When insurance customers struggle to find affordable coverage, they often turn to independent agents and brokers to help them navigate the market. But when market conditions are challenging, even agents and brokers may not find coverage at the rates the consumer would like. This can lead to a difficult customer service situation with a frustrated policyholder.
One way to combat these frustrations is by managing expectations at the beginning of the transaction. Customers who have been unable to find affordable coverage in the standard market before engaging your agency may be challenging risks to place even for experienced agents and brokers. Or they may have unrealistic expectations about how much insurance should cost based on past rates or impressions from the media.
This is where insurance agents and brokers can help their customers to better understand the market conditions and other reasons why insurance coverage is hard to find and expensive at the moment.
Here are some ways to manage policyholder expectations:
- Be transparent and honest. Approach every policyholder and business interaction with honesty and integrity as a matter of business. Be transparent about the process and questions you ask. Communicate openly all the time, not just during renewals or when writing new business. This way your customers will know you act with honesty and transparency at all times.
- Under-promise and over-deliver. Don’t make promises you can’t or won’t keep. In fact, try promising less and delivering more to your customers. People don’t forget when someone fails to deliver on a promise, especially about something as important as their insurance coverage. Manage their expectations by committing to only what you know is possible — then try to give them more when you deliver on their expectation.
- Set realistic expectations for the next steps. Communicate the next steps with clear, reasonable timelines. Don’t let your customers make assumptions as they may find reality does not align with their hopes, leading to disappointment. Instead set the expectations yourself so your customers can rely on your timeline.
- Respond promptly to customers. Develop a system that allows you to respond quickly to your customers. When people have questions, they often fill in the answers themselves if they don’t receive a prompt reply. Automating some of your responses is one way to ensure prompt responses. Try using chatbots to answer basic questions and provide simple expectations to your customers.
- Seek regular customer feedback. Create an environment of continuous improvement by soliciting regular customer feedback. Talk about what went right and what went wrong. Find the common pain points and roadblocks in your process and correct them. Without customer feedback, you cannot truly know if the expectations you set and the experience you have created truly satisfy your customers.
Try Lead Generation Services to Enhance Customer Experience
Lead generation and nurturing programs can help you set customer expectations to drive a better customer experience. Starting out using a lead generation program starts the communication process with prospective customers. By talking with leads and setting up next steps, like the next contact, you can begin setting small expectations and establishing trust.