Agents Turn to Search Engines and Customer Reviews to Bolster Digital Footprint
The rise of online insurance sales created by COVID-19 has agents looking for new ways to build their online and digital presence.
- Lori Chordas
- October 2021
As COVID-19 continues to significantly shift the purchase of insurance to online and digital channels, consumers are increasingly looking for insurance agents to be easily accessible and responsive, said Chip Bacciocco, CEO of TrustedChoice.com. He said agents must improve their digital footprints and near-real-time responsiveness in order to remain competitive. They can grow their customer base by using digital and search engine marketing tools and publishing consumer reviews and ratings of their agencies and products provided by authoritative sources and customers, Bacciocco said.
Following is an edited transcript of Bacciocco's interview with AM Best TV.
How can agents be found online?
Today, not only do agents need to be found online but they also need to be recognized for what they do. Too many agents today think only about their agency website. However, they need to think about enhancing their overall digital footprint, which is comprised of their agency site and their search engine optimization strategy, as well as their presence on social media channels, insurers' websites and online directories like TrustedChoice.com. On top of that is their presence within search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
How can agents build trust in an online setting through customer reviews and being recommended by recognized authorities?
Being recommended online by credible third-parties is critical, especially since we sell a trust-reliant product—insurance. Like with Amazon, consumers want to see what others are saying about a product. Does it have five stars, four, one? What's the price difference between products? Agents need to publish customer ratings and reviews both on their agency websites and on insurance company websites, and on authoritative and highly trafficked insurance industry directories.
When it comes to digital marketing, what is the advantage for agents to being digitally proactive and opportunistically reactive?
Today, one-third of inbound phone calls to insurance agents go unanswered. Every phone call needs to be answered by a human in two or three rings. As an agent, your first goal is not to actually win the sale outright but to stop the shopping. If you did the work to help them find you online, and the prospect fits your appetite, then when they find you, you want to engage them quickly and stop them from shopping elsewhere.