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It’s no secret that customer portals are everywhere, across all walks of life and daily activities. But, have you ever stopped to think about why?

For customers, it’s about the digital convenience of online customer self-service. For companies, it’s about how customer portals can take on the manual workloads of their staff. Both are grateful for the ways new technology improves the customer experience.

Industries like retail, banking, restaurants, healthcare, and travel have all found ways to up the customer experience by taking it online. It’s only natural that customers would grow to expect the same from the insurance world.

That’s why agencies that desire to stay ahead of the game are making customer portals a core component of their value propositions.

Customers Expect Online Customer Self-Service

Insurance shoppers are looking for a digital experience, and it’s up to your agency to deliver it.

Online customer self-service satisfies the customer immediately, any time of the day or night. Even during normal business hours, customers have been found to prefer the online option. It’s just more convenient.

With a customer portal, insureds can:

  • Accesss policies

  • View ID cards

  • Upload and download documents

  • Submit change requests

  • Generate certificates

  • Follow claims

  • Make payments

And they can do all this from anywhere — even on the side of the road!

Security

Another reason why customer portals are being embraced is security. Let’s face it, no one enjoys providing personal risk information over the phone. And, as much as we’d like to think of email as a secure method of communication, it really isn’t up to today’s standards.

Ever sent an email to the wrong person? Misspelled an email address? Forwarded a document by mistake? Felt the panic of an accidental “reply all”? Customer portals make these potentially costly mistakes a thing of the past.

Your agency will have peace of mind about how it shares information with clients, and those clients will appreciate knowing that their personal information is safe behind unique logins and multi-factor authentication.

Save Time and Money

Customer portals do more than just enhance the customer experience. They also make your agency more productive.

Once clients learn how easy and convenient it is to access policy information, generate and download certificates, check on claims, and submit requests for themselves online, it will likely become their preferred customer service method. That means fewer calls into your agency and fewer interruptions to your staff throughout the day.

Because clients get their needs met faster, customer portals result in happier, more engaged customers with less manual effort on the part of your agency.

Looking Beyond Customer Self-Service

Remote access to your agency is a powerful thing, and it should be used for more than just customer self-service. For example, if your agency is looking to install an online payment solution, a customer portal would be a great place to house that process.

With EZLynx Client Center, the customer portal platform can also be used to create cross-sell opportunities. In fact, EZLynx Client Center can be set up to offer complementary personal lines products to insureds automatically! In addition to the traditional home and auto account rounding scenario, customers can also be presented with offers for flood insurance, mobile device coverage, home alarm systems, and more.

With EZLynx Client Center, you can also collect customer feedback directly within the portal. Satisfied clients can then be prompted to provide a referral, and these referrals will automatically be added to your agency’s sales pipeline as leads. Turn happy customers into advocates!

Final Thoughts

Customer portals are only growing in popularity and usage. If your agency doesn’t already have a customer portal, take a moment to figure out what’s holding you back.

If you do have a customer portal, make sure you’re doing everything to promote its use with clients. Increased customer satisfaction and a more productive staff are both just a click away!