Nowcerts offers a plethora of tools to help users manage their workflow and for agencies to manage workload and stay on top of production and support.


There are Tasks, Activity Reminders, To-Do list, Opportunities, Service Requests, Endorsement status, Upcoming Renewals, Important dates, user messages/notifications, etc.  With so many options, it is not surprising that new users often ask what are the differences and what tools do I need to use?  There is no single correct answer. Users with various responsibilities and work habits, find certain tools to be most effective for managing their workflow. 


Below are brief descriptions of the various options that should help you make your own choices as to what tools are best suited for your needs.


Tasks: When do we use Tasks?


Tasks are the main (and most popular) vehicle for distributing and keeping track of workflow, especially in agencies with multiple users who have defined roles. Tasks are exactly what they sound like. Tasks can be customized to create a standardized workflow that all agents can use. This can be done by going to Miscellaneous on the left menu, Agency Customization and the Tasks- Categories and stages.  As an example, you could create the category - Renewal. The first stage may be to contact the insured, the description would be the instructions for that stage. In this case, the instruction might be to review coverages and insured items. your next stage may be to collect loss runs, then maybe prepare applications, etc. If a stage is not necessary it can be marked as such in the task that is created. Each stage can be updated with regard to status. Notes/comments can be added as things progress, so there is a history of what was done and when. Remember if you assign a task to an agent that agent can only move the task to done. They will need to reassign it to the creator to have it marked as complete and removed from the list of open tasks. This is by design. The hope is that the creator will be able to review as necessary, see what was done, giving them peace of mind that it is, in fact, complete, but also giving them the opportunity review for teaching opportunities to help agents progress and learn from each other.



To do: This is a simple one-and-done check-off list literally designed to remind you to do basic tasks. Examples include taking out the trash, run a report, cancel my gym membership, renew my license.

Think of this as a long term wish list: eg: "I need to change the oil on my Maserati". This is not commonly used for daily workflow management.


 

Opportunities are for tracking production (including renewals)


Opportunities are a commonly used concept in CRM systems. They are designed to manage sales.

These are new sales opportunities,  Cross-sell, even Renewals.

How do opportunities relate to prospects?  Wouldn’t they be opportunities as well? 

A prospect can have multiple opportunities - Think of Prospect as the Insured and Opportunity as the policy. (Opportunity -> Quote -> Policy)

An insured can have an opportunity, too - a cross-sell. Some agencies consider Renewals as opportunities as well (especially in Commercial Lines) Opportunities can also be a valuable tool for tracking quote to bind ratios for agents and also to value of a certain referral source. It is good to know if a referral is valuable and worth paying for.

 


Activity reminders:  How do these differ from To-Do’s? 


These are actual calendar events. As we discussed, people think of the Activity Reminders list as "my daily To-Do list". Reminders are also called Suspenses in some systems. This should be the first page users look at when they log in the morning. If properly used, it will tell the user what they need to be working on today. When creating reminders one can select to receive an email as another way of being notified there is something to do.  The To-Do list is meant to be more of a "wish list" while Activity Reminders is a list of work items that need to be done. Unlike To-Dos, Activity reminders are definitely date sensitive. Together with Tasks, Activity reminders are the most popular method for managing workflow.


 

Important Dates:


This is a user-defined checklist of items that need to be completed with each new policy (or renewal). You can define templates for "New Personal Auto", "Renewal BOP", etc and have a checklist of things that need to be completed. 

Example: 1. Collect e-singed application, 2. Collect down-payment  3. Collect Finance agreement  4. Send Welcome email (or trigger drip campaign), etc.

Important dates can be an invaluable tool to manage new policies and cut back E&O exposure. Go to MISCELLANEOUS --> Agency Customization --> Important Dates to define your important dates templates.

 


Endorsement Status, follow-up date and follow up person:


This is another powerful tool for keeping track of endorsements and making sure that nothing "falls through the cracks".

As you enter endorsements, there is an option to chose a stage or status.  You can also select a follow-up date and a follow-up person.



Then you can use the Endorsements table and filters, to keep track of the endorsements Status. (go to MISCELLANEOUS --> Endorsements --> Endorsements/fees/taxes)



We hope that this brief overview of workflow management tools provided enough information to encourage you to explore these options and decide which ones match your work responsibilities and preferences.

Please keep in mind that with the options to combine and customize elements of these tools, you can create even more powerful workflow management processes. 


Thank you for your business and as usual, please let us know if you have suggestions for further improving the platform!