Insurance Carrier Service Centers can save time in your agency and increase retention if used correctly. In our agency, we have discovered threekey elements for very successful results:
- Transfer Your Clients – Don’t just give them the phone number
- Let Clients Know at Point of Sale that Service Centers Exist
- Proactively Contact Your Clients
1. Let’s face it: if a customer calls you to help them with a problem and you tell them to call another number, you might as well have shut a door in their face. The effective way to utilize a service center is to transfer
the call to the center as if it is an extension of your own agency–but how do you do that?
All phone services offer some form of three-way calling or call transferring. An example of this would be: Customer Calls In — > You tell them that you’ll route them to the person who can handle the problem for them right away — > Transfer or three-way call them to that person — > Leave the call when you feel the problem is being handled. You’ll receive a transcript or download of what happened on the call, which increases customer satisfaction. Instead of the back and forth (usually a few times) between the customer, you, the company, you, the customer; they can have the problem solved right away with the person who can actually make the changes happen. 2. If clients know up front that there is a service center, they will sometimes opt to contact the carrier directly after-hours themselves. There also won’t be any surprises when the calls are transferred. 3. “But what am I even good for!?!?” Sometimes I’m asked if customers will feel that if they can do everything with the company, why do they even need an agent in the first place? Great question… We’ve discovered that the 80/20 rule is greatly accurate. In our agency it’s probably closer to 85/15, in that 15% of our clients take 85% of our time. The problem is that 85% of the clients don’t receive any correspondence because we’re spending all of our resources on the 15% (that usually aren’t the most profitable). By using Service Centers to free up service time, we are able to take that free time to proactively contact our customers. The proactive contacts involve risk assessment, cross-selling, recommendations for increased coverage, and just general checking-in to make sure they are satisfied with their service. In addition to the staff costs that Service Centers save, the increased revenue generated from cross-selling and adequately insuring clients more than made up our minds to fully implement this program. What are you thoughts on service centers? How are they working in your agency? – Josh Nordin Midwest Insurance Agency Alliance (MIAA)