substance over functionality. Which of the two do you think are more important? Substance or functionality?
POGAS: I think they are both equally important. You can have great functionality, but if there’s no substance, what’s the point? You can have great substance, but if they can’t find it, again, what’s the point? It’s like having a library with the doors locked every day.
TINNIRELLO: But in terms of new carriers that are trying to upgrade or improve, you made a couple of points about making modifications to your existing Websites. Was the decision to give it a new, fresh look – you call it liquid pages – obviously that was functionality. How much of the substance changed behind that or was that a purely functional change that you made?
POGAS: Purely functional. A lot of the sites that we revise, the content will modify a bit but because we’ve been doing this for 11 years the content doesn’t really change all that much. If anything, we may scale back some content.
McDONALD: Brian, I’m passing the presentation to you. Welcome, Brian.
BRIAN OCHELTREE: Thanks, Lee and Paul. I’m going to take a technology approach to my presentation today. With all of the messaging you’ve heard on this Webcast today and all of the growth that Jaimie Pickles highlighted about consumers going online and the fact that you’re attending this Webcast makes me think that you’re at least considering applying some online technology to help improve your business, automate your business. Here are some things that you might want to consider. Again, John highlighted each one of those and maybe I’ll give a different view of each one; but these are critical. In my last life this is what I did for a living is help businesses figure out the appropriate way to apply technology to a business problem and which way you shouldn’t and there’s a lot of science there.
Keep in mind that online automation for your business extends beyond e-commerce. E-commerce is one example, but as we have mentioned already today, search engine optimization, search engine marketing. There are certain things that you can do online from a marketing perspective to increase you marketing return relative to off-line. Even before you get to e-commerce, on the marketing side there are ways to apply it. Then at the selling side, after the marketing, you want to sell someone, e-commerce is an example of an online transaction to improve either the customer’s experience – allowing them to buy online if they want or improving your efficiencies internally relative to the cost it take to complete a new transaction.
That capability extends beyond the sale to post-sale delivery of your services. You know, advancements in online technology such as secure digital documents, sending documents in a secure PDF and allowing a legally-binding, digital signature to endorse that document, that technology has evolved tremendously and I think it could be a part of the insurance industry’s future. In fact, there are carriers today doing some of their paperwork delivery and correspondence online.
And then, post-sale customer service. Again, John mentioned it but there’s lots of ways and I would argue this was one of the first areas where I think online really got some traction. Servicing your customers – giving them password protected extranets to allow them to come in and fill out a compliance survey or to request additional riders or to get new pricing. So, an online method of customer service. Keep in mind e-commerce is one subset of a way that online automation can help you improve your business. So if you are, in fact, considering some of these things to help grow your business. Some things to consider: The first one looks kind of scary. Keep in mind that most IT projects fail. When I first read this stat – I apologize – I had to go and look up the source of that, but I’ve read a couple of different surveys of studies of U.S. business that indicated that as high as 85% of IT projects fail, based on user feedback. And if you think about your experience within the IT projects within your company, you probably have seen a lot of that. The other
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