According to Franchise Times, Brightway Insurance is the only insurance agency franchisor named in a listing of the smartest-growing franchises in the USA. Brightway is one of only 40 companies recognized on the list of top franchise companies in the U.S.
Brightway Insurance is a national property insurance distribution company with nearly $900 million in annualized written premium, making it one of the largest Personal Lines agencies in the U.S.
Brightway Insurance’s main focus is on building unparalleled tools that empower its franchisees to help people in their communities understand and value insurance while reaching their potential in business.
Brightway Insurance started in 2008 and has since grown to 1,200 people in 316 offices across 29 states serving customers in all 50 states.
Brightway Insurance customer service, back-office support, and a wide variety of carrier partners enable Brightway Agents to ensure their customers are properly covered and cared for while they build their businesses.
In traditional agencies, countless hours are spent servicing existing customers’ needs. Brightway handles that work on behalf of its agents, empowering them to focus on new policy sales while building a residual income stream that pays every time policies renew.
This results in unlimited earning potential in a recession and pandemic-proof industry.
Regardless of background, Brightway’s team of experts can help anyone be successful in insurance.
Half of Brightway’s largest Agencies are owned by people with no insurance background; their average agency book size is $18.3 million.
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Brightway Insurance Business Challenges
A key differentiator for Brightway Insurance is that it offers its agents comprehensive support so they can focus on selling while Brightway handles all other business functions at its home office.
For example, calls about existing policies are directed not to the policyholder’s local agent but the company’s centralized call center.
As Brightway grew, the company realized it needed more sophisticated call center functionality, and it could no longer support a growing base of agents and customers with its on-premises PBX phone system, which was designed for small to medium-sized businesses.
We wanted to find call center functionality that sat on top of the existing telephony platform, but ultimately we decided to replace the platform altogether, explains Brightway’s Enterprise Architect.
Finally, Brightway also became convinced that its call center was deeply understaffed. Still, the lack of a sophisticated contact center platform meant the company did not have the data to verify their suspicion.
So, in addition to looking for the right contact center platform to add to its phone system, the company also expected to build a second call center, hiring many dozens of new in-house insurance professionals.
As it turned out, deploying RingCentral addressed all of these issues.
Communications Solution Revolutionizes Brightway Insurance Business
We assumed our challenges with handling all of the inbound policyholder calls stemmed from us not having enough staff at our call center. But when we examined the call reports from RingCentral Contact Center, we realized the issue was more about not getting callers to the right experts. Insurance laws differ by state, which means policies differ by state.
So unless we could match a caller to an in-house agent with the right regional knowledge, we could have a problem. Once we were able to identify this as the issue, we started using Contact Center to direct policy calls to the right people.
First, because we learned the problem was not simply headcount, we didn’t need to invest in a massive new call center, which might have cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars and required hiring dozens of in-house agents.
Second, because these call reports helped us pinpoint the problem as a need for more region-specific knowledge, we were able to hire just a handful of expert agents in different states and allow them to take calls from home, which RingCentral makes so easy.
RingCentral’s omnichannel solution gave Brightway another tool to make its operations run more effectively. Because RingCentral MVP includes the RingCentral Video team messaging platform, says Baker, we have also set up region-specific RingCentral Video teams, so remote agents and staff at the home office can pop into the right RingCentral Video team and ask for expert help.
Team messaging at the core of our RingCentral solution helps our communications run more smoothly and also keeps us better connected and feeling more like a team even though our agents are geographically scattered. Plus, it allows us to better serve our customers.
Also, with the RingCentral Pulse solution, RingCentral Video teams can be notified of different conditions in the contact center, such as when a queue is getting more traffic than expected, notifying the proper stakeholders immediately so they can take action to address changing conditions before they become significant issues.
According to Baker, transitioning to RingCentral has resulted in many benefits for Brightway, such as enabling callers to reach the correct person in one hop.
Brightway uses smart-routing rules across email, chat, and voice to connect customers to the right resource. They initially thought they would need to rebuild the logic across each channel, but RingCentral allowed them to reuse it across all channels.
The new process makes it simple for customers and agents to get answers much more quickly and efficiently, which improves customer satisfaction.