In the Insurance Industry, Relationships and Service are the Key to Winning Customers AND Keeping Them

Tom Berger
07 jul, 2022

Insurance companies, like nearly all industries, depend on sales. While most industries face unique challenges around selling, one very large national insurance company was dealing with two added layers of complexity.

First, the company provides workers’ compensation insurance exclusively to high-hazard industries. This is a very high-risk, very narrow vertical market—the only market this company targets.

Second, this company isn’t looking for new customers. That might sound unusual, but since they are in the business of workers’ comp, this company believes it is in both their and their customers’ best interest to do everything they can to make sure their existing customers are working safely.

“Working safely” requires that the company have an intimate understanding of how each of their customers do business—how they operate, what their people do, when and how they are at risk. They very carefully “audit” each customer before underwriting a policy, providing in-person guidance and recommendations that will not only make the claims process run smoother, but will, more importantly, prevent the need to make a claim. The company even offers safety training and resources to policyholders so they can reduce exposure to accidents.

No CRM solution: Working in the dark

However, the all-important audit process was being hindered by technology—actually, by the lack of technology. With no CRM system in place, they were working in the dark, forced to manage the critical interactions between relationship managers, agencies/agents, and risk auditors manually.

There was no way to understand what was going on with each customer, agent, and risk auditor, including those relationships; therefore, the company did not have a full understanding of the challenges, opportunities and where to focus their efforts. Not a good situation to be in when your differentiator is ensuring every base is covered in the high-risk companies you insure.

Clearly, this gap needed to be addressed as quickly as possible. But there was another goal, too. The company is so established in their business that they could just sit back, but instead, they are always looking for ways to improve–including things they have never done before.

Moving to a modern CRM solution was going to be one of those moves. While the company has operated successfully, they have done so with manual processes, and that needed to change. The time had come to digitally transform, starting with CRM. This was anxiety provoking because they would have to trust their brand and their relationships with a small, select customer base to an outside party. There was also some anxiety around the introduction of modern technology with a company not accustomed to it.

The company looked at Salesforce and other CRM software solutions and implementation partners but decided on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, along with Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Power Apps, implemented by HSO. We assessed the company’s current state and needs and showed them how those needs could be addressed with a Microsoft solution—and that we could get them up and running quickly to fill that gap and beyond.

"There was no way to understand what was going on with each customer, agent, and risk auditor, including those relationships; therefore, the company did not have a full understanding of the challenges, opportunities and where to focus their efforts."

Tom Berger VP, Financial Services

A CRM solution that makes it easier to leverage relationships

Dynamics 365 Sales (D365) enables teams to not only build strong relationships with their customers and other partners, but it also provides visibility into every facet of the organization, making it possible to see and leverage relationships, communications, and previous actions—which is what sales is ultimately all about.

D365 Sales also helps connect sales and marketing, providing marketing with insights they can use for creating collateral, marketing lists, and campaigns and informing the marketing team on how best to nurture contacts and turn them into solid leads.

As this insurance company has seen, the right CRM solution provides visibility into performance across the board to determine what is working or not working and take action as needed. D365 is helping them identify opportunities for new business that will also further ensure the safety of their customers’ employees.

One more piece of the puzzle: A better way to interact with customers

But that was just the beginning. The company also wanted a better way to interact with customers. They had a customer portal, but it was rudimentary and needed to be replaced with a tool that would provide a true digital channel. HSO developed a customer self-service portal using Power Apps, integrated with their customer service software. Policy holders use the app to access their policies to:

  • Post and view payments
  • Log and check on the status of collections disputes
  • Follow the progress of applications for new policies or renewals, including associated audits
  • Upload requested supporting documentation for audits (which is automatically saved in SharePoint)

Since the company treats these as “cases”, and these cases are not handled like traditional support requests, HSO chose to build a solution using the Case Management functionality within Dynamics 365–also fully integrated with the Portal–rather than Dynamics 365 Customer Service. Implementation of this self-service portal will simplify the daily activities of the customer service team and automate manual processes, saving money and time, and most importantly, elevating the customer experience.

Next steps: Continuing the transformation with customer support and marketing

So far, the company is thrilled with the sales solution, can’t wait to get into the customer service solution, and already talking about where to go next. On the list are safety and claims using Dynamics 365 Customer Service, followed by marketing using Dynamics 365 Marketing. With the organization-wide digital transformation complete, this company will bolster its position as the go-to firm for high-risk workers’ comp insurance.

Contact us

Want to know more? Contact us to talk about how the HSO team can help your insurance company identify new opportunities and take better care of the customers you value.

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