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Agents: Focus on the Digital Experience

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The advent of new tech players to the industry doesn't spell doom and gloom for agents - unless agents don't act, says Applied Systems CEO Reid French in this insightful recording. Incumbent agencies have a very strong advantage over new entrants, such as a track record with existing customers and solid carrier relationships, he says. If independent agents adopt new technologies for communicating with and servicing customers - "the same things that new entrants are betting the house on, the consumer won't move," Reid says. "Where you see change is when incumbents won't change." There are lessons elsewhere, he notes. "Taxis had strong incumbent advantage - they had drivers, cars, a database of customers. It was the lack of movement that put them in a tough spot." Banks faced the same issues with Etrade and Ameritrade, but they subsequently innovated with similar services and survived. "My advice to agents is as long as you invest in a good digital experience for your customers, you will be fine," Reid says.

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