The Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria (ARIAN), has urged insurance agents in the country to embrace a new approach to service delivery as the number of online agents ready to offer insurance services keep increasing.
ARIAN President, Gbadebo Olameru, who gave the charge at the 7th Yearly Conference and Award Ceremony in Lagos, noted that the era of travelling from one place to another to close insurance business deals is fast fading, as most multi-billion naira deals are now being sealed on the Internet and through social networks.
The spread of the Internet and other social media platforms, which have changed the style of communication and business models mean that some agents might be out of jobs sooner than later, if they refused to accept the change.
According to Olameru, “The dynamics of our business climate is gradually changing where everything that matters is in the cloud; the Internet and social media campaign are gradually building multi-billion naira organisations with their skyscraper head office solely built in the cloud without any physical office.”
He cited an example of an Insurance Agent, Omolola Omogoye, who brought a whooping N70 million insurance premium in one transaction, a transaction that was closed through Facebook platform from someone she has never met. “I can imagine how many bus stops she has to pass through to meet this man if Facebook was a street in Lagos,” he added.
He stressed that if agents want to maintain their relevance in the insurance industry, they must research more, increase their appetite for knowledge by becoming professionals in the industry.
He urged insurance agents to be the only reliable and relevant avenue to move the industry to its next level because retail business is the only access that can grow the business.
The Director, Insight and Customer Strategy, Oracle Corporation, Genevieve Mbama, said the era of face to face marketing, moving from one office to the other in search of business, is gone, as the Internet is gradually taking over that job.
“While will you be walking round the streets of Lagos, under a scotching sun to look for customers that are in their offices. There are millions of people already on social media that are using Internet-enabled gadgets and need your service,” she said.
She urged insurance agents to increase awareness, build trust, ensure they are visible to the people as well as change the negative perception about insurance through delivery of quality service to consumers.