Articles by Tom Wetzel

Wetzel is CEO of Thomas H. Wetzel & Associates, an insurance marketing firm for independent agents whose services include a partnership with LivePerson to bring HIPAA-certified messaging and IBM Watson to the insurance industry, the Wetzel Digital Roadmap, website design and maintenance, and content creation. Website: www.wetzelandassociates.com. Email: twetzel@wetzelandassociates.com.

The Battle Over Agency Data

New regulations, insurer pressure and growing consumer alarm about online security will force agents to act this year to protect their data from unfettered use by third-party vendors. The NAIC Insurance Data Security Model Law has already been adopted in …

Agent Silos: It’s Not Just a Problem for Carriers

Among carriers, the silo model in which departments operate independently and do not easily collaborate on common goals is well-documented. Among agents, however, no matter the size, silos can create problems and unintended consequences. “I’m not big on silos, except …

Going Digital and Building Relationships

Every agent I’ve met in the past decade understands the need to adapt in some way to the digital marketplace — a better-looking website, a more effective email marketing program or adding a mobile app. When the discussion turns to …

Agency Data Ownership Can Be Tricky in Age of Texting

In a column last year on messaging, I talked about the value of a secure means for agents to text prospects, policyholders and insurers and the number of messaging apps and companies offering messaging services. Apps such as Facebook Messenger …

Customer Experience Starts With Marketing Communications

In my last column, we discussed agents’ critical task of delivering the best possible customer experience to differentiate themselves from competitors. To do that, agents need to closely examine every task they perform for policyholders and prospects and find ways …

It’s Time to Redefine Agency Customer Experience

The term customer experience has become a catch-all, almost cliche phrase, even if its critical importance is undeniable. For agents, customer experience cannot be an abstract or ill-defined term if the goal is to have more than marginal progress in …

Why Agent Response Time Is More Critical Than Ever

Two years ago, I wrote a column on “speed-to-value,” in which the time agents took to respond to and resolve inquiries/requests from policyholders and prospects had become an important factor in customer satisfaction. What a difference two years makes. Today, …

Who Owns Your Data?

In a column last year on messaging, I talked about the value of a secure means for agents to text prospects, policyholders and insurers and the number of messaging apps and companies offering messaging services. Apps such as Facebook Messenger …

The Next Generation: Students Speak Out on Technology Issues

It’s no secret that the workforce in the insurance industry is aging and 400,000 positions are projected to open up in the next two years. Insurers and agents alike have debated how best to attract the next generation, so I …

Best Tech Ways for Agents to Get the ‘Message’ Out

2018 has turned out to be the year of the text message. For agents, that reality presents a challenge that is both substantial and immediate. Today, there are dozens of vendors that offer chat capabilities. Web messaging has emerged as …