a stack of papers representing messy insurance agency management system data

There’s an old saying that applies to many things in life, including the insurance industry. “Garbage in—garbage out” simply means that that effort people put into doing something determines the outcome. If someone doesn’t give 100 percent, they shouldn’t expect to get 100 percent back.

This same saying also applies to the data that insurance agencies retain. Regardless of the types of policies sold, gathering and retaining consistent client information is vital. First, not capturing the right information about prospects, as well as current and past clients, won’t allow agents to capitalize on opportunities to sell policies. Second, bad data can do serious damage to an agency’s reputation.

For the latter, just imagine an insurance agent who puts information into an insurance agency management system incorrectly. For some people, receiving text messages, emails, or actual letters with their names misspelled would be enough to stop them from doing business with that particular company. Inputting a bad address can stop valuable marketing information from reaching its intended target.

6 Valuable Tips for Keeping a Management System’s Data Clean

If you own an insurance agency or work as an agent, you’ll find these six tips extremely helpful. By making the right decisions, you’ll notice that internal operations flow seamlessly, employees don’t become as frustrated, and most importantly, customers feel appreciated and connected.

Choose the Right Insurance Management System

That might sound like a given, but it’s not uncommon for insurance agencies to go with the cheapest software program on the market. After all, they’re all the same, right? No. Now, that doesn’t mean affordable is always bad, but there’s truth in another saying: “You get what you pay for.” So, maintaining valuable client data always starts by selecting a robust, reliable, and diverse system, even if there’s somewhat of a financial investment involved.

Update Data Often

Instead of waiting to make a change in your system, do this regularly. If possible, update information as it comes in. Otherwise, make the appropriate changes at least once a week, if not more often. Keep in mind that a stellar insurance agency management system can help with this. If it identifies double entries or information that doesn’t match, you’ll receive a notification.

Develop Controls for Incoming Data

Especially for a large insurance agency with multiple agents, it’s important to have a consistent method of collecting and entering data into a system. Remember, all the information you need to run a successful business will come from a variety of avenues. So, it’s all about quality control and using a systematic approach to how your agency collects and enters data.

Streamline Internal Processes

If you have 10 agents working for your insurance agency, but they all use different verbiage when describing policies, client requests, promotions, and so on, you’ll end up with “garbage in” followed by “garbage out.” This is where training helps. Everyone should understand what a potential or current client wants and then use the same terminology to enter that data into the system. This is a great way to keep information clean and concise.

Scalability, Integration, and Safe-keeping

Back to selecting an insurance management system, go with one that’s scalable. As the agency begins to grow, you don’t want to get stuck with a program that can’t keep up. This is why the design of a management system is so important. Also, choose a system that can integrate with an outdated system. That’ll make merging data easier while maintaining its integrity. As part of this, make sure the system chosen backs up information on the cloud so it’s never lost.

Automated Regression Testing

Whenever you need to add a new dataset, it’s helpful to run regular regression testing. Even better, a system that offers automated testing will perform tasks quickly and efficiently to compare all the fiends and rows of the new dataset. This thorough comparison process works amazingly well at maintaining data consistency.

The Bottom Line

As the need for insurance management systems increases, you’ll have no problem finding many different options. However, the one you choose will play a critical role in how well your agency operates and its overall success.

As the saying goes, “garbage in—garbage out.” Especially in a fiercely competitive industry like insurance, there’s no room for error. If your agency doesn’t stay on top of its game, another business will swoop in to take dissatisfied customers. Selecting the right insurance management system is the first step in achieving both short- and long-term goals.