Today’s society is a society of choice. The reason many businesses offer so many choices is so customers can have a feeling of ownership in what they are purchasing. They have a sense of power and control over the decision.
Providing clients with choices is a great benefit and could set you apart from the competition.
“Guiding your clients through choices is critical in building the trust you will need to retain the client,” says Suzette H. Aquila, AAI, CMIP, service manager at Royal Marine Insurance Group (RMIG).
Smart Business spoke to Aquila about how providing choices and excellent service can make your business stand out.
What are the keys to providing exceptional service?
Service can be defined as the provision of service to a customer before, during and after a purchase. Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction. The goal is to meet and strive to exceed the customer’s expectations.
Being a good listener is vital to a successful customer service representative. The ability to identify your client’s problem or need will enable the customer service representative to provide possible solutions. In some cases, no solution is available, so having empathy and understanding for the customer is required. Maintaining a courteous, helpful attitude during a customer complaint can de-escalate the situation.
Being consistent, trustworthy and friendly will allow customer service representatives to build business relationships with clients. A satisfied customer will promote referrals and positive word of mouth marketing to potential clients. The service provided will set businesses apart from one another.
How does exceptional service benefit any company?
We are all customers at some point in our day. Do you remember the last time you received bad service? I’m sure you even discussed your experience with family and friends. On the other hand, customers also remember outstanding service. Customer service can make or break a business.
Whenever you have someone who is helpful and straightforward who gives you clean, concise answers, you have trust in them. From that point on, you are more comfortable with them. If there is a bump in the road you are more likely to be more patient and understanding, because you have trust in that broker, than you would if you already had some bad experiences.
What are some choices people should look for in an insurance company?
You want to find a company that’s going to offer you several options in terms of methods of communication, additional coverages, limit options, deductibles, payment options and workflow options.
What should a business look for in an insurance broker?
They shouldn’t want a broker that comes in and says, ‘Let me have a copy of your last policy, and I’ll get you a quote based on that.’ If a broker quotes off existing terms, the new policy will inherit any mistakes or oversights from the previous broker.
So you want to make sure your broker does a full analysis of your exposures. It’s like getting to know someone from the very beginning. The broker should have a clear understanding of what you do. If they are a good broker, they will pinpoint gaps of coverage or exposure that previous brokers didn’t pick up on.
Many companies don’t know what information brokers need. They give the broker the basic information, but if the broker is prepared and very knowledgeable in that line of business, he or she will know what questions to ask to solidify the trust of the client, earning the account and possibly opening up new doors to other lines of coverage to insure.
How can a broker help a business make the right choices?
The broker has to understand the business the insured is working in and what the insured’s needs are. While there may be many options lower premium with a higher deductible or a higher premium in exchange for a lower deductible, for example spending time discussing the needs and priorities of the client are essential. From there, after research has been completed and the broker has gone out to market, the broker can then present a proposal that meets the client’s needs and provide options on how to do so.
When presenting options to the insured, language is essential. Providing scenarios or hypotheticals as examples helps a client or prospect understand how the options provided would react in a claim situation, further aiding in their being comfortable with the decision and ultimately the product they are purchasing.
On many occasions, simply taking extra time to place yourself in the client’s shoes and approaching the decison-making process from their perspective will enable them to feel empowered.
What are the keys to communication and gaining trust?
Be very clear, have accurate information, and be able to follow through on any follow-ups you say you’re going to do. In dealing with customers, that is one point of annoyance they have not getting a straight answer or not getting an answer back in the time frame specified.
Being responsive in a timely manner is important to any business. In today’s society of instant gratification and fast-paced life, clients are less tolerant of lengthy turn-around times and mediocre service. And that is just the beginning. You continue to earn the client’s trust by doing what you say when you say it.
Suzette H. Aquila, AAI, CMIP, is a service manager with RMIG. Reach her at (748) 364-9818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.