Chip Bacciocco Transcript Page



00:00:02 Chris Cline

Hello, this is Chris Cline and welcome to closing the Gap Westfields Podcast in which we discuss some of the issues and challenges your agency may be facing today and bring forward some of the insights and ideas that we've gathered from our work in and around the Mr. Because if it matters to you, it matters to us.

00:00:12 Speaker 4


00:00:20 Speaker 4


00:00:22 Chris Cline

Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of closing the gap today, we're going to explore all things digital and transformative that our industry has really experienced over the last.

00:00:27 Speaker 4

For all.

00:00:36 Chris Cline

Gosh, now here we are in middle December. Over the last eight or nine months and think about it through the trends that already existed perhaps and then have just been accelerated and fueled by the state of the world. And if there's anything new that's emerged.

00:00:51 Speaker 4


00:00:52 Chris Cline

But through this filter of how our industry has reacted at the customer level.

00:00:57 Chris Cline

At the customer.

00:00:59 Chris Cline

How agencies have responded an even a perspective on carriers and to bring that conversation to light. Really excited. I think a first time guest, despite a very long standing relationship with Chip Asoko, who's really the grand Poobah. and.

00:01:19 Chris Cline

Agency nation and gotten to know chip pretty well over the years as our organization has a longstanding relationship with the organization and also star of stage and screen, and more recently, zoom Mr Craig Walsh. Who's who's the?

00:01:38 Chris Cline

Cheap distribution and marketing officer here at Westfield and also notice chip very well. So this might be the perfect place for me to begin my developmental journey on brevity because with Craig and Chip on the phone, I might not say very much, so that's kind of a cool thing, but certainly welcome to both of you guys and thanks for joining us today and I guess maybe just before I turn.

00:02:00 Chris Cline

It over to you guys just to say hey.

00:02:01 Speaker 4

Say hey

00:02:02 Chris Cline

We'll certainly be able to leverage a great deal of phenomenal insight Chip has from the platform, but I think this conversation will.

00:02:12 Chris Cline

Will bring up.

00:02:13 Chris Cline

I mean, maybe a you know a more universal and broader point of view to some of these concepts along the way, but chip, thanks for joining us man.

00:02:21 Chip Bacciocco

Hey, it's it's really.

00:02:22 Chip Bacciocco

It's it's really good to be here with you guys. You're right. This is my first time on this podcast and what, why, why we waited so long let's we should. We should do this all the time we.

00:02:32 Chris Cline

Should right I? I don't really have the foggiest idea. I mean, some some of these are. Some guests have.

00:02:39 Chris Cline

Such a presence in a voice in the industry on their own merits. And when we started the podcast part of it was maybe a little bit of a desire to not go to the lowest hanging fruit and just invite all of the people that everybody knows anyways. And then it just got weird, like Oh my God, it's been two years we.

00:02:54 Chip Bacciocco


00:02:58 Chris Cline

Haven't had chip on what is that although.

00:03:00 Chris Cline

But, um, you know at.

00:03:01 Chris Cline

Any rate here we are, and I think you know part of it is. It's a very relevant topic and pretty much everybody listening to this today will be experience has experienced the topic for the day through their own lens and maybe even a multiple.

00:03:17 Chris Cline

As a you know as they work with other parts of the industry. But yeah, here we are in Mr. Welsh. Everybody maybe not everybody knows since we've got a fairly broad and global audience these days, but thanks for joining us, correct?

00:03:29 Craig Welsh

Yeah, it's good to be on Chris. Good to be on with you to Chip, but I'll try to say as little as possible so.

00:03:38 Chris Cline

Yeah, don't don't really. I mean, we're actually on a podcast where we're actually wanting people to talk and share, right since?

00:03:41 Speaker 4


00:03:44 Chip Bacciocco

That won't be fun if there's no talking, let's talk.

00:03:47 Craig Welsh

I'll just peppering.

00:03:48 Craig Welsh

Where I can I think you 2 can can carry this no doubt.

00:03:52 Chris Cline

Yeah, but but.

00:03:52 Speaker 4


00:03:53 Chris Cline

But you know, in all sincerity you know, and I you know, I think the audience picks up on the fact that we all know each other very well and have a great repor and.

00:04:01 Chris Cline

And that's in and that's yeah, that makes these things a ton of fun. But Chip, if you would, you know that there may be some folks out there that are listening to that day that there aren't really aware of.

00:04:14 Chris Cline

Of what you know, what you guys are doing over there and maybe even your own personal journey and how you've.

00:04:21 Chris Cline

Gotten to this point in the passion you have around.

00:04:25 Chris Cline

Really, the the digital transformation of the experience we all have as it relates to really keeping customers in the channel and giving them.

00:04:36 Chris Cline

You're the best possible opportunity, so I'll kind of turn it over to you for a little bit and we'll see where this thing goes.

00:04:42 Chip Bacciocco

Yeah, no, it sounds like fun. I'm glad we're able to have this conversation. This is.

00:04:47 Chip Bacciocco

Oh, really, I think important.

00:04:48 Chip Bacciocco

Time or relevant time, you know it's the end of this strangest of all of our years that we've been in this business. I started my career as a retail insurance agent in 1987 as a summer intern at a brokerage in Chicago was called Rollins Burdick Hunter.

00:05:07 Chip Bacciocco

Fancy we all wore ties.

00:05:09 Chip Bacciocco

And all paper of course, and the little pink slips with The Who called you and my first day I had a bottle of white out. My job was to fix some expiration dates on a whole bunch of accord forms that were all wrong for whatever reason, so I still remember that. And we've come a very long way. Obviously since then.

00:05:30 Chip Bacciocco

So I've been an agent of my entire career, but I've done lots of different things over that time and and one of the things that I was really fortunate to be brought in.

00:05:37 Chip Bacciocco, which was just sort of getting off the ground about eight years ago. Westfield was very much involved, which is one of the reasons we all know each other so well and a lot of other leading IA companies. And of course the big eye, which was sort of the, you know, the central founder of the concept and the concept was really simple. Take that trusted choice.

00:05:58 Chip Bacciocco

Brands that have been around for a few years but didn't have a way to really manifest itself in a marketing sense.

00:06:03 Chip Bacciocco

And take that brand and put it on a digital consumer platform where we could attract consumers. Educate them which we still need to do a better job. There's a long way to go in educating consumers about the value of working with an independent insurance agent. What do you get with that? Why is that important? What do they do for you? How are they compensated? 100 questions.

00:06:12 Speaker 4


00:06:24 Chip Bacciocco

That I think once people understand it and they find the right independent insurance agent for them, they realize this is. This is what I want. But anyway we need a digital way to do that. You know the old way has gone away. And and as we're going to talk about today, this last year has been the great accelerator of the shift to digital. I mean, we've been talking about digital for all those eight years, and there's no doubt a lot was happening.

00:06:41 Speaker 4

You know?

00:06:46 Chip Bacciocco

But I feel like the last year has shifted as much into the digital space. The digital future as the the prior 7 or the prior 6 all at once, and it's it's definitive and it's it's final now. There's no going back. There wasn't any going back three years ago either, but I think even the most reluctant people.

00:07:07 Chip Bacciocco

Whether they're consumers or whether their insurance agents, whether insurance company executives, it's a done deal, everybody's in the digital future now. We could probably just even the past is somewhat digital. And yeah, let's talk about all the things we all see 'cause there's just a lot going on. is.

00:07:24 Chip Bacciocco

Very pleased with its progress. We're very proud of what we've been able to do, especially in terms of attracting organic insurance shoppers online and helping them find the right trusted choice. Independent insurance agent. I can talk about that, you know, we've got a lot of data as you guys know. So what else do you want me to share?

00:07:43 Craig Welsh

Hey Chip, let me look so I guess.

00:07:46 Craig Welsh

Let me ask one question so I'm already I'm already kind of breaking my promise but but you know, I I to your point, you know so much is accelerated since since March.

00:07:56 Craig Welsh

Could you do a little bit of setup so you know what I think about the journey that you've been on at

00:08:03 Craig Welsh

You know, and even going back to where this started, you know Westfield and a group of Carrier's the big I were investors in this entity, and I think it, you know, at that time it was, you know, the Internet surreal thing. People are going to be looking for insurance on Google, and it's hard for the independent insurance agent to position themselves. First page on Google.

00:08:24 Craig Welsh

Right, so you know this started as this. This need to be able to be found on the Internet and I think it it evolved to not just being found on the Internet but building.

00:08:36 Craig Welsh

Really solid digital capabilities as a as an as an independent agency system. So when you think about kind of major steps on the journey, you know prior to you know to your point, everything just accelerated in March but but you know it. I mean really. Even at the forefront of leading you know industry change agencies and carriers.

00:08:57 Craig Welsh

What were some of the big moments you know when you think back over, you know your tenure with

00:09:03 Craig Welsh

In terms of, you know the problems you were faced with and the decisions that you had to make that really just sets you up for further success when kind of the world when the world changed in March.

00:09:17 Chip Bacciocco

So there's been several, you know, it's been. It's been an epic journey, right? You know the hero has to go through hillendale

00:09:26 Chip Bacciocco

Um, to get here, there's been changes in consumer behavior that we made a lot of assumptions about way back eight years ago, and and maybe even consumers made about themselves, right? And we've seen that journey. I'll give you an example. Comparative rating, and this is just to go way back. Eight years, right? And give.

00:09:42 Chip Bacciocco

You something that was a really.

00:09:45 Chip Bacciocco

Central topic among all of us eight years ago. Comparative rating that was going to be the Holy Grail, the magic, whatever button and was determined to have comparative rating for, particularly for personal lines. We were really focused on auto insurance back.

00:10:02 Chip Bacciocco

At home.

00:10:03 Chip Bacciocco

Um and and what we learned is that that wasn't, you know, we did. We built it. 50 states compared to rating, we learned that consumers don't really love me. Some do, but not enough love to sit there and type in my my second car is a 1999 Honda Accord, you know. I mean, there's a lot of work. They were kind of like, yeah, so we didn't see very high conversion rates. We notice though, if we could build other.

00:10:25 Chip Bacciocco

Consumer interaction.

00:10:27 Chip Bacciocco

That let them.

00:10:28 Chip Bacciocco

Search for an agent based on what they were looking for. We actually had a higher conversion rates that they got to say. Well I got a house and I've got this and I got that I got the kids with this old and I'm looking. This is my problem. How can I solve it? And then we started thinking about. Well this is really a matching thing. How do we get? How do we match them with an agent that has the right experience has the right markets? Which companies have an appetite to write this coverage and.

00:10:49 Chip Bacciocco

Start putting those pieces together so we just that was one evolution in both consumer behavior, meaning that we all thought one thing about consumer behavior. We learned another and consumer is of course that they sport with everything else in their life, right? I mean how many?

00:11:05 Chip Bacciocco

We're all comfortable now with so many different applications. We buy almost everything for the last seven months online at my house. My dog is going to die because he can't get off his feet enough times for the UPS guy all day. Everyday is somebody's coming up. Here's your groceries, you know. Here's your Christmas presents. Here's your.

00:11:27 Chip Bacciocco

Toilet paper, whatever. It's just everything comes in a Brown truck. Or actually they're all kinds of colors these days. So so, so that was one thing I think in an extreme shift to the agent side, and for a second it's another big.

00:11:42 Chip Bacciocco

Transformative thing that's been going on is Agent perception, agent behavior, and probably I'll say also are in our. In the beginning we thought this was going to be a technology challenge that it was all about how fast can we write code? How smart could we be to write the right code? And there had to be some magical code out there that we would all discover.

00:12:02 Chip Bacciocco

That hasn't really been the challenge, it's actually been. The challenge has been has been the human behavior and helping helping all of us. The consumers certainly, but they're moving at their own.

00:12:12 Chip Bacciocco

Space, but agents and insurance companies. And how do we as insurance professionals adapt our thinking and our expectations and what we're willing to do? There's certainly, I don't. Wouldn't get specific, but you know, there were a lot of stories about a lot of agents eight years ago that didn't have email accounts.

00:12:32 Chip Bacciocco

Or you know, if they did, they had like an AOL account. I couldn't believe the first time I saw, you know the the agents that we were going to be signing up for in those very earliest days. How many had like an AOL account. And I was like, oh, we can't have any. Oh, that's terrible.

00:12:46 Chip Bacciocco

Anyway, that doesn't happen anymore, right? So today I see a lot of agents that understand, especially after covid. It's all digital now. You know, they understand they're not sitting at the office. No one's walking up and not that everyone has in awhile. But people aren't walking in the door at the agency. Most of them haven't seen their agency in months. They're serving their current customers.

00:13:07 Chip Bacciocco

From there from their Home Office, through a screen and they're serving their perspective customers the same way.

00:13:14 Chip Bacciocco

It's all on the on the digital channel, so those are the big behaviors I've seen. Is the adaptation of both consumer growth and adaptation of consumer behavior. Agent behavior has been remarkable and fun. It's been a lot of fun to watch.

00:13:29 Craig Welsh

Yeah I yeah, I think those are two. Just really good points. Chip and I think that's part of the the journey that that has.

00:13:37 Craig Welsh

Has learned and I think that point about really understanding. You know what consumer behavior looks like in this in this digital world, and that two will continue to evolve and change. But I remember hearing stories from you and seeing data, you know even even three years ago where you know again the thought was, hey, the customer wants to go A-Z online.

00:13:59 Craig Welsh

Actually, the customer just wants somebody to solve their problem and so you know the number of consumers that started the process online, but then they just want to pick up the phone and call somebody right? So they were going from digital to a pretty traditional means and and and then this goes to the human behavior side. When they call, they expect somebody to pick up.

00:14:02 Speaker 4


00:14:20 Craig Welsh

On the other end.

00:14:21 Speaker 4


00:14:22 Craig Welsh

Or certainly get back to him and and so on and so.

00:14:25 Craig Welsh

So kind of that human behavior of go ahead.

00:14:26 Chip Bacciocco

Let me.

00:14:28 Chip Bacciocco

Yeah, let me let me just do it and and and and 'cause I didn't mention data a minute ago and and Craig's right I see an amazing amount of data so we have all these thousands of agents that are on and we can see this this mass of you know the the recommendations we make, but I'm going to talk about phone calls. I think we're doing something like 14,000 inbound phone calls recorded every month right now.

00:14:51 Chip Bacciocco

14,000 inbound calls so.

00:14:53 Chip Bacciocco

So there's a ton of volume of insurance shoppers that still want to pick up a telephone and talk to an agent. An I if I could make one quick recommendation for every agency out there, because I think I can compare the anecdotal stories of when talking to agency principles and then looking at the data. You're getting more inbound phone calls to your agency than you.

00:15:15 Chip Bacciocco

Know about you are, I promise, so significant number are ring, ring, ring, ring and about the 4th ring. Nobody answers and they hang up. Don't expect people to leave voicemail today. They don't.

00:15:28 Chip Bacciocco

Do it so you had an inbound call of a prospective. They came through We're not there to service your existing customers and it didn't get answered, so there's that's a huge opportunity there to adapt to data. I'll give you another quick data point that we saw that I thought was really interesting when Covid hit in March. You know we were all.

00:15:49 Chip Bacciocco

I mean the whole country was kind of stunned, right? Well, you know the they sent everybody home and everything is closed. And Oh my gosh, are we all going to be in some serious health peril?

00:15:57 Chip Bacciocco

Whatever, and of course I saw traffic dip. We can watch it literally every day. I can watch it live. I can watch the traffic stream into, which is kind of fun and we saw it dip dip one day, dipped another day, dipped another day. I'm like, Oh no, this is bad. So after about a week and a half something like that, it went up one day and then it went up one day.

00:16:17 Chip Bacciocco

And then it went up one day and it went up one day and it actually climbed out and came out higher than it had been before and stayed there. There was a a marked and you can see it in the data, a marked increase.

00:16:29 Chip Bacciocco

He's in consumer traffic, especially organic traffic, which is the good stuff where they're asking. I want to find the right agent I'm I'm looking. I need to solve an insurance problem that has gone up post code and stayed up and even better than that, the conversion rates, the seriousness with which if they start out their search for an agent and then going all the way to the end, putting in their complete information saying please, I need to talk to an agent.

00:16:54 Chip Bacciocco

I'm, you know my name is Mary Smith and here's my that has all increased in its ratio and we would beat our heads on walls to try to get that to improve one or two percent, you know, just through cleverness, and we suddenly have just behavior of consumers.

00:17:08 Chip Bacciocco

Literally saying, I understand the way to me for me to buy this is online. I'm going to fill this form out. I'm going to go here. I'm going to do this so really exciting to be able to see that data and I'm glad to be able to share it with through you guys with all the agents out there.

00:17:23 Chris Cline

Yeah, just listening to you guys chat a little bit. I don't know. I mean, I'm kind of a space E space geek. Maybe not Spacey, a space geek and there's like we talk about this as the great accelerate.

00:17:35 Chris Cline

Chip and I guess this visual I'm.

00:17:38 Chris Cline

It's this kind of in my head is.

00:17:41 Chris Cline

Pre kovid we were on this trajectory. Customers, agents and carriers.

00:17:47 Chris Cline

To the point probably where we are today, but there was.

00:17:53 Chris Cline

A great deal of latitude still in the market to allow.

00:17:57 Chris Cline

Each leg of the stool, if you will. The luxury of their own pace to an extent, and then each individual agency and carrier and all the customers going through their own journey around this transformation.

00:18:12 Chris Cline

In timing.

00:18:12 Speaker 4

All right?

00:18:14 Chris Cline

And who knows, maybe the bogey would have missed some, but most still had a decent amount of latitude to kind of do this at their own pace.

00:18:24 Chris Cline

Not only did this accelerate all of the trends, it it almost by default default. Put everybody at the exact same spot on this universal continuum if you will, because there is really there really wasn't any other way to do the things that we do.

00:18:43 Chris Cline

And so it makes perfect sense to me. Why for a week or two, or maybe even longer, there was a dip in activity because people were like, oh, I gotta figure this out and insurance isn't the most important thing in my life. I'm going to get groceries and cleaning supplies and what's going to happen with my loved ones and.

00:19:01 Chris Cline

Just all the other stuff 'cause most people don't think about their insurance on a monthly basis. But as time goes on and we realize now everybody is building the point, the only way to make this happen.

00:19:12 Chris Cline

And you're starting to get to the point where we go through renewal renewal cycle.

00:19:17 Chris Cline

Under covid

00:19:19 Chris Cline

Everybody is at the exact same spot, so it had just advanced everybody to the same point on the journey. And so when you think about the behaviors that each had to go through, this is what is cool about the seat you have in the industry is you are matchmaking customers and agencies. And now more recently or relatively recent.

00:19:38 Chris Cline


00:19:39 Chris Cline

Cariers I would. I mean we could start wherever you want or which one of those things to me has the most.

00:19:47 Chris Cline

A compelling journey to you, but we've all gone through some transformation.

00:19:53 Chris Cline

To the same point or a comparable point, much faster than any of us ever existed, so I'm just curious your your observations data metaphorically around each each big chunk of that.

00:20:04 Chip Bacciocco

You know there's.

00:20:06 Chip Bacciocco

There's it's a good way of saying it is that we suddenly not only was it the great accelerator in some ways, was at the great equalizer maybe? Or the great resetter. Possibly everybody gets has to start from this new point.

00:20:19 Chip Bacciocco

I I tell you what I I'm gonna talk about insurance companies for a minute. 'cause obviously I get to spend a lot of time observing them as well, including you guys.

00:20:27 Chip Bacciocco

You know everybody.

00:20:27 Speaker 4


00:20:28 Chip Bacciocco

's been there sort of in some some evolutionary stages there right things like mobile apps right? That was kind of hot a couple of years ago. Who's going to have a mobile Alba? Companies will have a mobile app, are going to serve their customers the problem at least from from an independent agency. I've got a strange view but right is that when you as soon as you have a customer that has.

00:20:46 Chip Bacciocco

Multiple policies with different companies. Now they've got multiple mobile apps and and then the agent of course wants to try to brand that experience. Some companies you know allowed that and created ways for agents to private label those apps. Some didn't. Just a lot of which is good. That's all good, healthy experimentation I've seen lately. A lot of companies that want to create when I'm going to call.

00:21:10 Chip Bacciocco

At least I have internally called a private funnel.

00:21:13 Chip Bacciocco

Which means a a branded consumer experience even though there I a companies they want to have a branded consumer experience in the shopping process and then find a way to transfer that customer to the right appointed independent agent. And that's a healthy thing too. But they're all approaching it a little differently, you know, and I I'm seeing I 'cause again I have some.

00:21:34 Chip Bacciocco

Unique perspective I see an. I know how hard it is to generate organic traffic so when they take that on as soon as they start to say we're going to interact with consumers, what they're really saying is we're going to get into the challenge of search engine optimization or and or some kind of paid paid traffic generation, marketing and so forth so.

00:21:52 Chip Bacciocco

All the challenges they meet and I I have the advantage, I suppose, of of seeing which companies may maybe have a little better luck. And of course I borrow, you know, live. I liberate and always liberate, liberate the ideas that I think may be the most useful for, which is nice.

00:22:10 Chip Bacciocco

There's just so many things going on. I was talking to a national leader at the Big I and I said, you know, 'cause we were kind of reflecting. It's been eight years and this is the code here and just a lot of interesting.

00:22:24 Chip Bacciocco

Symmetry is going on historically, and I said, you know, the next eight are going to be every bit as growth focused and challenging and exciting. An innovation oriented as the last date. We're we're halfway on this journey at best an and it's been a fun journey and you know, I'm like, you know, knock on wood.

00:22:45 Chip Bacciocco

Covid has been sort of a blessing to our industry in a way I could argue that because we needed the acceleration it we learned that we can be a lot more flexible. Agents have learned they can work at home agency. Principals have learned that.

00:22:57 Chip Bacciocco

We have learned they can work.

00:23:00 Chip Bacciocco

Companies have learned it, and we've gotten a little closer to our customers digitally. I think it's actually been a very I. Personally, it's been hard. You know, I could see my family as much and Christmas and Thanksgiving. And you know, people getting sick. None of that has been fun. It's been a kind of a crummy year.

00:23:20 Chip Bacciocco

But from a professional standpoint, I actually think we've grown more this year than we did last year or the year before, so I'm grateful for that.

00:23:30 Chris Cline

Yeah, clearly right? I mean, it's finding a silver lining in every in everything is. This is much of an attitude and a personal choices.

00:23:40 Chris Cline

You know, as anything, and I appreciate that commentary, but I do want to revisit a little bit. You know, while you referenced some carriers thinking differently and quite candidly, just entering the search engine game and baked into that is.

00:23:43 Speaker 4


00:23:59 Chris Cline

How do we all contribute to, maybe in a positive way, the best possible customer experience in our channel as we can to keep him here? I mean they gotta stay in the channel for any of us to have a chance to write him.

00:24:13 Chip Bacciocco

Well, one thing on that that.

00:24:16 Chip Bacciocco

You know, I, I'm constantly encouraging and you guys know this is we actually have the ability to.

00:24:24 Chip Bacciocco

Collectively lift our search engine presence. If we each fight individually for every space on on Page 1.

00:24:34 Chip Bacciocco

There's not enough spaces for all of the great IE companies. All of the great agents, all the great associates. Everybody that wants to help. I think the more that we sort of realized you know what there's ways to work together so so one of the other. I think core reasons and purposes for

00:24:55 Chip Bacciocco

Is to allow us to be a essentially a directory is is the simplest way to say it of all the important players in the channel. So we've got every agency is almost every agencies on there. I certainly want every agency on there. If you're not on their gosh darn it, please come and an set up your profile on you should. It will help.

00:25:16 Chip Bacciocco

Ask position.

00:25:17 Chip Bacciocco

You, as an independent agent in your community, will help us to make sure that you are well understood by perspective customers, existing customers, perspective employees, your company partners, your potential merger partners 10 years from now, etc etc. So tell your, it's easy, it's lightweight. Same thing for companies.

00:25:38 Chip Bacciocco

We want every eye a company to have an impressive company profile on We want you to store what your appetite is. We want you to tell your brand story. We want you to tell.

00:25:49 Chip Bacciocco

Us who you are. Who you most important or who all of your appointed agents are so we can play that matchmaking game that you referenced before Chris, when when the right shopper comes in? I would if it's if it's perfect for Westfield, an Westfields agent in you know, Sacramento or wherever I want to make that connection and help that take place. Which means you don't have to.

00:26:11 Chip Bacciocco

Your agent doesn't necessarily have to now. Does everybody still need their own SCO strategy? Of course they do. But by having that that shared platform.

00:26:20 Chip Bacciocco

Google can crawl and I want to get too much into the technical stuff of of how SEO works, but all those profiles are being crawled by Google every day. In fact, about every 30 seconds new crawl starts in some part of our website by one of the major search engines, and that so they're following those links back to your digital properties. Your your company website.

00:26:43 Chip Bacciocco

All of your social media properties, all of your YouTube channel. Everything. It's helping Google find out more about all these agents and how they connect together, but they do what they specialize in and all these companies and what they do, what they specialize in and how they're related.

00:26:58 Chip Bacciocco

And so, by collaborating through, we actually all you know it lifts all boats. Everybody is helped. And then and then you know, add your own secret sauce right on top of that common platform of benefit that helps us compete against. Then add your own thing that makes you stand out in the crowd. That's what we want to do.

00:27:20 Chris Cline

Yeah, I love that visual presenting.

00:27:25 Chris Cline

You can industry unified.

00:27:28 Chris Cline

Point of view, as a solution for customers, and then once you're in right, I mean when you get a geography and specific insurance needs and you know all the different sorts of ways that an independent agency or carrier can can differentiate in the market, there are.

00:27:43 Chris Cline


00:27:44 Chris Cline

There in the channel and finding no solutions, but I'd love to triangulate this whole thing and maybe spend some time.

00:27:52 Chris Cline

There's a lot of folks might be saying like what are you seeing in the data from the customer's perspective, and so I think we all. We all agree that. I mean, there's no way around it. We just talked about it. We're all living off of, you know, well living off of the Internet, but what have you actually seen in the data around consumer trends?

00:28:13 Chris Cline

Now that you know we're in a world now, if they want to do anything in their insurance, looking with their insurance.

00:28:20 Chris Cline

The Internet is an integral integral part.

00:28:22 Chip Bacciocco

So there's there's there's several and an if if everyone thinks about a minute about their own behavior, we're all. We're all consumers for all shoppers, right? So I think I bought a laptop the other day for my son. You know, online so well, that's a hard choice. Just so many laptops to buy. I'm kind of a Mac guy myself, but I knew he wanted a Windows machine, so.

00:28:45 Chip Bacciocco

Anyway, the consumers are getting really good at research, so we see people in our data. I can see more than ever that people will multiple times. That's one example.

00:28:56 Chip Bacciocco

I can also see that they'll leave, and I'm getting more and more sure that what they're doing in some cases. Is there then taking what they learned on there, Googling that in other windows, and they're bringing that knowledge back. So I think agents and companies need to be aware that consumers are every bit as savvy.

00:29:17 Chip Bacciocco

As as as we are right, you can't expect that you're the smarter. We've all got at shopping online. Just accept the fact that the people shopping for your product are also getting smarter about how to shop for it, and you can see that in the data I can also see a lot higher level of. As I said before of intent.

00:29:36 Chip Bacciocco

So I used to get a lot more what I call tire kickers an we don't get the IT seems like once you get into a search people know these websites. They understand how to navigate. They understand that moment at which consumers know now the moment at which they're being tracked and they know exactly how to not be tracked. If they don't want to be tracked and they know exactly alright. I'm in the tracking thing. It's time to be just.

00:29:55 Chip Bacciocco

Honest and I'll end up with a better, better outcome 'cause I'm just going to give them the data and let their algorithms work.

00:30:01 Chip Bacciocco

Can an let this thing work for me? So we've seen a higher level of. I'll say it consumers are more coy at the outer edges and more clever about concealing themselves and being objective. Researchers of insurance solutions agents and companies. And then once they say I'm not be coy, then I see a much higher they step over the threshold.

00:30:22 Chip Bacciocco

And then I see a higher level of intent and purposefulness than I have, you know, say four or five years ago, and they go through the process. They tell you what their situation is. You can depend on it more and then they they want and expect. Here's the other thing by really pray agents.

00:30:39 Chip Bacciocco

Continue to adapt to they want and expect.

00:30:43 Chip Bacciocco

A response, something some reassurance that this is working quickly. I was talking to an agent within the last month that said they got back to a lead.

00:30:56 Chip Bacciocco

That they got from They purchased it on what we call claim it, which is the you actually can look at leads coming in. And so I like that one I'm going to. I'm going to claim that lead exclusively.

00:31:07 Chip Bacciocco

And then this agency principle. She forwarded it to to a colleague in the office, and the colleague called the customer back later. And let's say the total elapsed time was, I think somewhere in the neighborhood of 4045 minutes.

00:31:21 Chip Bacciocco

The the producer that actually did the call didn't get through, which is not a surprise enough and you gotta remember, nobody just answers random phone calls these days. We all think they're spammers, but then they did a little email chain exchange and say that a tolower took place between they finally and the customer told the agent the producer. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm I'm working with another.

00:31:42 Chip Bacciocco


00:31:44 Chip Bacciocco

And an and the agent that was talking to me was frustrated. Like we we got back to them quickly. An what happened? I got an hour. An hour is not quickly. That's not the current behavior. If any of us was waiting to talk to somebody about buying a laptop, right? So you know, click here and you can talk to a technician about which laptops right for you.

00:32:05 Chip Bacciocco

I'm not waiting in an indefinite uncertain amount of time.

00:32:08 Chip Bacciocco


00:32:09 Chip Bacciocco

Two and do nothing else for that hour. Oh, they'll get back to me and this will workout. No, you're just gonna go well, I give about a minute or two moving on to the next online store, right? And that's exactly what happened in this case, so I can see all those things in the data. I can see very sophisticated understanding of how they're being tracked.

00:32:30 Chip Bacciocco

And then the desire when they're shopping to be to get a lot of input objectively from other places I can see in the data that they enter, and then they become very purposeful, and I can also see that they then quickly expect to be served.

00:32:42 Chip Bacciocco

When they think it's your turn as the agent to step in and do something and they're moving on to the next thing. If they don't, that's very clear.

00:32:52 Chris Cline

It it feels like that might be.

00:32:55 Chris Cline

One of the biggest.

00:32:57 Chris Cline

The biggest lessons learned from all of this right? You can build and.

00:33:01 Chris Cline

Before I said hey dude, stop talking. Let's hit record you guys were starting. I think you and Craig were starting to go down this.

00:33:07 Chris Cline

Path there's as.

00:33:08 Chris Cline

Much behavioral of a behavioral component to all of this, as there is a technology component and.

00:33:15 Chip Bacciocco

Well, let me give you one more on that I'm going to tell the op. Just let me tell the opposite story. So how some agents have figured this out so well that they know that the most important factor is that responsiveness time. So again, I'm not going to use any names, but there is an agent in this country that I've spoken to within the last week, and he's the number one purchaser of climate leads.

00:33:15 Speaker 4


00:33:35 Chip Bacciocco

And he says that when he sees he's got it right in his phone, so that you know, he's pretty sure he's getting. He says normally I know I have to make the decision.

00:33:45 Chip Bacciocco

To claim that lead in less than 3 seconds less than 3 seconds, he said if I wait 7 seconds it's gone for sure. So about 3 seconds and I I'll get 50% or more. If I can get it in under 3 seconds and then he says I immediately hit the you can push the other button to call the consumer immediately call the consumer and say I understand you need.

00:34:05 Chip Bacciocco

I I know what you need and I can help. Those are those are three really important.

00:34:09 Chip Bacciocco

Words that consumers want to hear by the way, they just want to hear someone's gonna help me. I can help just say that they like calm down and and you got a really good shot at having a new customer. But but anyway, I'm seeing agents that know the flip that the faster they respond and the more they set themselves up to be responsive, they dramatically improve their odds.

00:34:31 Chip Bacciocco

And that mindset wasn't there four years ago, certainly. And for those that that's, you, know, thinking hours OK and hours. It's just.

00:34:41 Chip Bacciocco

Don't bother and hours way too long.

00:34:44 Chris Cline

But you you?

00:34:44 Speaker 4


00:34:44 Chris Cline

Said something that I think is really powerful.

00:34:46 Chris Cline

And I think I think about our own individual.

00:34:48 Chris Cline

Online experiences or you have to call the cable provider right and it's or any provider.

00:34:56 Chris Cline

The I know what you need and I can help and I I'll take nothing is more frustrating to me than entering all of my stuff. And here's my account number and I've entered my data birth to validate my name and then you finally talk to a live person and see what's your name. What's?

00:35:10 Chris Cline

Your data birth can.

00:35:11 Chris Cline

You please, like I've entered that through all of your prompts, and so there's something there.

00:35:16 Speaker 4

You love.

00:35:17 Chip Bacciocco

100% So the other this is this is it? I mean it's digital in the sense that it's, you know, I I can. I have access to it, but it's conversations, right? So we record all these thousands of conversations so I can tell you the pattern that works the best. It's exactly what you just just hinted about that I shared before, which is when the agent says. Basically, I see, you're looking for this, which.

00:35:38 Chip Bacciocco

Obviously that data came through the Trust Choice icon and then these are the magic words I'm handing out. If I knew this as a producer when I was 22, I would have. I wouldn't be here. Maybe I don't know. I'd be rich.

00:35:51 Chip Bacciocco

I can help, I I know what you're looking for and I can help.

00:35:54 Chip Bacciocco

You out and it's.

00:35:55 Chip Bacciocco

Price is not the issue at that point, right? It's just Oh my gosh, my problem going to be solved. I'm gonna get the coverage I need. Probably going to happen today and I can move on with my life and and that is when we hear that that's the best thing. The most frustrated consumers. 'cause I can hear the opposite phone calls.

00:36:11 Chip Bacciocco

The total train wrecks and it's when they do what you said Chris. So what's your name? Let's you can tell their typing in 4 minutes like 4 minutes and the guys like I just typed all this in. That's how I got to you and you're trying to type it in again.

00:36:25 Chip Bacciocco

And is this going to have a good outcome for me 'cause they don't even know you can feel their attention? Am I going to go through this whole thing and you're going to say, I'm sorry I don't have a market for that? I mean, that would, and sometimes they do they go. Oh yeah, yeah, sorry like really. We just wasted 6 minutes. You knew 6 minutes ago anyway, I don't want to belabor that, but there there is an opportunity for a simplification.

00:36:46 Chip Bacciocco

And I the thing the customer most wants is you understand me and you said you'll help and you can hear the tension come out of their voice. Then they're perfectly happy to answer 15 questions. Just say that right up front, I understand basically what you're looking for and I can help.

00:37:02 Chip Bacciocco


00:37:02 Chris Cline

And I think that.

00:37:03 Chris Cline

I think let me next step for.

00:37:05 Chris Cline

Perfect, perfect analogy of the behavior change.

00:37:10 Chris Cline

Like as an order of magnitude isn't a lot, but man. Is it intentional and it has to be crisp and you know we have conversations too on the carrier side with with agencies who who are.

00:37:23 Chris Cline data and you know you know there's common taste. You know you'll get the mixed review about the quality of the leader, the quality, the referral of those types of things.

00:37:33 Chris Cline

I mean, I'm in no position to say. I mean, are you actually?

00:37:37 Chris Cline

Handling the leader, the referral.

00:37:41 Chris Cline

To your point, ship in a timely way and in a way.

00:37:43 Chris Cline

That kind of solves the problem 'cause I.

00:37:45 Chris Cline

Would never know, but you do know the data and at least.

00:37:48 Chris Cline

Globally and more than metaphorically, you've got data driven.

00:37:52 Chris Cline

Proof that shows when you do this.

00:37:54 Chip Bacciocco

Yep, sometimes sometimes we think of. I'm not sure this is great, but just maybe the way my brain works. I think of is a big I call it awash planted. 'cause I watched those silly TV shows where they mined gold and you dump. I don't know if anyone's ever out there has watched this show this all of the whole hour of guys and big vehicles.

00:37:55 Chris Cline

The results of.

00:38:15 Chip Bacciocco

Dropping big, you know, tons of dirt and rock into a big hopper, and then they spray water on it and it goes through all these conveyor belts and wheels.

00:38:24 Chip Bacciocco

And a little bit of gold falls out the bottom and everything gets sorted in all these. So I think of all are the choppers coming in a little bit like you know, coming in this big hopper and they're all different. They're all different sizes and different needs and different ones and different perspectives. And we have this big machine that sorts them, right is up well your personal lines are gonna get you over to this hopper if you cursor lines up.

00:38:46 Chip Bacciocco

You need liability this and at the end of the day all The Hoppers are the agents and an behind them. Of course the companies.

00:38:52 Chip Bacciocco

And and there at the end of the shoot, where that's the shoot they want to be on. Yeah, I I'm I'm looking to write home owners. You know this size in nature, so we put them at the end of that shoot. So it's a big, very efficient sorting machine in some ways. And it's, uh, it's really amazing to get to see all the data you know Craig sees it with me when he, when he when we want, sometimes will sit down at board meetings and will.

00:39:16 Chip Bacciocco

Will will open these giant spreadsheets with 100,000.

00:39:20 Chip Bacciocco

Those and about that time they scold me and say we don't want to do this, but but anyway there's there's a lot of fascinating things, and yes, this makes us all smarter as insurance professionals, and it makes us more able to serve the needs of our customers and to be responsive to what they really want. And that way you know.

00:39:40 Chip Bacciocco

It's been a great a great thing to be part.



00:39:43 Chris Cline

That I could see Craig doing that like I don't want to look at that big spreadsheet. I just want to know that somebody is and then you can do something with it. Be on the other side and I want to be respectful of your time chip and and maybe look for some closing comments, but you need. I love that hopper analogy and I to watch those shows out on discovery in history that you don't know that anybody on the planet is watching.

00:40:05 Chris Cline

Other than you, but it's fascinating to learn in in the metaphorical visual is powerful there, but when you talk about all those coming in, I'm afraid that I might. If I butchered this number, let me know, but you guys.

00:40:16 Chris Cline

The stuff coming in the top of the funnel is is really real. Numbers 30 plus million. I'm not mistaken. You kind of crossed that threshold.

00:40:23 Speaker 4


00:40:24 Chip Bacciocco

Yeah, we we. We crossed the threshold.

00:40:26 Chip Bacciocco

Of 30 million insurance shoppers this past summer, that's hard for me and I yeah, I see all the data I've I see. All I've seen all the phone and it's just a hard number. Now. That's obviously the the multiyear number. But but to have served that many over the years is is amazing. And I'm.

00:40:39 Speaker 4


00:40:46 Chip Bacciocco

It feels good.

00:40:48 Chris Cline

Well, we had and we can all be apart of it. I guess as a fairly direct commercial for if you haven't taken a look at Trusted Choice, or if you haven't signed up your profile out there. I mean, there's there's some really cool things going out there, and I know the team would.

00:41:02 Chris Cline

Have a conversation with you about that and how to maximize it and all the lessons learned, but.

00:41:07 Chris Cline

Chip if we think about giving you the microphone for the closing remarks on an event that we didn't get to go to this year, what would your kind of your final call to action?

00:41:17 Chip Bacciocco


00:41:21 Chris Cline

Free for all three or.

00:41:23 Chris Cline

Anyone specifically you think about it?

00:41:25 Speaker 4


00:41:26 Chris Cline

Carrier and agency, or even consumers that are out there listening, thinking about how.

00:41:31 Chris Cline

How the world has changed for our industry.

00:41:34 Chip Bacciocco

Sure, yeah, no, you're right. We didn't get to hold. I missed that. I I'm, I admit, very much that elevate, which is what you're referring to, which is the the annual conference at Agency Nation. Every year was a real.

00:41:44 Chris Cline


00:41:48 Chip Bacciocco

Well, energiser for me personally to get to spend time with hundreds of people, all of them leaning forward into the into the digital future and inspiring each other and encouraging each other. And I I missed that and I did I used to get to go on at the end and sort of say, you know I, I could wrap it up. You know we've been here for for three days, and here's here's the summary of it. That was a lot of fun.

00:42:11 Chip Bacciocco

But I'll say along a similar vein, if I if I was on that stage now is, is that we've actually gone through this amazing year together. We'd none of us wanted it. None of us would sign up for it again. We're all hoping we come out of it here in the next few months. I'll I'm in line for a vaccine if they have one.

00:42:31 Chip Bacciocco


00:42:32 Chip Bacciocco

But but we've come through this thing together, and it's actually made us stronger, and it's actually made us more prepared for the insurance industry of next year and the year after in the year after I, I continue to believe that we personally live in the Golden Age of insurance innovation. This is as exciting.

00:42:53 Chip Bacciocco

You know they taught the Golden Age of Radio and the Golden Age of TV. This is the Golden age of insurance.

00:42:59 Chip Bacciocco

10 years ago and before that the you know things were the same for like 50 years at a time. 100 years at a time. Pretty much maybe they would change a form or something, but the last eight or nine have been amazing. This this particular year is the pinnacle of the transition to a fully digital insurance industry.

00:43:20 Chip Bacciocco

And knowing what we all we know about what people are working on right now back in their home offices or other offices, and the plans that people have to take the next steps next year and the year after.

00:43:31 Chip Bacciocco

Um, this is truly the Golden age. Enjoy it. Embrace it. You're going to tell your kids you were there, your grandkids. It's a great time to be an insurance professional.

00:43:43 Chris Cline

Yeah, awesome chip. I don't know that I'm gonna tell my grandkids about it. 'cause my son doesn't even want.

00:43:47 Chris Cline

To talk to me about it.

00:43:48 Chris Cline

Right now, but now, in all sincerity, huge thank you for spending time today and you know it's just been really cool to watch the journey.

00:43:57 Chris Cline

At and just, you know, beyond the product itself, the amount of learnings that you've been able to share back out into the industry. Really, for anybody who wants to consume it is really powerful stuff.