Customer Service 101: Ensure Prompt Follow Through
Your customer has a question. Will you answer it? Of course you will. The question is: when will you answer it? Sometimes, "as soon as possible" just doesn't cut it with your insurance customers. Your customers expect and deserve prompt follow through. How can you make sure that they receive this?
The Insurance Marketing Cycle
When you're marketing your insurance company and its products, you need to understand that there are several parts to the marketing cycle. Marketing isn't just about creating advertising, sending out information on social media, or making the best and most informative website. It's also about your follow through in the middle of the cycle. When leads express curiosity about your products, it's your job to follow up in a way that's thorough, respectful, and timely.
Customers' Expectations of Follow Up
According to Fast Company, customers' expectations of response times have been increasing. "In 2014, a four-hour response time was deemed good (the point at which about 80% of people were happy). By 2015, this had moved up to about one hour." While customers could be happy with a longer response time, the faster your follow up, the better your initial connection with that customer.
Get Faster At Following Up
How do you manage to speed up your follow through when you have so many other tasks to get to in a day?
Use follow up emails. These address the common question, "Did that company ever receive my email?" Use follow-ups on your contact form and when people email you. Try to make your responses concise but not generic and robotic. Your customer wants to feel valued.
Work on addressing the customer's request first, before you fill out accompanying paperwork. According to Business to Community, "it’s best to meet customer expectations first and then perform procedural duties such as updating the customer’s file and scheduling follow-up calls second." For example, if someone calls with a question about an insurance product, answer the question and ask other questions in context so that you can gather additional information about the lead.
Use quick reply techniques. Have pre-written email responses to some of your most common questions so that you can cut and paste.
Divide up email checking amongst your customer service team if you can. Have specific people dedicated to monitoring phone, text, and email communications in a specific time frame, and know that activity is the focal point for them at that moment. Let go of the expectation that they will get a lot of other work done during that time of the day.
Remember that quality is even more important than speed. If you can't reply to an email right away because you need to get additional information, let the person on the other end know. Collect that information as soon as you can, and then reply.
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