How a VP of Tech Saved his Company $15,000 with Automation

Joey Blanco
Joey Blanco / Published March 14, 2019

"With Zapier, we believe we've saved thirty developer days, which equates to at least $15,000."Dan Savino, VP of Technology at SelectQuote Insurance Services

A seamless customer experience makes a profound impact for a user. It lends trust and authority to a brand, which easily translates to customer loyalty and higher conversions. If that seamless experience also saves the company money, you're looking at a win-win.

The folks at SelectQuote Insurance Services, a company providing quotes for all types of insurance, faced a conundrum: How do you provide reliable insurance quotes to clients while being as efficient as possible with time, money, and resources?

VP of Technology Dan Savino, explains: "We were looking for an easy way for our end users to perform cross-application functions—without needing a developer to build a series of APIs."

Those cross-application functions he mentions can be as simple as a potential client filling out a form with their phone number. That client is assigned to a SelectQuote agent while behind the scenes, quotes get pulled from SelectQuote's vendors, and then sent to the client.

That's the seamless experience customers want: one form filled out and their work is done. The money-saving comes in with the tools Dan relies on to send the information from vendor emails directly to the client's phone by SMS message. Using app automator Zapier to connect the tools his team, and the entire company, use to deliver quotes to clients, Dan was able to save SelectQuote at least $15,000 in developer resources.

About SelectQuote Insurance Services

Founded in 1985, SelectQuote had a simple premise behind it: Provide unbiased insurance quotes and price comparisons for life insurance. The SelectQuote team took a tedious, often time-consuming and headache-inducing, task—getting insurance quotes—and simplified it.

Instead of the consumer calling or emailing each insurance company, a SelectQuote agent could do it for them, and in turn, might be able to negotiate lower rates. And with 34 years in the industry, the team has evolved, simplifying their own tedious tasks and turning to automation to move even faster.

SelectQuote Insurance Services' Tools

Icon: App: Used For:
Mailparser Mailparser Extracts specific data from emails
Twilio Twilio Sends and receives SMS and voice calls
Google Sheets Google Sheets Backup leads database

Instantly Parse Emails for Data

The key to delivering an insurance quote by text is having the right data. This information, which is tailored to each customer and their specific responses in the form, is received by the SelectQuote team. It's sent to vendors who send quotes back to SelectQuote agents. These quotes then land in the client's phone as a text message.

Once upon a time, a person would need to sift through each vendor attachment, searching for the relevant information, copying it over to another document, note, or application, and then sending it along to the customer.

That antiquated process would take hours and multiple people, especially as new quote requests rapidly pour in. Instead of wasting time, money, and resources, Dan opted for the smarter way forward: connecting Mailparser, which extracts data from emails, to Twilio, an SMS and calling service.

Unfortunately, these apps—and many others—don't directly talk to one another. There isn't a native integration for either, which meant Dan would need to dedicate developers to building out a series of APIs to connect the apps. And they'd also have to maintain what they built: If one app changed their API, it would impact the connection Dan's team built.

This is when Dan brought Zapier into the process. With a few clicks, he integrated Mailparser and Twilio, and happened upon an internal a-ha moment: "When a fairly non-technical person was able to set up a Zap [our term for an automated workflow]—which normally would've required a developer to build an API for," he explains. "The process was seamless and the employee was stunned at how easy it was."

Now Dan could provide seamless, easy experiences for both SelectQuote's end users and their internal teams.

The Workflows

SelectQuote's Zaps wouldn't work without Mailparser. Mailparser's bread and butter—scanning emails, their attachments, etc., for specific information—is the linchpin of SelectQuote's operation. This one app means Dan doesn't have to have a team dedicated to monitoring emails and visually scanning documents for specific information, a process which itself is prone to errors.

By using Mailparser, Dan enables his team to focus their efforts on the more important items, while Mailparser automatically grabs the data they need. In Dan's words, "less developer time is spent just integrating APIs."

So, what do these Zaps look like? Well, they're simple: When Mailparser parses a vendor's email—parsing here means to scan and extract data—the Zap triggers. Zapier then sends the parsed information, insurance quotes, to Twilio. Zapier then automatically sends an SMS through Twilio to the potential customer, so they get the insurance quote as soon as it's available.

In case these clients respond back to the text message, Dan created another Zap that logs the responses from Twilio to Google Sheets, so they have a database of every SMS response.

Simplicity is what makes the difference for Dan and the SelectQuote team. With a simple behind-the-scenes process in Zapier, his team delivers an easy, automatic experience for anyone searching for insurance quotes.

Want to make your processes seamless too? Give Zapier a try for free.

All images courtesy of SelectQuote Insurance Services.

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