Client Connectivity: GloveBox & Graves Insurance Group podcast recap

The Insurance Perspectives Podcast involves contributors outside of HawkSoft. The participants' views are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of HawkSoft.


This recap of the Insurance Perspectives Podcast summarizes highlights of the two episodes about GloveBox, where HawkSoft host Kenny Hendricks interviews Ryan Mathisen from GloveBox and Bob Graves of Graves Insurance Group, an agency using the GloveBox platform with their clients. Ryan and Bob discuss how the GloveBox platform increases efficiency for the agency and builds stronger client relationships.



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In this article:



Part 1: GloveBox (Ryan Mathisen)


Watch the video podcast - Part 1


Question 1: Why does GloveBox exist? What is your reason for participating in the independent agency channel?

  • Host Kenny Hendricks introduces Ryan Mathisen as a second generation insurance professional, with his father being in insurance since 1992. Prior to starting GloveBox with his brother Andy, Ryan was Vice President of Colorado Insurance, a family-owned independent insurance agency. 

  • Ryan shares that while running their large Denver-based agency, they noticed difficulties in client interaction in the independent agency channel, which resulted in a high volume of service requests to their agency.

  • He observes that agency owners don’t always realize that consumers don’t think about their insurance on a daily basis, the way the agency does.

  • GloveBox was born from Ryan’s desire to empower insurance customers to get what they need, when they need it.

  • Ryan tested the product at his agency, which has almost 13,000 users on the platform now. With the help of Glovebox, the agency has been able to reduce their CSR needs by half.


“Your consumers don't necessarily care about their insurance on a daily basis as much as you do. It's really interesting when you take yourself outside of that agency role and say, how do my customers feel about insurance? How do they shop for it? How do they service it? How do they know I exist?”


Question 2: If you had to pick one aspect of GloveBox that draws in and keeps agencies working with you, what would that be and why?

  • Ryan explains that initially, GloveBox was designed with a focus on providing self-service and efficient service to customers.

  • The platform has a strong focus on carrier connectivity, creating an environment where clients can dynamically interact with both their carriers and agents.

  • Ryan adds that an unintended side effect of the platform has been that it tends to vastly increase client referrals, with GloveBox driving over 10,000 client referrals to their agencies in the past year. He points out that this is more leads than many lead aggregate companies achieve, and with current client referrals, which are higher quality.

  • Kenny asks Bob Graves whether he’s seen an increase in referrals at his agency, and Bob responds that while his agency is still new and is in the phase of getting user adoption on the platform, he is a fan of GloveBox’s client engagement practices and hopes to see increased referrals within their first year on the platform.


“We create this really dynamic service environment for clients to be able to come in and engage with their carrier, engage with their agent…We've also driven over 10,000 current client referrals to our customers over the past 12 months, and ours are current client referrals—the best kind. So that's been an interesting surprise, and something that we’re interested in enhancing.”



Question 3: How does GloveBox approach data ownership with regards to your customers?

  • Ryan explains that GloveBox stands firm on the principle that independent agents own their data and can decide where to use it, or move it between systems if needed for their business.

  • Bob adds that part of the reason he came to HawkSoft was because of HawkSoft’s stance that the agency retains ownership over their data, which was an area he felt was ambiguous with his prior system.

  • Bob stresses the importance of data ownership, emphasizing that the independent agent is the rightful owner of the data, not any third-party system or partner. He asserts that data ownership is a serious responsibility and any partners an agency uses should respect these boundaries and not misuse the data.

  • Kenny highlights the importance of clear terms and conditions and informed consent when it comes to data ownership. He appreciates GloveBox's transparent and clear terms for their customers, and commends their willingness to discuss and address concerns regarding the subject.

  • Ryan explains that GloveBox operates with two sets of terms of service: one for the insured, and one for the agency, as each party is able to input data into the platform.

  • Ryan mentions that data security is equally important, and that GloveBox has stringent security and privacy measures to ensure data is used and secured appropriately.

  • Ryan emphasizes the importance for agencies to partner with entities that invest adequately in data security and proper data usage, even if it comes with a higher price tag.


“Agents own their own data and they can take it where they want. I can move my client from Travelers to Nationwide tomorrow if I want. That's my prerogative with my customers. The data stays within our experience so that we can create this ecosystem for the customer. The agents can pull and push data as they want, which is beautiful. They have full control on how they leverage our platform.



Question 4: What is the hardest part of working with insurance agencies?

  • Ryan says that, as a former agent himself, he feels agents can find it hard to step into the customer’s shoes and ask what they want a process to be like, rather than how the agency wants it.

  • Agents understand the need to adapt to technological advancements such as mobile apps and client portals, but some are still resistant to change.

  • Bob agrees with Ryan's assessment and acknowledges his own tendencies to resist change. Still, he understands that the more efficient and easy a process is for a client, the more likely they are to stay with the agency. He appreciates that GloveBox allows clients to perform necessary activities even outside business hours, for example.

  • Ryan shares an experience from a tradeshow where an agent was resistant to the idea that a client would download an app for his insurance, but when Ryan asked about how he interacts with his bank, he admitted that he prefers to use a banking app over calling or visiting the bank. This helped the agent understand the potential of a client portal for insurance.

“Agents know they need to evolve because the fact of the matter is that people being on their phones is not going away. Logging into a client portal from your website is not going away. Allowing the customer to dictate their own journey and facilitating that process is important.”



Question 5: What is the best part of working with insurance agencies?

  • Ryan says what drives him is helping agents win. Despite having a successful agency, he and his brother chose to sell the agency and build this product for agents because they want to see them succeed.

  • Kenny asks Ryan what his definition of “winning” means for an independent agent. Ryan shares that to him, winning means driving enough revenue to keep an agency in business for the first few crucial years, and getting them to the point where the agency is generating enough leads to be successful.

“I just I love watching agents win - it's the best part. That's why I did this. We had $100 million books. We were on Easy Street. We didn't have to do anything, but we were crazy enough to sell the agency to come build this product for agents because we just want to see them win. It’s what drives us every day.”


Question 6: How does GloveBox work with HawkSoft? 

  • Ryan describes HawkSoft as the internal system for agencies to manage their business, while GloveBox serves as the “front door of the store,” or the front-end interface for customers.

  • He mentions that GloveBox is launching "Client Hub," a new feature that allows agencies to embed the GloveBox experience right within their website. The aim is an omnichannel experience where clients can engage via a mobile app or desktop, based on their preference.

  • GloveBox pulls client and policy data from HawkSoft via API integration and displays it within the client platform. The goal is to automate the creation of client accounts and keep data current so clients can engage with their policies on the platform.

  • Kenny explains that data integration with GloveBox can be enabled within the HawkSoft Marketplace, and Bob emphasizes how quick and easy it is to turn on the integration.


“HawkSoft is the internal system for the agency to operate efficiently. We're the front-end piece for the customer, the front door of the store, to allow customers to engage with the agency how they choose. If they want a mobile app, great. If they want the client experience on the desktop, perfect." 




Part 2: Graves Insurance Group (Bob Graves)


Watch the video podcast - Part 2


In this episode:


Question 1: Tell us about your agency. How long have you been in the business, and how did you get into the business? Do you have any specializations? What gets you excited about insurance?

  • Kenny introduces Bob, who is the principal of Graves Insurance Group in St. Louis, Missouri. He is quickly approaching two decades of experience in the independent insurance channel, including over 15 years running his own agency.

  • Bob describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur.” After working in an independent agency and then as a captive agent for a few years, he decided to start his own agency in 2008.

  • Bob’s agency primarily serves high net-worth families as well as commercial businesses, and has some unique niches including pest control, engineers, and surveyors.

  • Bob enjoys the puzzle-solving aspect of finding the right coverage for each unique client.

  • The agency has two employees, with a third potentially coming onboard by the end of the year.


“I have always been one that loves puzzles. In insurance, whenever you're faced with a new client, especially someone who has a complex need, it's really about taking all the pieces of this puzzle and trying to fit them all together so that the end result creates a solution that is not just acceptable, but it's the right solution.”



Question 2: What was your agency looking for when you first encountered GloveBox?


  • Bob explains that one of the major reasons he chose HawkSoft as his management system was for its efficiency, and he found GloveBox to offer the same efficiency and ease of use for clients.

  • Bob has been using the GloveBox platform for a few months, and recalls seeking out Ryan and Andy at a HawkSoft User Group event after researching the platform.


“The plug-in for GloveBox is really simple. It's a very, very convenient way for our clients to be able to communicate with us and also to be able to communicate directly with the carrier for payments and such. We want a great experience, and GloveBox is one of the things that's able to affirm that for our clients.”



Question 3: What is your agency able to do now with GloveBox that you couldn't do before?

  • Bob loves how GloveBox is integrated with his agency’s technology, so that service requests that come in go automatically into his CRM and are assigned to his staff. He notes that these requests get handled much more efficiently than those that come in through email outside of GloveBox.

  • His staff encourage his clients to download the GloveBox app, and he notes that his clients appreciate how simple and intuitive the platform is.

  • He mentions that he’s working with Ryan to embed GloveBox’s new Client Hub in his website in the coming weeks, and is excited to see how it performs with clients as well.


“We are able to do all sorts of service requests that flood right into the service component of our CRM, so that my folks, when they are coming in in the morning, already have their task list basically set up for the day for those customers who have GloveBox. Everybody else is still emailing us, and those actually don't get handled as efficiently as those who are using our app.”



Question 4: What is one thing that you would change about GloveBox if you could?

  • Bob shares that the only thing he would change is giving GloveBox more engineers so they can release updates to their platform even more quickly. He feels he joined GloveBox at a great time because he’s getting access to new features from the start that have been in development for a long time.

  • He mentions his excitement for a new analytics product Glovebox is about to release as well. Ryan gives more context on the product, which will provide more insight into the activities of their clients on the platform. For example he was able find that 85% of users received service on a request in under 2 minutes.

  • Ryan mentions GloveBox’s upcoming Client Hub again, as well as looking at creating a tool for self-service certificates. They are also looking at creating a task system that allows the agent and client to assign tasks to each other.

  • He adds that GloveBox is also working on building direct connections with carriers, allowing the agency to pull all the data and policy documents from the carrier into GloveBox.

  • Bob remarks that he wishes carriers would allow for faster integration with GloveBox, as some of them have taken multiple years to clear the necessary hurdles for data transfer.

  • Kenny emphasizes the importance of having a connected data ecosystem between the carrier, agency, and client. Ryan agrees that carrier connectivity empowers the client, which strengthens their relationship with both the carrier and the agency.


“Carrier connectivity is empowerment for the consumer. When they can get what they need, when they need it, and they can get it done fast, they feel more empowered to not only create a lasting relationship with that carrier, but they feel more empowered to buy more insurance.”



Question 5: How would you describe the value that GloveBox brings to your agency?

  • Bob says that GloveBox provides avenues for his clients to receive service in the way that’s most convenient for them, including self-service options.

  • He notes that GloveBox reduces the requests the agency receives, but also makes it easier to efficiently address the items that do require their attention.

  • Bob thanks Ryan and Andy for going above and beyond with their service, including sharing their insights on the insurance industry with his son, who was looking into starting his own agency and wanted some objective opinions on how to go about it.


“GloveBox allows the customer to self-manage at their convenience, which we’re all about. The quicker that we can turn around the certificate or that the customer can get an ID card, the better.”




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HawkSoft Marketing Editorial Team

Author: HawkSoft Marketing Editorial Team

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