Digital Relationships, Small Business, and Advising from Afar
Earlier this month we talked with the Vertafore CEO about the effects of COVID-19 on their clients and how Vertafore is responding.
When it became apparent that things are going to look different for the foreseeable future, at Vertafore we knew we had to figure out a way to help these businesses. We started a program called “In it Together” that essentially aggregates all of the tools, all of the resources and information that we can offer to help our customers continue their operations throughout this pandemic.
When we [Vertafore and Leader’s Edge] spoke last time, we talked a lot about my belief in the importance of customer success. And it really is true. So much of what we do to the company and Vertafore is built around this and we wanted our customers to understand that it doesn’t change regardless of the situation. And so, throughout the pandemic, we’re just consistently searching for new ways we can guide our customers through what are some very challenging times.
Then there’s the question of, well, how do I actually engage with my customers effectively in a remote environment? How are all of my employees in a position to be productive? I’ve heard everything from “I’m struggling with that” to “I’m actually getting more productivity given the environment,” and so I think people are still figuring that whole work style and work environment, and how to engage customers and engage with teammates.
I think working from home is one aspect that I’ve seen, thinking about how they are fundamentally servicing their customers, and this whole shift for brokers to play more of an advisor role for their customers versus transaction processors. And I think in times like these, end customers are looking for guidance, and they’re looking for that advice. And I think companies, depending on where they are in that transformation, are thinking about things like that right now.
I also think we’ve been talking about digital transformation and changing the way we interact with customers. I think that’s only going to be amplified in a moment like this where companies are expecting to interact in a much more digital way. I think these small businesses, if they’re not already doing that, and some absolutely are, I think they’re fundamentally going to need to think about how they’re engaging with our customers not only in the servicing part, but in the renewals part of the life cycle. I’m certain everybody’s kind of underwater now, but in the net new business sales part of this process, how are they going to engage in a different way? I think a lot of people aren’t thinking about that. And they are trying to figure out how to evolve more so now than they had been previously.