant to the client or require others to be filled out so that the application is never returned incomplete. The digitally enhanced “smart” applications on Indio’s platform allow for in-app helper “tips” that guide the insured through the application, cutting back on a lot of back and forth conversations.
Data visibility fuels agencies. Many agencies claim to have good quality data, but without visibility, their data has limited value. To this day, many agencies still spend a considerable amount of time simply looking for previous years’ information so that they can reference it, add it to an email attachment, provide it to their insured, or send it to the carrier. This is a result of the ACORD’s standardized data format only accounting for just 30% of many insured’s data. The other 70%, non-ACORD data doesn’t get stored anywhere in an AMS other than as an attached file or image, which makes it extremely hard to analyze or even find. An example of this non-ACORD data is when an insured does business involving aboveground storage tanks. This data will tend to live in a carrier supplemental application, and it’s inaccessible from a data analysis perspective. Indio solves that by allowing for that data to be collected from the insured in a digital, standardized format. The result is a vastly improved customer experience when filling out applications, as well as the ability for agencies to now access that data and analyze it. As Indio continues to invest in building a platform that helps agents and brokers keep up in a technology-driven world, it plans on introducing some business intelligence tools to help agencies interpret all of that data.
Pilot programs for these business intelligence tools are underway and it’s too soon to say much beyond what Adam teases in this episode, but the possibilities are bound to be plentiful. What if Indio showed you that your applicants are ignoring chunks of your questionnaire? Do you put your agents on the job, or do you revise the questionnaire and make edits? Do the questions that you’re asking have a demonstrable, material impact on claims or payouts? Are there new questions you should be asking to avoid losses? Does the data show that similar categories of clients are all buying similar lines of insurance?
You can be the first to find out about these business intelligence tools and when they become available by subscribing to Indio’s newsletter. If you want to know more about Indio, please request a demo by clicking here. Adam is happy to take your questions in our Digital Broker LinkedIn group, where you can post questions and comments anytime. What would you like to see in a business intelligence tool like Indio’s?