Bryan Insurance has been putting clients first since 1921. Since 2017, that commitment includes offering clients the choice to pay by credit card or ACH.
Tommy Dies, CEO, CFO said it was not client demand that drove the decision. Very few clients were asking for a digital payment option. But Tommy saw it as essential to the customer experience; and he did not want to lose business to larger agencies. So he made the move proactively.
Tommy had been keeping an eye on the digital payment landscape. He says, “I pay attention to technology. We need to stay current with it. If something intrigues me, I research it. I see who all is using it, what vendors offer it, who has the best service.”
In this case, Tommy’s research included talking to other members of Combined Agents of America. CAA is an aggregator of 68 independent agencies located in Texas and other Midwest states. He also inquired within his AMS user group. And, as a board member of IIAT, Tommy had association members to tap as well.
Tommy interviewed several digital payment vendors. Then he met Todd Sorrell, ePayPolicy co-founder. He says, “I don’t remember if Todd called me or I called him. But ePayPolicy was the one that offered 100 percent of our money up front.”
The agency’s ePayPolicy experience
From a seamless launch to ease and simplicity of use, ePayPolicy keeps delivering for Bryan Insurance Agency and their clients. Tommy opted for the “Custom” ePayPolicy plan, which brands their payment page with the Bryan Insurance logo. The agency also has a branded app through Applied Systems. Now that ePayPolicy integrates with the Applied CSR24 App, Bryan Insurance clients can pay directly through the app.
In terms of ongoing service, Tommy’s team has rarely had to reach out. But when called, “their customer support bends over backwards, they’re Johnny on the spot.” Tommy recalls a minor roadblock early on. They had a client that needed to make a large payment above ePayPolicy’s payment threshold (which is there for the agency’s protection). A quick call explaining the situation to Support and the threshold was temporarily raised. Tommy also attends a lot of industry conferences and sees ePayPolicy there. He says, “It’s amazing how friendly and welcoming they are. They seem to love their clients. They really want to do a good job.”
Client response to digital payments
The agency has pushed electronic payment with their commercial lines clients. He says the biggest users are service people to the oil and gas industry (a Bryan Insurance specialty market). These 20- to 30-year-old consultants do everything through their phone. “We make it easy for them. They can use our app and it takes them right to the ePayPolicy portal.”
He believes more personal lines clients would convert if he promoted electronic payment more. He notes that with people stuck at home and working from home during the pandemic, the agency successfully pushed digital payment through social media and email.
Tommy names three primary benefits to his agency:
- It offers a good electronic experience, which increases the overall customer experience.
- Having it available puts us up there with the larger agencies.
- It’s attractive (even essential) to younger clients. Our older clients still want to write a check. What matters is they have a choice.
… and some advice
Tommy offers this advice to independent agencies: “You just have to offer digital payments. Period. ePayPolicy is the best. It works. Call and talk to them.”
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Contact Lisa Webb, IIAT Advantage Director at LWebb@iiat.org or Donna Biles, Advantage Markets, at Dbiles@iiat.org