Every successful insurance broker or agent knows how important it is to be attentive to the ever-changing expectations of their clients. It is always useful to gain more insight into how clients think and what the need to be satisfied. Check out this survey-backed data that explains the main risk management challenges businesses face, areas where there is a perceived service gap, and what employers look for when choosing a broker.
There are many skills you need to be a successful insurance broker, but among the most important is having an intimate understanding of what your insurance customers want. When you tailor your services according to your client’s needs, you earn their trust and respect--qualities that can create a foundation for your practice and continue to serve you throughout your career. Below is a summary of what clients look for in their insurance agent, as well as tips about how to meet their needs and ultimately improve customer experience in insurance.
Your clients’ priorities
In a 2019 employer survey, clients provided helpful information about their expectations for their insurance brokers. Here are the big takeaways according to various sectors that can help boost your understanding of insurance customers:
The results showed that when it comes to risk management challenges, clients are primarily concerned about three issues: 1) managing exposures, 2) keeping up to date on regulatory issues, and 3) keeping workers’ compensation costs low.
Survey respondents also revealed that the most important services a property and casualty (P&C) broker can provide are: 1) coverage and policy language expertise, 2) a solid understanding of each client’s business needs, and 3) the delivery of information that will help reduce the frequency and expense of claims.
Finally, businesses prioritize the following when choosing an insurance agent: 1) prompt and effective service and timely answers to questions, 2) a trusted advisor, rather than an insurance salesperson, 3) a broker that offers compliance resources, 4) regular communication, and 5) competitive pricing.
What you can do
Rather than focus on all these qualities individually, let’s examine some of the commonalities among all the priorities listed above.
1. Know your stuff
Insurance is not something the general public understands deeply. Most people have a cursory working knowledge, but they rely on experts for any of the details. Even the language of insurance can be daunting; according to a report from UConn Health, 20% of survey respondents reported not understanding the term “premium,” and only 34% understood the word “formulary.” Clients hiring insurance brokers truly rely on them for expertise. This means you need to become an expert in language and policies for the kind of insurance you’re representing and be able to easily explain terminology to your clients. You’ll also need to stay up to date about any factor that could influence your client. Be familiar with the most common questions businesses ask insurance agents and be well prepared to answer them.
2. Be responsive
While clients may rely on you for your knowledge and expertise, they also appreciate working with insurance brokers who have strong customer service skills. This one is fairly straightforward: clients like to work with people that pick up the phone and respond to their emails in a timely fashion. If you take days or weeks to respond to a client about an inquiry, they may move onto a different broker. The most successful insurance agents know how important it is to be communicative and reachable.
3. Be trustworthy
Clients identified this as a priority in multiple sectors. There is already an inherent distrust in the client community towards insurance brokers. This comes from an unfortunate lineage of brokers in the industry who have been untrustworthy. Take on the challenge of proving your clients wrong! Be relentless about building trust with your clients by being honest and upfront with them in all your interactions. Not only does it build a more sustainable practice, it just feels better. Be the kind of insurance representative you would want to work with personally.
4. Be kind
This one should go without saying, but it really is one of the most important qualities you can have. The most successful insurance brokers are genuine and empathetic. They try to look at any given issue through the lens of their clients, and they work hard to make sure their clients’ best interests are protected. These qualities span almost every industry, but they are significant in insurance since there is already an undercurrent of distrust. Take the extra time to make your clients feel respected, valued, and heard.
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