CRM for Insurance — Creating a Facebook network or just another MySpace?

As I travel around the country meeting with dozens of both Life and Annuity and Property and Casualty insurance firms, I am seeing two all too common themes:

  1. A majority of insurance firms are talking about the business value a CRM solution could bring to their enterprises
  2. These firms are talking, not taking any action

That being said, a few have dipped their toes in the water, usually just to manage one piece of agent or insured data, with limited or no system integration, and thus limited user adoption.  Others are taking a bit of a different tactic, in that they agree they need a central place for agent and insured information, but are focusing on aggregating that information in some form of a data warehouse.  This type of solution tends to result in very few workflow capabilities or any sort of action, because it is by design an area where data is sent and manually manipulated and analyzed for some sort of action to be taken later, utilizing yet another system.

This brings me around to the critical question: is a CRM solution for the insurance industry a Facebook network or just another MySpace?

The answer, from my perspective, lies within the occurrences above. The insurance industry tends to create siloed areas where  information resides, in  this case, either an unintegrated CRM system or a data warehouse with some sort of reporting technology on it.  If this practice continues then I believe CRM will go the way of MySpace, like so many   hot topics and big  ideas, and just fade away.

In order to make CRM the Facebook type success it could be in the insurance industry, the industry itself needs to take on some of that Facebook mentality.  I am not suggesting we start sharing our photos and weekend plans….. Instead, we give CRM a successful future by integrating it with multiple systems to create a centralized place to host a 360 degree view of the individual insureds. Insurance firms can then layer on Agent information and link their book of business by “friending” (or utilizing the multiple hierarchies in CRM) to connect to their insureds and create an insurance-based social network.

Once firms have this insurance-based social network of information, the true value of CRM can be seen by utilizing workflow, reporting, marketing and mobile capabilities to drive new sales and better customer service.

What was MySpace again?

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