There is no question the industry is pushing to digitize the application process for Life and Living Benefits. The benefits of E-Apps are massive for the Insurance Company, the MGA and the Advisor but maybe most importantly for the Client.
If there are so many compelling reasons why E-App's are the future, why is adoption for the industry still so low?
The anatomy of an app
Old Traditional Way
Contracts and Applications: Mailed
NIGO (Not In Good Order): Frequently
Customer Experience: Lengthy
The New Way
Agent gets confirmation the sale is a go, fills out the e-app with the client (less questions than paper app)
Signatures: Digital and in some cases non-face-to-face
Contracts and Applications: Increasingly Digital
NIGO (not in good order): Infrequenly
Customer Experience: Improved
Agent gets confirmation the sale is a go, consumer or agents clicks apply now button in LDA where client and product data populate eapp)
Signatures: Digital and in some cases non face to face
Contracts and applications: Digital
NIGO (Not In Good Order): Infrequently
Underwriting: Automated, and in many cases, instant
Customer Experience: Peak
Pros and Cons of E-Apps:
- Data Completeness: E-apps will not let you submit the app incomplete meaning it drastically improves the time to issue. E-app data also gets populated almost instantly in the back office and to the carrier accelerating the sales process.
- Drastically Reduce NIGO: Many paper apps are sent back due to a status known as Not In Good Order (NIGO). This is almost 100% eliminated with E-apps.
- Speed: Speed is the name of the game. Today's customer does a lot of research up front but when they want something, they want it now. Many advisors have told me their clients think they are dying because they have not heard from the insurance company in so long from submitting an app.
- Familiarity: As the saying goes, you can't teach an old dog new tricks but that's not true because we're learning every day. If you're not learning and thinking of new ways to improve your business, you are not going to be performing to your full potential. I can appreciate that Habit is a powerful function, and let's be honest, many advisors have been doing things successfully for a long time.
When we get comfortable with something, we resist change especially if we have been successful with it. We're afraid if we change, we will lose the success we once had. However, to evolve and grow as an industry, we are going to have to go out of our comfort zone.
We have to remember that our customer has grown up too. Take a look at the age breakdown of Amazon users, even grandma and grandpa are ordering depends on Amazon! Let's just make sure to keep insurance in the hands of true professionals and out of the "Customers who bought this item also bought" section of Amazon.
- Fragmentation: Why can't we all get along? Why can't we have a standard E-app so we learn one and can feel comfortable doing business with any carrier? Consumers ultimately lose out if agents feel intimidated by doing business with carriers because they are unfamiliar with the app and don't want to look unprepared sitting with a client. Let's make an industry standard.
- Connectivity: This is becoming less and less of an issue each day with all of the publically available wifi and with most people having a cellular package that enables them to create a personal hotspot. It is a potential con nonetheless. Although your pen could also run out of ink too.
One of the things that make Life Design Analysis unique as a platform is that we are a point-of-sale tool. Meaning you can use LDA digitally with your clients when presenting insurance options.
Consumers today expect any purchase they are making to be seamless. Consumers have been spoiled by companies like Amazon and Apple who have redefined the sales experience and we need to catch up or be left behind.
Strategies to make E-apps part of your sales process
So let's focus on some strategies that you can incorporate into your practice to help facilitate sales and deliver a better client experience. Let's face it, it's better to get used to E-apps now because we won't have a choice in the next few years.
The best advice I can offer to get used to completing E-apps is present your material on the device you are going to apply on, this makes it easy to transition from product to sale.
Many advisors still present printed ledger PDF reports from the carrier. These "illustrations" are often total in excess of 50+ pages of printed material. This makes it extremely challenging to also have a laptop setup and ready to go to complete the carriers E-app if your client decides to purchase.
If you present your material on the tablet or computer you will complete the E-app on, it's very easy to set up in advance. I recommend using a link to the E-app in the product description area of Life Design Analysis. Because LDA is interactive, you can go from presentation and link to an E-app with a single click if your client decides to purchase, making it a much more natural transition.
Step 1: Click "Edit Plan"
Step 2: Paste link into E-app in the plan description.
Step 3: When presenting, you can click the link to transition into the E-app.
Additional Bonus: You also have much of your clients information at your disposal from the policy management area of life design Analysis. You can easily copy and paste information from LDA to the E-app.
Partner With Us
We are looking for carrier partners to create an API link (fancy programmer word for connection) so that client and product information can be automatically populated, saving the advisor time re-inputting information and further improving the client-advisor experience.
If you are and advisors or carrier interested in increasing E-app sales, please get in touch. We would be happy to collaborate with you!