Customer Service 101: Improving Your Employees' Product Knowledge
How can you boost your customer service almost immediately? You can offer all sorts of training to your employees, but one of the most high impact ways to ensure that your customers feel good at your insurance agency is to build their trust and respect. By improving upon your employees' product knowledge, you can enhance that trust and make your customers feel that your employees truly understand both them and the product you sell.
Add Formal Training Programs
One old standby of insurance agencies is formal training. When you have a new product or a new employee, you ask that person to go through training on a particular product. However, your employees don't need to learn everything at once, and even if they tried, it's likely that they could not retain it. According to Technology Advice, "Microlearning allows learners to review information in smaller snippets that are spaced out from one lesson to the next." Smaller chunks of information such as those transmitted in webinars can offer your employees to deepen their expertise with a little bit of new information.
Integrate Informal Training Experiences
Informal learning and training can be just as powerful as formal courses. For instance, you could encourage your employees to look at LinkedIn articles on insurance topics. If you're considering this informal learning as part of your employee training, also consider allowing employees to pursue this knowledge as a regular and honored part of their usual workday. Integrate informal and formal learning opportunities. For example, an employee might work through a MOOC course and also take part in formal, scheduled learning at the office. According to Engage Me, you should "Expect to see an increasing number of companies using the blended learning model when it comes to training their staff. Blended learning combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods."
Consider E-Learning Opportunities
E-learning is very flexible. You don't need to bring in a trainer, nor do you need to sign up your employees for courses that take them away from the office. Look for e-learning opportunities that not only increase your employees' content knowledge but also allow them to explore scenarios and work through real-life questions.
Give Employees Time to Work Through Problems
Employees learn from their own problems and mistakes. Work this into your insurance agency culture. Instead of getting angry at employees for being slow at solving problems, celebrate the fact that they are working hard on a difficult question. Intentionally give your employees enough time to complete a project, plus a little extra to encounter and solve problems.
Connecting employees to other employees is a powerful way to transmit information. Build mentorship time into the schedule of experienced and new employees alike, so that everyone has time to share what they've learned. Encourage both formal sharing through workshops and informal sharing between colleagues.
At American Agents Alliance, we're committed to helping your independent insurance agency excel. If you're wondering about employee training options or other insurance agency association support, connect with us. We'd be happy to share our many membership benefits with you.