Independent insurance agents and agencies have a lot of competition both on the local and national level, so it’s really important for agents to be able to set themselves apart from other insurance providers. Many insurance agents write policies through the same carriers, so rates alone aren’t always the biggest draw for potential clients. One thing that can make a big difference for customers and clients is the type of customer service they receive from an agent or agency.
Independent agents and agencies actually have the advantage in this area because they are usually small enough that they can prioritize and personalize their service and communication efforts for each individual client. Larger insurance companies leave this task to their agents and customer service representatives, but customers can still end up getting lost in the shuffle. Below are some helpful ideas on how to improve your agency’s customer service.
Build a Foundation of Strong Communication
Communication begins the moment a potential customer inputs their information to find rates. In order to build a strong foundation, agents should follow up quickly and with personalized and accurate information. Choose one avenue to reach out on first (phone call, email or text message) but not all three at once so that the inquiring party doesn’t feel bombarded. Once the person has become a client, it’s important to keep communication strong in order to create a long-lasting relationship. Check in periodically with a personalized newsletter that contains relevant and interesting information, try to be flexible and available for questions and concerns and in the event of a claim, follow up with an email recap of the conversation so that the client can easily reference it later.
Make Yourself Available Before, During and After a Natural Disaster
Most independent agents live and work in the same communities they serve. This gives them the added benefit of being aware of any natural disasters threatening the area, and allows them the opportunity to inform and educate clients proactively. When a natural disaster strikes there an be a bit of panic, but agents can help their clients approach the situation calmly by reminding them of their coverage terms and offering resources that can help them before, during and after a disaster.
These resources can include:
- Checklists to help mitigate risks resulting from applicable natural disasters. For example, if a hurricane is headed towards the area, an agent might send a hurricane preparation checklist to their clients to help them properly prepare their property for the storm.
- Evacuation mandates and information to help clients navigate all of the alerts they may be receiving. Agents can share information about evacuation areas and requirements, nearby shelters and lodging options, optimal routes to take and even a packing checklist.
- Instructions on how and when to contact your agency following a natural disaster specifics on what to do if property loss occurs. This will help reduce the number of frantic calls and give your clients a guideline on how to approach their claim with you.
Help Manage Claims
Insurance claims can be confusing to navigate and it’s not uncommon for a client to be passed around to several different adjusters during the life of a claim. Agents can improve their customer service significantly by becoming involved in the management of claims on behalf of their clients and giving them a solid contact to rely on throughout the life of the claim and for as long as they’re a customer.
Formed in 2013, AmSuisse, Inc. has quickly distinguished itself as a wholesale operation that specializes in working very closely with our agents and broker partners to develop responsive, individualized service for each client. Our unparalleled writing support, industry-specific expertise, marketing support, responsive proposals and quotes, strong customer service, and strong relationships with our carrier partners have all helped us to provide the best possible coverage for our clients. To learn more about our available coverage, contact us today at (800) 485-0229 to speak with one of our representatives.