Having good customer service skills is crucial for ensuring your insurance agency provides a good client experience. Getting on the right track is easy – be compassionate, caring, and show that you genuinely want to help your client. However, it is always a good idea to ensure that you are always finding ways to sharpen your skills in client service as an insurance agent. Today, we will cover some practical ways insurance agents and agencies can step up their customer service game.
Why is Client Experience and Customer Service So Important?
Honing on improving customer service skills may take time, but just one client can turn into a huge advocate for referrals if you provide a superior client experience. Also, the more you hone in on your customer service skills, the easier and more efficient you become at doing your job while also providing stellar customer service.
Although easy to overlook, the human experience and empathy make a massive difference in a client’s experience, especially in insurance. For clients, it is easy to recognize when an insurance agent is treating them like a number. Make sure you take the time to put yourself in the clients’ shoes and understand their needs and wants. When you listen and genuinely provide care for their concerns, you show that you value them as a person.
Learn (or Refresh) the Foundations
No matter how long you have been an insurance agent, you are never too experienced for a refresh on customer service from time to time. It is also essential to consider that client expectations are constantly changing; never stop learning. It does not have to be expensive or complicated or complicated. Here are some easy, low-cost ways to sharpen your foundations of customer service:
- Take an online course
- Read books on service
- Follow customer service blogs
- Attend events or seminars
- Watch client service videos online
- Learn from other insurance agency’s mistakes
As an insurance agent, you do not exist in a vacuum. Bring in a mentor or consultant who can provide a fresh perspective on your client experience and help you brainstorm new ideas. Find someone by networking in your community and connecting with other professionals with proven records of success in customer service – they do not necessarily need to be insurance agents themselves.
Make sure you truly hear what your clients are saying – listening is a foundation of customer service. When you practice active listening, you understand what your client wants and their feelings behind what they say. Most importantly, this ensures that each client feels valued; many clients say that excellent customer service is one of the main things that keeps them loyal to their insurance agent. Every client will have real needs, and they want to feel heard. Clients who trust your active listening will tell you everything you need to know, such as ideas for improvement, if their coverage works for them, etc.
To ensure that your customer service skills are top-notch, you need to know what to say – and what not to say. While there are no magic words, actionable language can help you communicate empathy and action. For example, responding with “I’m sorry that happened. It won’t happen again” is passive. A better, action-oriented response would be, “That sounds very frustrating, and I am sorry that you are disappointed. I will review this issue with the team right away.”
On a similar note, always own up to mistakes and take appropriate responsibility. Although it is easy to find a way to get the blame off of yourself, it can be a straight shot to client frustration. In today’s day and age, clients are savvier than ever before. They see when things go wrong and expect you as an insurance agent to take responsibility. Transparency is a huge plus for customer service.
Just as you would probably like others to respect your time, ensure you show respect for your client’s time as well. Do this by ensuring you give them your undivided attention in appointments and providing prompt responses. Be proactive when there are delays or things that could slow down the insurance process. Ensure your clients feel important. Respecting your clients’ time is a two-way street, and setting time boundaries also saves you from burnout.
Overall, customer service will always be a massive part of being an insurance agent, and it is essential always to be sharpening your skills and stay ahead of the game. To learn more about stepping up your customer service game, or get contracted with more options for your clients, contact Agent Pipeline at 800.962.4693.