Carriers need to take a concerted, measured approach to the issue of making business easier (MBE), a new study finds. The study, Making Business Easier: Executive Report, was conducted by the National Association of Mutual Insurance Cos. (NAMIC) and Acton, Mass.-based Deep Customer Connections Inc. and surveyed 168 carrier executives about how they gauge their interactions with agents.

One interesting finding was that a vast majority of carriers hold themselves in high regard when it comes to MBE, ranking themselves ahead of competitors. The study cautions that this self-satisfaction comes at a price. “While it may be natural to rate oneself positively compared to others, the data show that most carrier executives believe their companies’ performance is enormously superior to that of their competitors in most factors,” the report states. “This places even more emphasis on the already low motivation for change. Indeed, it suggests a belief among executives that improvements to attract agents and increase business volume are unnecessary because the competition performs so poorly.”

Despite this, the study did reveal concerns among respondents over agent-facing technology, acknowledging that meeting the needs of agents is akin to hitting a moving target. According, the study suggests carrier take a boarder approach to agent satisfaction, noting that 62% of respondents said they spend more than 11 days per year with their agents.

“Carrier executives see providing effective, user-friendly technology as the factor most in need of improvement,” the study states. “This is especially significant because carrier executives often equate MBE with technology, which we believe is a narrow and ineffective interpretation. While much of the carrier-agency working relationship is technology dependent, significant parts of it are not.”

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