Day in, day out we hear that the consumer demands a more innovative and engaging service that only technology can provide.
The utopian vision sees tech sweep away all the old and outdated inefficiencies of the system, creating a frictionless system that connects customers with the right cover in as little time as possible, forming an efficient model built around customer satisfaction.
It’s an admirable aim, and the potential that tech has to transform the insurance sector is boundless. Put simply, tech can be a brilliant force for good.
However, the success of this tech revolution, and the capacity it has to provide an effective, engaging service, is now in the hands of the brokers who use it.
Yet, we should never lose sight of the importance of that human touch.
Benefits of an adviser
The human touch in this case is the guide through a confusing corporate landscape.
It’s the patience, trust and expertise that the financial adviser can provide.
Only by combining the two together can we harness the true power of the tech revolution.
It is this partnership between technology and human interaction that is so vital to the future development of our industry.
One of the problems the industry faces here is the tendency to think of technology as the natural, most direct route – automating the process by cutting out the so-called middleman.
The man behind the machine
But in the age of information, the intermediary has never been more important.
Tech shines a spotlight on the positive benefits the industry can offer – it can help stimulate demand for advisers and improve their conversations with customers, but it can’t have the conversations for them.
Income protection and health insurance are particularly fitting examples.
These are sensitive issues, often involving vulnerable people, people who will not approach advisers of their own accord.
They require a hand to be outstretched, a response that is balanced, respectful and explanatory.
By combining this approach with technology, we can help those who are most in need of protection. Rather than pitting technology against humans, we should emphasise the incredible benefits that combining the best of both can bring.
Democratising and streamlining the system are essential objectives for the industry. We can achieve this goal, but only acknowledging the interdependence that technology and brokers must harness.