Krishen Iyer: How the Insurance Industry Needs to Adapt to COVID Changes

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​​The topic of COVID-19 has become something of a conversational minefield these days, but Krishen Iyer has learned to navigate it carefully and successfully.

The business leader, marketing expert, and CEO of MAIS Consulting has become familiar with the fact that there’s such a wide range of opinions on everything and anything COVID-related, from the infection itself to the various methods to treat it or prevent it.

It’s true that many who believe certain things about COVID are going to be set in their ways, but the whole situation has created some opportunities for good marketing.

One of the most interesting aspects of modern marketing related to COVID is that experts have been able to identify and construct several different consumer personas that can be targeted in marketing efforts.

It makes sense – we’ve had nearly three years of consumer data that can provide marketers with enough factors to be able to construct distinct profiles, including people who prefer to stay at home.

Various polls and surveys have also identified slightly different behaviors, needs, and priorities of consumers that are different than the consumer data we saw in pre-COVID years.

Home-work challenges

One of the demographic shifts that happened in the initial lockdowns in 2020 and hasn’t changed too since then: many people were sent home but were told to keep on working.

Although some companies had been experimenting with telecommuting on a limited degree in the last decade, the coming of COVID forced a lot of companies to have to adapt in a hurry and offer this option to a larger group of employees and contractors.

This roll-out was done quickly, so there were definitely some bugs as far as how staff could interact and how they kept company data secure.

Even companies that didn’t close or send everyone home right away had to make some adjustments and accommodations to their physical space, as far as rearranging furnishings to provide better distancing, increasing hygiene efforts, and better connectivity.

Some companies have gone back to their headquarters, others have decided to remain virtual, and others have in-between/hybrid models.

The insurance industry has definitely been affected by this, which is what Krishen Iyer and MAIS Consulting have been focusing on.

The company specializes in helping those in the insurance world with subjects such as marketing, contracting, strategic growth, and general policies.

This knowledge comes from Krishen Iyer’s experience in the industry. He’s spent more than 20 years in a busy, dynamic industry, and has worked in a variety of positions, from owning agencies to offering various consulting services.

His current role encourages his clients to improve their networking efforts and create more partnerships. This includes encouraging them to find creative ways to bring in new customers and also treat existing customers well, so they stay loyal and continue to purchase more various products and additional coverage throughout their lives.

He also looks for ways to connect people who have been in the industry for a while with newcomers still trying to learn the ropes.

This approach can create something positive for everyone: the industry veterans can share their insight and those new to insurance can find mentors to help guide them through the challenging early years.

COVID challenges identified by Krishen Iyer

By now, going on three years of COVID, most people have accepted that we’re never going back to how things used to be. So much has changed, possibly permanently, about how we interact with each other in person and digitally.

Although we eventually may ditch things like masks, some aspects of living and doing business may stick around.

One area, which has been identified by various marketing surveys, is that people are getting used to some of the benefits of staying home. The term is called ‘blurring,’ where people’s work lives and home lives are merging together.

People who now work from home are enjoying not having to commute to and from work, especially on those crummy winter days. They can spend more time with their families. They can take ‘microbreaks’ throughout the day – instead of a formal 30-minute lunch break in the work cafeteria, they can run to the kitchen anytime for a snack. They can take the garbage out while taking a work call.

There’s a possibility of working long into the evening, which is great for a company’s productivity.

While there is a downside of missing out on some workplace culture, like watercooler gatherings and in-person meetings, there are certainly a lot of pros vs. cons.

This is also seen in other ways. People are going out less for meals, and instead of cooking for themselves or having meals delivered. They’re also not physically going shopping either, and either doing curbside delivery or doing online ordering which brings items right to their front door.

They rely on teleconferences like Zoom for their interactions with co-workers or business colleagues.

It’s likely that many of these habits will remain – although many started as temporary adjustments during initial lockdowns, many people are now enjoying the convenience of not having to go out the door

All of these changes have required great adaptation, which Krishen Iyer has done well over the years.

Like many in the insurance field, he’s learned how to use video conferencing for meetings, and he has helped his clients figure out this technology.

Because every community is different in terms of its COVID activities and awareness, he encourages his clients to do what’s safest for them, their staff, and their clients.

The good thing about insurance is that it’s something that can be discussed in person or virtually.

This means people can discuss different products and rates through Zoom or similar services. An agent can share their screen and talk about the different types of plans available to prospective clients.

Billing can be done electronically as well as with signatures, and papers can be sent through email or through the postal service.

All this shows that the insurance industry has responded well to COVID.

About Krishen Iyer

Krishen Iyer grew up around Fresno in Northern California. He earned a degree in public administration and urban development in college and then joined the insurance industry.

He has worked at agencies, managed several companies, and promoted insurance affiliate distribution centers that offered a variety of insurance products and services.

One company he owned was NMP Insurance/Name My Premium, which offered a variety of coverage choices for clients based on how much they wanted to pay.

His next project was a firm called Managed Benefit Services, which provided sales leads to clients based on past insurance needs and demographic data.

Selling MBS provided him the opportunity to started MAIS Consulting, which is based in Carlsbad. Here, he’s happy to provide advice to clients in how to improve their processes, digital or in-person, and generally find success.

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