6 Customer Service Tips For The Insurance Agent
As an insurance agent, you may become so focused on closing insurance leads that you lose sight of important things that you should be doing after a customer says yes. Customer service skills are not always at the top of your list when you start the day, but they should be. With strong customer service techniques you can improve retention and add sales. To help you get there, we have put together a list of customer service tips that should take your insurance agency to the next level.
1. When a customer submits a claim, make a point of staying in touch with them and seeing how they are doing throughout the process. Customers often think of themselves as liabilities to their insurer — at least that’s how they sometimes are made to feel — so your decision to reach out will show them that they are with a company where it’s not always about the money.
2. Have a plan in place for rewarding qualified referrals. When a customer gives you the name of someone close to them, they are entrusting you with their reputation and relationship with the referred individual. Most of the time these referrals will be good for current or future business. Therefore, since there is such a high likelihood that you will exponentially increase your customer base thanks to the referral, it’s only courteous to show the original customer how much you appreciate them. Consider making a thank you call or buying an inexpensive gift that the customer will appreciate or taking them to lunch and not talking about business (except to say “thank you”).
3. Try to make Office visits as hospitable as possible to your customers. You may not get a lot of office visits from your customers, but when you do, consider offering them a can of Coke or a cup of coffee. If you want to take this tip to the next level, try to remember what some of your customers’ preferences are. For instance, if you have a customer on a gluten-free diet, think about carrying a small bowl filled with gluten-free treats. You might even say something like, “I remember that you eat gluten free, right?” That high level of attentiveness to your customers needs will make you more than just an agent in their eyes.
4. Remember all customer birthdays and mark the occasion. It doesn’t take a major expense to send a birthday card with a handwritten message on it when you have customers with birthdays on the horizon. While it may not lead to any immediate or direct business, it’s likely that your customer will stick around for the long haul rather than becoming one of the countless who are insurance shopping again after just 2 to 3 years of being with your company. It can also increase the likelihood of good qualified referrals.
5. Never missed a discount review. Each year your customer may be eligible for a discount review in relation to their existing policies. Maybe going accident free for the year will lower their rates. Maybe they bought a house, and using your insurance company will get them additional discounts on their auto and life insurance policies. Discount opportunities will be different based on the individual situation of the customer. It’s your job to stay on top of each opportunity and capitalize on it when you can. Face to face meetings are always preferred, but technology has enabled you to carry out discount reviews over the phone, Skype, or with a simple text message.
6. Ask how you’re doing. Even in positive customer-agent relationships, there could be room for improvement. Give your clients a voice so when situations arise that are not to their liking, you can know about it immediately and act to correct it. Even if their complaint isn’t about you personally but the company, the fact that you are willing to listen to improvement recommendations will tell them they aren’t forgotten the minute they become paying customers.
While customer service may not guarantee that you never lose another customer, it will greatly improve your chances of retaining the ones you have for much longer than if you didn’t give any thought to it at all. Remember that the job of an insurance agent is not only sales but service. By meeting both standards with excellence, you will have a bright future in this field.