5 Customer Service Tips for Insurance Industry Contact Centers
Insurance is one of the most challenging industries for customer service. People do not want to think about life insurance since, it reminds them of dying. Others think auto insurance prices are too high. Meanwhile, people file claims only when something bad happens: car accident/theft, home disasters or even serious illness/death.
How can you make customer service easier for both clients and contact center CSRs? Here are five tips for insurance industry contact centers:
1. Show empathy
One of my friends recently suffered a motorcycle accident. While he was not hurt, his bike was a write off. When calling his insurance company, the first thing they asked was, "Are you okay?" Their empathy impressed him.
On the other hand, imagine if the CSR's first question was, "What is your policy number?" That sends a message that every customer is just a case file. Examples of empathy statements are, "I'd feel that way too, if that happened to me..." or "I'm sorry to hear your FEEL that way..." (with an emphasis on your customer's emotional state.)
2. Give a time estimate before asking a series of questions
How many questions are needed to prepare an insurance quote or fill out a claims report? Ten questions? Twenty? Now think of it from your customer's viewpoint: they want a "quick quote" or to "file a claim." Have you ever heard customers say, "How long will this take?" or "Why can't I just get a quick quote?" Here are three techniques to reduce customer frustration.
- Provide a time estimate i.e. "To ensure an accurate quote, I have a series of questions. It will take approximately ten minutes to go through them with you."
- Ask permission to proceed i.e. "Is now a good time for this, or would you like to call back or have us call you back at another time?"
- If the customer agrees to answer questions, provide a progress report i.e. "We are halfway through our questions now." That encourages your customer and lets them know exactly where they are in the discovery process.
3. Build goodwill
For example, if a caller says they just bought a new car or house, congratulate them on their purchase. If they are confused about policy options, let them know other people have felt that way too and you are there to help them.
4. Prepare customers for the next step in the process
Here is an example: when someone applies for life insurance, a common next step is doing blood/urine tests to identify health/risk factors. So, when you schedule their clinic appointment, email a map to the clinic, along with a confirmation of their appointment date/time. Remind them to bring their government issued photo ID so, the clinic can verify their identity. Make your customer feels comfortable so, they actually DO the tests. If they back out, you lose their policy and their business. Make it easy for them to cooperate with you.
5. Educate clients about helpful insurance services
Upsell appropriate services to satisfy customer needs. Most customers are not insurance experts. Make them aware of additional services that can help them. For example, mentioning "accident forgiveness" options for auto insurance or disability insurance - in addition to life insurance - helps increase their protection. You never want a client to say, "How come no one told me about 'X'?"
Overall, these skills help you provide better assistance to your customers. That can lead to higher CSAT and NPS scores, along with repeat and referral business.