I wanted to break away from an informative post to focus on the back-bone of insurance brokerage: The customer service representatives a.k.a CSR’s can be a very good friend to have in a brokerage. Here is how it breaks down: usually you will have a producer who is the sales rep (sorry guys and gals – but it is time for a reality check : you sell a product ergo you are a sales rep – I don’t care how you dress it up – life advisor, business insurance specialist or financial advisor etc.) and then you will have the person who handles all the paper work, the everyday grind – the Customer Service Rep.
The CSR’s handle all the crap that comes in. If a producer has a deadline to meet and needs policies bound – they talk to the CSR. If a customer wants to complain that their auto insurance premium went up by $20 this year (forgetting that they saved $300 on the prior year), they complain to the CSR. Any thing that has to do with you policy inevitably passes through the hands of the Customer Service Rep, and their desks usually prove it (although most of them clean the desks at the end of the evening)
I am writing about this because of a call from a nasty person that a CSR at the office I work at had to handle. She was so upset after the conversation that it ruined her day. While I can’t comment on the actual conversation I want to share some telephone etiquette with you when dealing with Insurance Customer Service Representatives:
- The Reps are Licensed Brokers:
- They are usually quite knowledgeable people. They have chosen to act in a supporting role and are comfortable being there since in involves minimal selling (as some see it)
- If you are mad, count to 10 before you call and speak to the rep:
- there is usually a pretty good explanation to your problem and usually your CSR needs a minute to orient themselves to handling your call – You aren’t their only customer!
- Tell them about your concern, give them a chance to get the answer for you:
- They have to look up your file, possible speak to the insurance company and/or producer and get any issues solved for you
If you treat your Insurance professional with respect, they will go the extra mile for you (this goes for clients, principals and producers). There is something to be said for the “Golden Rule” that we were taught in elementary school – “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you”. I have always tried to treat the Customer Service Reps that I work with as well as I can by remembering that they are people too. To them I say – Thank for you help!