Raghav: What is your agency doing to keep up with changing technology?
Marc: We have made a real effort to keep up with changing technology here at Duffy Insurance. We are very lucky to have such great people on our team. Most of them have been with us for more than 10 years. Keeping up with the latest and greatest technology starts with our people. They have really bought into becoming more efficient and providing better service using today’s technology. Some of the things we have done in recent years include: updating our agency management system, adding a VOIP phone system that connects all offices, transitioning the agency to be 100% paperless, using e-signature, among other initiatives. Tarmika is our most recent investment into technology. We are seeing this help us provide accurate quotes much more quickly that in the past.
Raghav: It’s funny how simple changes like going e-signature can make such a difference in the industry. What are the advantages to adopting some of this technology into your agency?
Marc: Insurance is and always will be a relationship business. However, as consumer attitudes and behaviors change, we need to keep up with it. Adopting technology into our agency has helped us attract new customers and will position us to attract new team members as we continue to grow. There is a talent gap in the insurance business. And I think growth attracts and retains talented people on the team.
Raghav: You seem to agree with my thoughts on agencies being around for a long time. But I will still ask, where do you see the agency distribution channel going in the next five years?
Marc: It’s funny, when I started in the insurance business, everyone was worried about us being replaced by the internet. I remember asking my father what he thought about this… He told me that in all the years (30 at the time) that he had been in the business, he kept hearing about how agents were going to be replaced. And it hadn’t happened. Fast forward 13 years and we’re still hearing about we are going to be replaced and it still hasn’t happened. I feel very strongly that we add so much value as insurance agents that we are irreplaceable. That being said, the customer will ultimately determine if we are providing enough value. If we are not, we will get replaced. So, the question then becomes, how do we as agents continue to provide value? I think one answer to that question is that we MUST keep up with the times and communicate with customers and develop and maintain relationships using the latest technology. For example, most of my millennial friends never call the office. They prefer to text me directly when they have policy questions or servicing questions… As agents, we need to adapt to that and continue to do so.
Raghav: How can technology companies help agencies become more efficient?
Marc: The modern consumer continues to demand more speed and more accuracy in terms of service, buying insurance, and getting quotations. In order to remain relevant, we must provide value. The modern consumer values speed. Therefore, becoming more efficient by way of investing in technology is critical.
Raghav: That’s why you work with Tarmika! Alright, last and most important question, what is your favorite hobby?
Marc: This won’t surprise the people that know me. Golf.