5 Customer Service Rules Insurance Agents Should Follow
Customer service is often thought of as one of those “cross that bridge when we come to it” ideas in the insurance industry. After all, you have to make sales before ever getting to it. Luckily, it is possible to have a plan in place, so that the transition from prospect to customer goes smoothly, without impeding your ability to market and meet with new prospects. To assist, we’ve put together a list of the five most important customer service rules for insurance agents. Ignore at your own risk!
Be mindful of market conditions
You will not always be able to win on price, and you may not always wish to do so. However, it’s important that you at least be mindful of the prices and coverages out there. It’s also important that you learn about where your customers are shopping and how you can get in front of them. For the last decade or so, there has been a large move online. Prospects are coming to you more educated about what they’re buying in to, so it’s important that you’re able to use that knowledge to your advantage.
Know how to justify price differences
Price can be a major customer service issue for prospects, who are approaching their policy purchase from a cost savings standpoint instead of a long-term value standpoint. Sometimes you will win on price. Sometimes you will lose. Therefore, it’s important that you know how your offerings stack up with the competition, not just in terms of price tag, but also in terms of coverage and peace of mind. Before ever taking a meeting with a prospect, you should practice answering this question: “Why is it that XYZ Insurance Company is cheaper?” One good strategy is to drill deeper and learn more about the policy being quoted to the prospect or customer. Instead of shrugging your shoulders and admitting ignorance, take the time to see if the customer/prospect is getting as good of a deal as they think they are.
Anticipate customer needs before they arise
This is why policy reviews are so important. If you offer the kind of representation where the customer doesn’t have to go out shopping for cheaper insurance because you’re finding them savings and value before they are, then you will likely never have to worry about losing them. Still, you should go further than simply pointing to a price tag as your primary benefit to the customer. Help them understand the complexities of their coverage by updating coverage limits for new purchases, property appreciation, etc.
Be responsive to customer needs
It’s not always possible to “figure out” the customer before they need something. Sometimes they will come to you with questions, concerns, or comments, and it would be in your best interests to address those (potential) issues within 24 hours if you can’t get to them right away. Many customers have such a hard time finding quality service that an above average commitment to response times and attentiveness will completely rid them of any desire to shop around for insurance at policy renewal time.
Focus on retention
It’s a lot easier to make the customers you have happy compared to finding new ones. While your business should be about both, study after study shows that successful insurance agents, long-term, have more loyal customers than new ones. Loyalty takes care of so many issues before they advance. A loyal customer can help you find new qualified leads through referral marketing. A loyal customer will usually purchase more than one policy. A loyal customer will produce more revenue for your agency over time. A loyal customer presents you with the fewest amount of customer service issues throughout their time with your agency. For these reasons, a well-thought-out retention strategy is just as if not more important than a clever marketing funnel.
Sales, customer service, and retention. These are the three things that drive successful insurance agencies. But you’ll find that taking care of customer service can lead to more sales and eliminate any retention problems you would otherwise face. What are some customer service ideas that have worked well for your agency or individual efforts?