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To win over customers in today’s world, insurance agents generally need a strong digital presence. Yet it can be difficult for each insurance agent to create a seamless online experience for their leads and customers all on their own. That’s where APIs come in. How APIs improve an insurance agent’s business is by connecting data and applications together to streamline everything from social media management to insurance policy quoting.
Although APIs may seem overly technical for most insurance agents, in reality, many people use APIs without even realizing it. For example, if your website is integrated with a social media channel, such as to display your most recent tweets, you’re already using an API. In essence, APIs are connectors. In this example, an API fetches the information from Twitter and displays it on your website, which can create a better user experience than prompting website visitors to open Twitter separately and find your profile.
Plus, APIs improve an insurance agent’s business by enabling them to easily increase their digital capabilities. If an insurance agent wants to enable policy quoting on their website, they don’t have to create a pricing tool on their own (not to mention trying to connect to carriers) or send prospects to another website. They can use an API to display this information, with a tool like Wheelhouse automatically combining quotes from multiple carriers into one location. And platforms like Wheelhouse already have API integrations set up, so there’s no heavy lifting for insurance agents who may not be the most tech-savvy.
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In this guide, we’ll explore more how APIs improve an insurance agent’s business, both internally and externally. As insurance agents start to integrate APIs into their digital operations, they can become more efficient while also providing a great customer experience.
Use an API to Increase Efficiency in Your Insurance Business
One of the more noteworthy ways how APIs improve an insurance agent’s business is by helping them get more done in less time. Since APIs can pull information from other sources into one location, that can save insurance agents from having to jump around from site to site or app to app to find what they need. Some examples of how APIs improve an insurance agent’s efficiency include:
Streamlining social media management:
If an insurance agent has an active social media presence, it can be time-consuming to go on each platform like Twitter and LinkedIn, read any notifications, see what your connections are talking about, write posts, etc. APIs are often used by social media management tools, such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social, to pull everything into one location.
So, if you simply log on to a system like Hootsuite, you can manage multiple areas of your social media marketing in one spot. Plus, APIs can be used within these tools to link to other apps, such as to create social media graphics.
Organizing customer data:
Strong data management and analysis can help insurance agents understand and connect with their customers better, but it can be time-consuming to comb through mountains of data. So, using APIs to organize customer data is another way APIs improve an insurance agent’s business.
For example, if you’re hosting a networking event, you might use a platform like Eventbrite for signups. Meanwhile, you might use a tool like Mailchimp for email marketing to tell people about the event. Through APIs, you can link these tools together so that, say, when a new prospect signs up for your event, their contact information automatically gets synced to Mailchimp, rather than you having to manually put in this information later.
Integrating operational systems:
In addition to integrating more customer-facing systems like email platforms, APIs increase the efficiency of an insurance agent’s behind-the-scenes operations. If you have, say, an accounting platform to track your expenses, you may want to integrate that with other tools like a payroll system. That way you don’t have to spend so much time and potentially make errors when manually entering all your transactions.
Provide a Great Customer Experience Using an API
In addition to increasing internal efficiency, how APIs improve an insurance agent’s business is by also making the customer experience smoother. Much in the same way that APIs help insurance agents save time behind-the-scenes, customers can do more in less time (and therefore have a positive experience) if APIs easily pull in the information they need in one location. Some of the ways APIs help improve customer experience include:
Providing one-stop shopping:
Many customers want to be able to purchase insurance policies fully online. APIs can help insurers become digital agencies by pulling in quoting capabilities directly onto an insurance agent’s website. APIs can also be used such as for credit card processing directly on an agent’s site, rather than causing a customer to have to visit several sites or get on the phone to complete a transaction.
Making branding consistent:
Another way APIs improve an insurance agent’s business is by letting agents provide consistent branding since more can be done in one location. With one-stop shopping, insurance agents not only provide customers with a convenient experience but one that they recognize and feel comfortable with. So, instead of, say, a customer having to visit different carriers’ websites or visit a third-party quoting page, a tool like Wheelhouse can use APIs to pull in quotes into a custom landing page that is consistent with an agent’s branding.
Communicate with customers efficiently:
APIs help improve an insurance agent’s business by streamlining communication. You can use an API for everything from integrating chat functionality onto an agent’s website to syncing contact form information with an agent’s customer relationship management (CRM) system. That way, agents can quickly contact customers. Plus, they have the right information at the right time, rather than, say, making a typo when copying over contact form information into a CRM. If that occurs, a customer or prospect might not receive an email you try to send them.
Closing Deals Using APIs in Insurance
Ultimately, how APIs improve an insurance agent’s business is by helping them close more deals. By increasing internal efficiency, insurance agents can have more time to nurture leads and eventually sell more policies. Improving customer experience, such as by creating a consistent, seamless purchasing process, helps encourage customers to renew and make referrals.
APIs also help close deals in the sense that they can help insurance agents automate parts of the sales process. If a policy renewal date is approaching, for instance, an agent might be able to use an API to automatically pull in details about a client’s renewal offer when sending reminder emails. Or, APIs are used to automatically manage leads. For example, creating a new email marketing list based on those who subscribe to your newsletter through a contact form on your site.
Altogether, APIs can go a long way toward helping you become a digital insurance agent. By being able to connect with customers more easily and streamline your back-end operations, you can sell more policies and keep customers coming back for renewals.
InsurTech platforms like Wheelhouse make it easy to leverage APIs without having to get into the technical details. The platform helps insurance agents close more deals by enabling 24/7, efficient, bindable quoting from multiple carriers in one location.