We spend all day focused on our own sales and marketing, or on operational efficiency and how to make things a bit better on staff. There is a lot of news about whether Amazon can do it better. One thing is clear: Amazon spends a heck of a lot of time focused on their buyer.
This is straight from their mission: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” Let’s not talk about “disrupting” the industry, let’s talk about being customer centric.
We talk about focusing on clients, and our day is spent serving them, but how often are we ever actually in the passenger seat to truly empathize with them? Why not take your sales process for a spin from the other side of the table, and think about the experience a customer has to go through in order to give you money in exchange for what is essentially a promise on a piece of paper. Find out what it’s like to buy insurance from yourself.
Whether you actually do a secret shop or you simply document and think through the process, the point of this exercise is to reveal the buyer’s journey and identify friction points. Those answers will also show where in the process your firm can differentiate itself. We all want to be great at service, but that means so many things. What does it mean to your brokerage? It is valuable to take the time to very specifically articulate what makes you different than the brokerage down the road.
Take what you learn and make sure every single employee and manager gets the exact same exposure to what you have learned.
Here are some questions to get started with your own audit:
- Where do you start when you go to buy insurance?
- How can you hear about your own company?
- What do you need to buy?
- When can you buy it?
- What is the first point of contact? Think about the medium and message
- What information is provided to you?
- What information do you need to provide? Analyze that information objectively. Do you think any of it is odd, or unreasonable? Do you understand why you are being asked that information?
- How many touch points are there until you actually hand over your money?
- How many different methods of payment do you have to choose from?
- What is the time from first engagement to policy issuance?
In addition to those, once the customer has purchased insurance, do you get a follow up to say thanks and continue growing the relationship? Are you engaging with that client throughout the year, or are you only interacting with them when their renewal process comes up?
Once you document your system, the next step is optimization. That’s for another post — documenting your process is just one small step.