Our research in the insurance sector over the last five years, covering both Commercial and Personal Lines, has given us an insight into the top five "do's and dont's" when it comes to the customer experience.
What clients don't like
- Late contact on renewal - clients like a little time to weigh up their options at renewal, so it's important to get the papers out in good time. They hate being rushed.
- Not broking the renewal - clients need to know that you have their best interests at heart and want to see that you have made the effort to find the best deal for them.
- No contact during the year - clients don't like to be taken for granted and want to know that you are providing a year round service and are not just renewal focused.
- Forgetting about me - there was a consistent theme with many clients feeling that they were an insignificant cog in a big wheel. Clients want to be treated fairly.
- Moments of truth - you need to deliver at moments of truth, but when is your moment? Is it the claim? If so, what about the rest of your clients that don't claim?
What they do like
- Make it personal - not surprising given the "don't likes" but the golden rule is you should base your service offering around the approach of "Is that how you would like to be treated yourself?"
- What do you do when it goes wrong? - we all know that mistakes can be made, but the way you are able to turn a negative into a positive is a real measure of a customer centric business.
- Focus on the right clients - brokers tend to differentiate service based on value (we find that scores given by £50k+ accounts is higher than those between £1k and £5k). But what about account planning according to potential?
- Be proactive - we always find that "Anticipate Needs" in our assessment model is a lower score for brokers but less so for both the top performing brokers in our database and also for higher value accounts within a brokerage. Customer centric businesses are ones that get on the front foot with their clients.
- Take responsibility - this is the core driver of customer centricity and loyalty and the key question is how do you enable your staff to take ownership of client problems?
Our common findings seem simple enough, but how many companies deliver? Several of these points are relevant to all types of business, not just the insurance sector. Do you do all of the talking pre-sale, and forget the customer afterwards? Do you only contact them when it's time to issue an invoice? These are problems which, if successfully rectified, can lead to higher levels of customer loyalty.