By Andy Albrecht
The number one objection I receive from potential clients when talking to them for the first time is “my agent takes really good care of me so I am not interested in switching.” I then challenge that statement and ask them some more questions so they tell me how their agent is “taking care of them.” Nine times out of ten what their agent is doing for them is providing great customer service, which I think a majority of the industry does a good job at. Customer service is a reactive approach in the service industry and in my opinion, every insurance producer and agency should thrive at this. However, customer experience is a proactive approach and I would say less than 10% of the industry does an adequate job at this. I was very fortunate early in my insurance career to be trained by one of the best direct carrier’s in the industry. They put a lot of time and effort in training their employees the right way and trained to always look out for the client’s best interest. I have carried these values and wisdom over to the independent agency side and I truly believe this is why my clients choose to do business with me each and every year.
Taking a proactive approach to insurance and risk management allows me to ask questions and to make my potential clients and clients think about things they have never thought about:
· Describe to me your process on hiring employees and screening potential employees?
· From the moment you hire an employee, how do you get them up to speed and train them?
· Do you have a significant driving exposure for employees and what is your training process like in those regards?
· How regularly do you do employee meetings and trainings and how do you pick the material for those trainings?
· When is the last time you took inventory of all of your personal property inside your business?
· If your business were to burn to the ground tomorrow, do you know how your insurance would pay that claim and take care of you and your employees?
· What steps are you taking to make certain your computer network is secure and are you protecting yourself from possible cyber liability claims?
· How do you handle training for any potential harassment and discrimination claims?
· Tell me how you handle an employee injury and what is your process for getting them back to work?
· Is your current agent explaining to you how your experience modification number is calculated by the State of MI and steps you can take with your agent to make certain your workers compensation premium stays down where it should?
I tailor these questions to the specific industries that we serve and usually about half way through my questions I see their eyes start to get really big. That tells me that they have never been asked these questions and they are starting to feel really uncomfortable with their current advisor. This is what I mean by an exceptional customer experience. Showing the client that you care about them as a person, their business, their family and ultimately you are looking out for them in a way that no one has thus far. This is how you earn lifelong clients, by showing them that you have their best interests at heart. Most advisors I come across market their services by letting the potential client know how much money they are going to save them. I lead by letting them know that they are going to get a customer experience like they have never had before. I love saving my clients money too, but I am most interested in saving my clients money in the long term from potential claims that might arise due to them neglecting some of things I mentioned above. Most of the time I can accomplish all of these things and save them money too but that is just icing on the cake. There is a lot more to a great customer experience than what I just listed above but I am going to cover those topics in future blogs. The customer experience topic could go on for a whole chapter but hopefully this is starting to give you great insight on how we separate ourselves from the other agencies in Michigan when it comes to looking at your insurance and risk management programs.