Show ‘em the love: 5 ways to exceed insurance client expectations for outstanding service

 

The high level of customer service demanded nowadays is rising exponentially – and we don’t mean just insurance client expectations. After all, we summon Uber in less than 10 minutes with a quick click. We log onto Amazon Prime and in just three clicks reorder our favorite snacks or dog treats. Bam, done. Companies from Netflix to your bank or medical network provider have all made doing business much easier. 

And then there’s the insurance industry, typically much more conservative and therefore slower to adapt new technology. The problem is, our insurance clients aren’t judging us against other insurance agencies. They’re comparing us to Amazon, and we’re found wanting. 

Now, we’re not advocating that you spend your next three years’ profits on new technology to up your game. But there are at least five things you can do this quarter to help you meet and exceed your insurance clients’ expectations for outstanding service.

1. Talk to me the way I want to be talked to. Older clients prefer phone calls or in-person visits to get the information they need. Boomers choose emails or texts. The vast majority of Millennials prefer text – don’t bother trying to reach them with a phone call. You’ll go straight to voicemail. 

This quarter: If you haven’t already asked the question, contact your clients and ask them – how do you prefer to receive information from me? Then ensure you have an up-to-date mobile number / email address / office or home phone number.

Related: Top traits of an insurance consultant

2. Let me do it myself. IBM Retail Research says 72 percent of customers prefer self-service over calling the company for a service question. “The reality is,” said a recent Marketing Profs article, “customer satisfaction is higher in a DIY model.” 

This quarter: Whether it’s online premium payment or providing a link to docs that they can sign with an e-signature, there are many options to explore that vary in pricing. Your carrier or your MGA should be able to provide you with online payment options. Arrowhead offers online premium payment for many of our products, from personal property and auto to residential earthquake, workers compensation or commercial auto.

3. Fit my schedule. Your insurance clients are busy during your office hours and often don’t think about their insurance needs until the evening hours. While few insurance clients’ expectations include 24-hour service, they should be able to leave a message at any time and on any medium they prefer (phone, your website, email, social media) and receive an answer early the next day.

4. Help me save time. Once we as consumers arrive at our decision, we want it to happen right away. We don’t want to wait until your business hours tomorrow to begin the process. We'd rather start now by filling out a simple online form, expecting a reply or call from you in less than 24 hours. And if it’s a simple answer we need about our policy, chances are it’s the four hundredth time you’ve answered it.

5. Hear me the first time. Even Zappos and Amazon – the giants of excellent customer service – make mistakes now and then. No one’s perfect, and deep down your clients don’t expect you to be. But when your client has an issue, they want you to hear them, right away. And they want you to acknowledge them immediately as well, even if it’s just this message: 

Thanks for bringing this issue to my attention. Give me a bit of time to dive into the situation and see what we can do to solve it. What’s the best way for me to reach you later today? 

Because if you don’t engage with them right away, you’ll find your agency reputation maligned on Yelp, Facebook, Google Reviews and more. 

This quarter: Work with your CSRs or even your receptionist to create a plan to respond instantaneously to any client issues that includes sample messaging for every scenario they can think up.

Related: How can you improve the claim process for your insurance clients?

Brainstorming with your entire team on these five ways to exceed your insurance clients’ expectations can help your agency’s customer service levels – and online reputation – see a significant boost this quarter.

Now it’s your turn: What steps to improving your customer service have you seen pay off in a big way?