With an Insurance Agent Portal, More Time Leads to Top-Class Service

With an Insurance Agent Portal, More Time Leads to Top-Class Service by David Kuhn

Insurtech disruption has shown the industry that policyholders demand solutions that meet their 24-7 access-everywhere needs. However, insurance brokers know IT can’t replace the need for face-to-face customer relations either, no matter the pressure to build a transformative digital experience. Agents need an online presence that delivers the digital analog to the white-glove service they provide in person. They also need internal process efficiencies that allow them to step in when a personal touch is required.

Mendix provides holistic solutions for insurance agents, starting from employee processes and ending with customer conveniences. With Mendix, brokers can handle internal process automation and system updates while creating visually pleasing B2C user interfaces that are informed by both business experts and actual policyholders.

Self-service opportunities within an elegant and easy-to-follow UX help build better policyholder experiences for insurtech products made with Mendix. System integrations and reduced human touchpoints truncate workflows and result in a ripple effect of increased agent availability. With Mendix, insurance enterprises can engender positive agent experiences by tackling both internal and external requirements simultaneously.

Many brokers are already using low-code to deliver business-process and outward-facing solutions. Delaware Consultancy, and Valcom and First Consulting–the team behind the Humble Bee Insurance Suite–are building applications that help enterprises focus on customer satisfaction. And finally, BYU shows how easy Mendix Forms makes incorporating universal design principles into your customer-facing products.

 

Low-Code Platforms Make Better Portals Faster

Finding the best product and delivering the best support to different policyholders can mean wrangling the credentials and site details across carriers, services, and applications. Multiple sources of truth cause inefficiencies, inaccuracies, and can create situations that derail customer service goals. Delaware senior developer and business consultant Leander Lams details how creating a seamless experience for insurance agents can be easy with low-code.

In his 2021 Mendix World session, “Building Better User Portals in Mendix,” Lams presents a user case that shows a client’s frustration when dealing with vendors and no single source of truth for data. In Lams’ example, the client:

  • Communicated with vendors in an unstructured way, across multiple channels
  • Had repetitive work in different systems solving vendor queries
  • Relayed incorrect or late information to the vendor

“The team knew all the data was in their SAP system, they didn’t want to lose any more time doing the same repetitive work over and over again,” said Lams. “The [vendor] wasn’t always that happy because, thanks to all those different channels, they often received different information as well.”

The Delaware team was called into action and helped their client create a new user-oriented portal for vendor management using the Mendix application development Platform.

The insurance agent portal was built with the following attributes:

  • A user-oriented interface that makes it easy to navigate the application
  • Microsoft Azure Identity management for secure access
  • SAP S4/HANA system data flow, creating a single source of truth
  • Manage admin work in the portal spot instead of many systems

“Not only do you have a single source of truth now, with vendor-specific topics,” said Lams. “But you also have one point to do your administrative work as well. This system leads to happy vendors, but also the employees, the time they lose doing repetitive work is reduced by more than 60 percent.”

[Watch Lams’ 2021 Mendix World session to learn more about what Delaware Consulting calls “the perfect architecture.”] 

 

Humble Bee Can Propel Your Organization into Insurtech

The First Consulting team has been working with Mendix for more than ten years, creating complex applications and solutions for businesses in a wide landscape of industries, including work with many insurance firms looking to digitize.

According to Japp Bakker, Manager, First Consulting saw several insurance firms looking for many of the same things:

  • Meet the demands of new customers
  • Build innovative products and manage their lifecycles
  • Build a presentation layer that leverages the strength of the existing digital ecosystem

“The insurance industry is undergoing profound change, but this change is not just a digital transformation,” said First Consulting partner André von Teeseling. “Harsh market conditions, increasingly demanding customers, and innovative new market entrance are just some of the forces that are transforming the insurance industry.”

The Humble Bee Insurance Suite was built on the Mendix platform and uses a modular product configuration with reusable components like coverage, insured objects, clauses, wording, and more to increase the efficiency and composability of the suite. The suite also uses a case management model that is dynamic and completely configurable based on business rules.

Product agnostic, generic functionality allows for further customization and quicker development. The dynamic case management engine uses all available sources to prioritize and prune tasks so that only the relevant items stay on an agent’s to-do list.

“The combination of these two concepts, that is separation of functionality and product configuration, and two, dynamic case management, makes the Humble Bee solution extremely tailorable to your own specific products and processes,” said von Teeseling. “But also at the same time, very efficient and user friendly for the end users.”

[Learn more about the Humble Bee Insurance Suite from First and Valcom Consulting Groups. Watch the 2021 Mendix World Session.] 

 

The Right Formal Aesthetic

The insurance industry practically invented the form. Policyholders fill out forms, agents curate forms, employees shuffle forms from one department to another. Creating a form that is usable and useful is a career field’s worth of knowledge. Fortunately, low-code makes it easier to make great forms that not only create pleasurable user experiences but facilitate insurance agent administrative tasks and process requirements, not to mention reduce service costs and boost retention. Incorporating great design is better for users no matter your industry, from insurance to higher education.

“What I’ve found in evaluating universal design principles, is that Mendix has some things that they are really good at, things that we shouldn’t break. Then there are some built-in things we can add in and improve our applications,” said Nate Walton, Websites Manager, Brigham Young University, in his Mendix World 2021 session. Walton customizes to meet his higher-ed audience where they are, but design customizations can be applied as needed, cross-industry to the Mendix platform. “And then there are some things that require a little bit extra, some CSS here or there, to make work really well.”

Walton then goes through the following laws, principles, and heuristics in application to building forms in the Mendix Platform:

  • Cognitive load: The amount of mental processing it takes someone to complete a task.
  • Chunking: Breaking important information into manageable pieces.
  • Progressive disclosure: Display information as needed instead of all at once.
  • Affordance: Ensuring the digital tools you give a user reflect their intended use.
  • Fitt’s Law: People have a more challenging time moving to and clicking on smaller things.
  • Alignment: Creating rows or columns so people’s eyes can follow and absorb information easier
  • Proximity: When things are close together, creating the perception that they are more related.
  • Errors: Remember to design for when things go wrong.
  • Postel’s Law: Be liberal in what you accept and conservative in what you send.
  • Aesthetic-Useability Effect: People’s perception that aesthetically pleasing design is more useable.

[Watch Walton’s Mendix World 2021 session: Universal design principles in Mendix with BYU for more tips on building great forms in Mendix.]

Mendix Helps Your Agents Build Better Relationships

With Mendix, insurance enterprises are building a digital agent experience that lightens workloads and processing times. By connecting data sources and reducing human touchpoints, brokers also connect agents with customers and reduce turnaround on claims and policy changes. Add in mindful design templates and helpful tools for building a more usable UX, and you can see why Mendix can make agents’ jobs easier.

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