In 2015, Microsoft began encouraging companies that use its Silverlight media format on their web pages to dump the tech in favor of newer, HTML5-based media playback systems. Microsoft and others now recommend that web developers handle video and other media playback via a number of new protocols introduced in the ongoing HTML5 standardization effort.
The Microsoft Silverlight plug-in promoted proprietary technology rather than open standards. You had to develop on Windows. For our customers it means the Microsoft Silverlight version of AccuAgency can only be used on Internet Explorer.
Last October we released the HTML5 version of AccuAgency that we’re calling AccuAgency5. We’ve posted some blogs about some of the great new features. We’d love to share more about the features and benefits you get with AccuAgency5. Here’s a recent Q&A session we had with Roger Walker, Vice President of AccuAgency, who can tell you even more.
What is AccuAgency5?
This latest version of AccuAgency uses the latest HTML5 web technologies to deliver the same great AccuAgency experience with increased speed and flexibility.
What does this mean for me as an agent?
Faster and more flexible means that AccuAgency is designed to run on any modern browser including Chrome and Edge. The system has been optimized to adjust to any size screen and we've tried to streamline the interface to make using AccuAgency as easy as possible.
Can I use my preferred browser, tablet, or phone?
Yes. Call us to discuss in more detail. While we can't support every option and haven't tested every device and browser out there, the cutting edge technology of AccuAgency5 is designed to work on mobile devices and modern browsers regardless of the type of device. Let us know what your needs are and we will check the compatibility.
Will I have to update or change anything?
No! Provided your PC is up to date your AccuAgency5 experience should be fairly similar to what you’re currently used to.
When you say “fairly” what do you mean?
While most things should be in the same place you’re used to finding them, we’ve simplified some of the menus and the dashboard.
The Utility, Home, Admin, and Account menus have been reshuffled to allow greater ease of access and use.
What are some of the general changes and improvements from Silverlight to HTML5?
Overall the new platform is easier to navigate than Silverlight. It’s touch screen friendly for devices that allow users to interact with a computer by using their finger. Users can save login credentials in their browser so they don’t have to login with their username and password every time.
In addition to the “under the hood” optimizations, there are a lot of improvements to the user experience. Improved search options, dashboard improvements, drag and drop capabilities, utilization of browser tabs and stored form fields, simplified rate display and bridging, and much more. There are a lot of new features on the horizon too including integrating ability to send and receive text messages, enhanced certificate of insurance management, and more carriers available for quoting and downloads.
What management feature are you most excited about?
Management Plus and Management Premium customers can drag and drop attachments. It’s a nice time saving feature that agents have been asking for and we’re excited to have.
What are agents saying about the new AccuAgency5?
Our technical support team is getting a great response. Agents like that it works on multiple browsers and operating systems Modern, popular browsers all support HTML5 (Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera).
It’s mobile and responsive. Responsive means AccuAgency5 can detect the user’s screen size and orientation and change the layout to accommodate the device making use of cascading style pages, flexible layouts and flexible images.
Any other new features?
Yes. When you are ready we will walk you through the improvements so you can be comfortable with them. Remember you can run AccuAgency5 and the current version at the same time. There is no conversion process so you can try it out and switch back and forth until you are comfortable.
Who is using AccuAgency5?
New customers are getting the latest AccuAgency5 version of AccuAgency. We’re ready to switch our Louisiana customers over now. Our inside Sales team is available to train our current customers so they can start taking advantage of the great new features.
HTML5 is faster, more flexible and it’s the future. You don’t want to get left behind. HTML5 is here to stay as more and more elements get adopted more and more companies will start to develop in HTML5.
Give us a call and get switched over to our new system or for a free trial as soon as today. You’ll discover a world of difference with the many features the new system employs. Plus, it’s the same great price!
Contact us to learn more. We think you are going to love it!
Goodbye Silverlight and Hello More Flexible and Faster AccuAgency5 (HTML5)
Back in 2007 Microsoft introduced Silverlight, a development tool for creating interactive user experiences for web and mobile applications. AccuAgency’s first web-based iteration comparative rater and agency management system was developed using Microsoft Silverlight. In order to use our web-based rating and management system, the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in had to be installed on each user’s computer.
In 2012, Microsoft announced the end of life for Silverlight. In 2013, Microsoft announced they had ceased development of Silverlight except for patches and bug fixes. Silverlight has now been given a support end of life date of October 2021.
What is HTML5
HTML5 is the fifth major revision of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). It’s used for structuring and presenting content on the worldwide web.
It was published in October 2014 to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia, while keeping it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and services such as web browsers. It improves the markup available for documents and introduces markup and application programming interfaces (APIs) for complete web applications. It is also a candidate for cross-platform mobile applications, because it includes features designed with low-powered devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Many new syntactic features are included. To natively include and handle multimedia and graphical content, the new elements were added and support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) content and MathML for mathematical formulas.
Enough with the technical talk…
For several years AccuAgency and our development team have known the Silverlight demise was on the horizon and we’ve been preparing for this with something even better. Our new AccuAgency5 HTML5 comparative rater and management system is now available to new and current users. Users get a better, more flexible and faster version that no longer requires installing a plug-in. Give us a call and get switched over to our new system as soon as today. You’ll discover a world of difference with the many features the new system employs.
Today we are pleased to have a guest blog from David Robinson, Territory Sales Representative, at Progressive Insurance.
Best Quote Practices to Increase Auto Conversion
We’ve all heard that dreaded response from new prospects after delivering (what you thought!!) was an excellent rate: “No thanks, I got lower quote somewhere else.”
Did you know that when a potential prospect calls your office requesting an auto quote, that, on average, you are the 3rd option they are calling, whether they contacted an agent down the street or quoted an online company?
That is why it’s critical to do the following on every single auto quote: Ask the right questions, apply all available discounts, offer the best bill plans and follow up by emailing the quote.
I like to use an acronym for best quote practices called BRET- Best Rate Every Time.
In my 12 years working with Progressive agents and previously in our Direct call center, it is critical to accurately apply and lead with as many discounts as possible. If you don’t, I guarantee there is an agent down the street that is quoting with all the discounts and we all know that the Progressive Direct or Geico call center sales rep is quoting that prospect with every available discount.
Here are a few tips to help increase sales when that new prospect calls in for the first time:
1) Ask for/ collect email addresses on every quote. Why? You can leverage more discounts, such as Paperless and Snapshot, on the quote. Also, did you know that agents who regularly email quotes have reported higher conversion levels vs. agents who do not email quotes to potential prospects?
2) Take time to connect with your new prospects through relating, asking the right questions, listening, and understanding their needs. Don’t assume it’s always about lowest rate.
3) As an independent agent with multiple carriers, set yourself apart by letting prospects know they do not need to shop with anyone else because you represent “x” number of carriers. Present multiple carriers/ quotes and let the customer choose. Be sure to let the prospect know the various features/ benefits of each company that you represent.
4) Accurately apply discounts in your AccuAgency rater on each first quote and discuss best bill plan options that give the largest discount. For example, if the customer has an email address, tell them you are going to give them both a Paperless and Snapshot discount. Using the word “discount” connects the client to the product you are selling and increases your odds to close the business. Some of the most commonly missed discounts Progressive offers include: Advance Quote, Length of Vehicle Ownership, Education, Occupation, and Snapshot (up to 10% at new business). Please note: All of Progressive’s discount questions are listed in your AccuAgency Rater.
Remember, to increase your agency sales and revenue, don’t forget the importance of connecting with your clients, emailing quotes and make sure you utilize B.R.E.T. on every single new quote.
Territory Sales Representative
Vikki Thomas has been working in the insurance industry since 1995. Vikki has worked for several carriers in customer service, quality assurance, underwriting, product management and marketing. Vikki has worked at AccuAgency since 2008.