2016 ICTA Nomination. Technology by Sharp Mobile Technology Ltd.
The impact of Sharp Insurance’s digital customer service tools is beginning to take full form. Since the inception of Sharp Mobile in 2014, not many brokerages in Canada fully understood the impact of the digital shift in consumerism and how it was going to affect their own business processes. However, one year later, many brokerages are now seeing the immense value of having a multi-channel customer service approach. After all, today’s consumer expects immediate access to their products, full transparency, and immediate service. Externally, the app and online portal is having a massive impact on customer service satisfaction. Internally, by using the app and online portal, it takes a lot of the day to day operations strains off of brokers. Less calls means more time to work on complicated files, and most importantly in today’s shifting economy, more time to sell policies and grow the business.
Sharp Insurance has been using the app and portal for just over 1.5 years. Recently, we have begun promoting the app and portal, and educating our clients on how to use it. We conducted a survey asking our clients for their feedback. Here are the enlightening results that further strengthen the importance and the impact our tools are having and will continue to have on propelling the insurance customer service industry to the next level.
Sharp Insurance has recently made it a company priority to sign up our clients on the app and online portal for the last 6 months. Last week we sent out a survey to 3300 of our clients who are currently using our digital tools, 301 responded. Here are the results:
We asked our client what features on the app and mobile portal they most use, viewing/printing pink cards, accessing policy information, and viewing payment dates and amounts were the top three selections.
Figure 1: Features used most by our clients
Another area we wanted to measure, is how frequently Sharp Insurance clients are using the app, and the results were more often than we had originally thought, with survey results pointing towards an average of at least once a month to two months. We also measured the likelihood of clients using the app over phone services, (see figure 3 for details) most survey participants responded with very likely.
Figure 2: How often clients use the app/online portal
Figure 3: How likely our surveyed clients will use the app
We also polled customer satisfaction for the app and online portal and we were encouraged by the level of satisfaction we received.
Figure 4: Customer satisfaction levels
In summation, the success of Sharp Mobile’s app and online tools at Sharp Insurance is undeniable. Sharp Insurance is growing fast, and meeting sheer call volume demands has been a struggle. By heavily promoting the app and portal, the day to day business constraints is lessening, as we will show in more detail in the next question. Sherif has benefited two-fold from this technology. First he has benefited from its purpose to increase customer satisfaction, to lessen the call demands on our brokers, and to provide clients with the methods of communication they want, and not the other way around. Secondly, for Sharp Mobile, Sherif has benefited from creating an innovative product that will bring the brokerage sphere into the 21st century, and to keep this industry up-to-date and relevant. The sales for the app and portal for brokerages are increasing daily. There are over 10 brokers using the app and portal, 10 more in the production stage, and we have recently signed another brokerage that has over 100 office locations across Canada.
The impact of Sharp Mobile’s digital tools is just beginning to be felt by other brokerages, but it’s been quite evident internally, at Sharp Insurance for some time now. We are at 30% app/portal penetration, that is, the percentage of our total clients who have signed up and are using the app or online portal. The amount of requests and self-service users is increasing on a daily basis, and now operates as if it was the work of two brokers. See figure 5 below.
Figure 5: Daily returning users on the app or portal
On average, a broker takes 15-20 calls a day. As you can see above, the app and portal are servicing twice this amount daily, taking the work-load off of two brokers. This data, however, is not black and white, as we have yet to measure the types of transactions clients are doing on the phone. We have built analytics into the next version of the app and portal which will track and detail the types of transactions clients are doing on their devices.
It is important to note here, that while Sherif and his team of developers were designing these digital tools, most brokerages were skeptical of its usefulness. It has been almost two years since Sharp Mobile released the app and portal, and the success rate has been significant. The fact of the matter is, clients want more than one way to communicate and be serviced by their broker. In fact, according to a study conducted by EY, “2015 Global Insurance Outlook,” found that insurance companies must provide their customers with multi-channel service options that they have now become accustomed to from other major business. The data from our survey absolutely backs this up, please refer to Figure 6, where respondents answered they prefer multiple ways to contact brokers.
Figure 6: Communication and service preference
The success of the app and online portal, the reduction in broker-power needed to take in calls, and its national success with other brokerages, of course, all directly impact Sherif and his future plans to develop better service tools for insurance clients.
So much has happened since then. Sharp Insurance has tripled its app/portal penetration rate, Sharp Mobile has signed up many more brokerages, and we have successfully provided digital self-service tools designed and engineered for insurance broker clients.
Sherif Gemayel was the first to notice the limitations the brokerage sphere had in terms of technology and accessibility, and he went above and beyond what was happening at the time to develop digital tools he anticipated would be needed to be relevant and successful in a vastly changing digital market.
About Sharp Insurance
Sharp Insurance is one of the leading insurance brokers in Canada. Traditionally, the insurance industry has been notorious for its client service inefficiences. Sharp Insurance was formed as an idea of an insurance firm that would be more agile, more flexible, and offer clients faster and better service; an insurance firm that would work according to the needs of the client and not those of the brokerage.
Sharp’s philosophy is simple: better, more efficient service.
We take a very different approach to insurance. Instead of relying on old media, we have embraced new media. Our clients are everywhere, on social media, on search engines, and so are we. We are consistently striving to provide our customers with convenience and a better experience with technology.
Source: Sharp Insurance