The Importance of Customer Service in the Insurance Industry

Creating a positive customer experience is more than just making sure consumers receive the products and services they requested in a timely manner. It’s about creating meaningful touchpoints throughout a transaction that help champion your organization and brand and grow your business through customer loyalty. It’s also about minimizing friction so that interactions with an organization bring satisfaction, even “deliver happiness” (to take a page from Tony Hsieh, founder of online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos).

Shaun Sharp, SVP, Business Operations, at Distinguished Programs, along with his team is looking at different areas where the organization can improve and enhance the experience brokers and agents have with them. “We receive daily feedback from our clients and are paying close attention to how we can provide a consistent, reliable, and predictable experience that elevates the relationship we have with them. Providing a low-effort, near-frictionless, user-friendly experience is essential in facilitating transactions. We want to reduce the effort and cost for an agency to achieve their objectives – whether it’s an inquiry, a change request, or a new business submission,” said Shaun.

Delivering Client Expectations

Distinguished is focused first on developing and sustaining trust. This means making sure clients know what to expect from you during each interaction. “If a broker, for example, needs a quote on an account from us, he or she needs to know the available options available in getting that quote, the steps and time frame involved,” explained Shaun. “Depending on the niche and the coverage line, in some cases it may mean using our online portal, in other cases it may involve emailing our underwriters. We need to be confident that we can communicate our processes, set expectations and deliver on them.”

Understanding today’s demanding consumer is also a big part of the equation in delivering excellent customer service value. They want problems resolved faster and information available at their fingertips. “People are accustomed to using real-time, seamless, secure systems in their home environment and want a similar experience in their business transactions,” said Shaun.

Distinguished is constantly challenging the status quo by evaluating automation and digitization. But while the use of technology is instrumental in delivering an excellent customer experience, it’s important not to hide behind the technology. “We believe in humanizing the process, making ourselves available,” noted Shaun. “Technological advancement and innovation in our industry has been and will continue to be built and deployed where possible, but it needs to add value and serve as a differentiator for the broker.”

In addition, Shaun emphasized that while clients are accustomed to having access to multi-channel capabilities, it’s important that connecting is easy and convenient for them. This could mean connecting via a phone call, email, portal, the web, live chat, etc. – whatever communication method with which they are most comfortable.

First-Contact Resolutions Make for Happy Customers

Achieving first-contact resolution when a client calls is a priority for Distinguished. “During an initial call to us, our goal is to solve the problem without a broker having to speak with multiple individuals before a resolution is reached. We have an opportunity during the call to set expectations and educate brokers so the next time a similar issue arises, they know the process. The value of the phone call becomes more than merely solving a problem, but also serves to solve future challenges. It provides us with an opportunity to create loyalty while addressing the issue at hand by listening and empathizing,” said Shaun.

Developing trust, delivering a positive engagement and making it easy to engage during transactions – from submitting new business to servicing and renewing accounts – all contribute to adding value to the customer experience. Distinguished has built KPIs around this and is always working hard to achieve these goals.  Let us know how you are improving the user experience with your clients.