Overcoming the Challenges of Providing Customer Support for Insurance Providers
Anyone who gets into a critical incident immediately grabs their phone to talk to their insurance provider to report what happened. It’s the first step to securing a claim, which requires detailed information not only from the insured but also from the offending party. The process is quite complex, which is why insurance providers hire customer support agents to help them.
It’s important that the process goes smoothly wherein documents are completed and submitted on time, and everyone involved is in agreement with one another. Thus, customer support agents for insurance providers have to be diplomatic and skilled negotiators. They are responsible for handling calls from anxious and frustrated consumers; they themselves must have a wide range of skills, from multitasking and communication skills to conflict resolution and organizational skills.
Customer satisfaction is vital in every industry, and the insurance industry is certainly no exception. A customer’s level of satisfaction for a job well done doesn’t end when the customer has purchased an insurance product. It continues to be a major metric in every other process until a claim has been settled in full.
Customer retention depends on the quality of your customer support, according to 68% of the respondents in a study. They said they would pay more for a product from a company that had a strong record of good customer service. Customer representatives are in charge of making every transaction smooth and simple for customers. But there are certain challenges that customer support teams face in the insurance industry.
Challenges of Insurance Customer Support
1. Language and Culture Barriers
Many Asian Americans are first-generation migrant workers who didn’t have any form of insurance before they had a chance to travel to other countries. While first-tier and second-tier economies may have more citizens with insurance backing them up financially, a lot more of these migrant workers came from third-tier economies where any form of insurance is expensive.
An even bigger problem is the level of proficiency in which first-generation migrant workers, who are now part of the elderly population, possess when communicating with insurance agents. Sometimes, insurance policies don’t translate well into another language; the lingo and the rules have to be explained in plain English to the insured and the beneficiaries.
And so, it’s a struggle for customer support to communicate clearly with consumers who are ESL speakers. They find it tough to maximize the help they extend to these insurance customers. On one hand, it is challenging for customers to explain what their problem is and might feel uncomfortable speaking to an English speaker. A situation like this may discourage customers from enrolling or maintaining an insurance policy.
2. Time Zone Differences
When you acquire customer support offshore, like in the Philippines, time zones may present a bit of a challenge. However, this doesn’t mean it’s an impossible hurdle to overcome or that it could become a liability to you.
Contrariwise, the advantage is that you can provide 24/7 customer support to accommodate customer concerns. Offshore agents, no matter how late in the evening, will adjust to your business hours.
You and your outsourced customer support team may differ in time zones, but the quality of service remains a priority. They follow the same rules of communicating with your consumers and are compelled to meet industry standards like others in the same line of work.
3. Obsolete Information
Customers prefer to receive individually tailored service, such as advice that caters to their particular needs. They would want to know, for instance, the best plans for them based on factors such as their purchasing history and online behavioral patterns.
To make this possible, customer support agents should have information that’s accurate and detailed. Because… what better way to personalize the customer experience than through refined data gathering and monitoring? Unluckily for insurance businesses, the lack of data hinders employees in recognizing up-selling and cross-selling opportunities and this has a snowball effect, putting your client retention and customer acquisition strategies at risk.
With limited data, customer support cannot fully function well. Thus, customer support agents are best supported by a data entry team. Also, they should be kept updated of industry trends, which helps them make informed decisions when resolving customer concerns.
Why do people get insurance and why do others don’t?
Life is full of surprises and you should prepare your insured consumers for it. You should gear up for the worst-case scenario involving your customers. They will surely pay for premiums when they know they can trust you to respond to their needs on time.
These people fit your consumer profile. They understand that insurance is a form of investment; those monthly payments serve as protection facing financial risks when an emergency or catastrophe strikes.
However, your current policy holders aren’t the only people you serve. Those who do not have insurance also need your attention. Most people would want to be insured; who wouldn’t want to protect themselves and loved ones, right? So, it’s not because they don’t want it. It’s because they can’t afford it.
Thus, you would want to pay close attention to both your policy holders and your prospect clients. They may want to buy from you but they might not be able to pay on time or they might reach the limits of their claim. Or, your current consumers may experience a financial setback which prevents them from continuing payments.
Whatever the problem may be, you can be rest assured that your customer support team is there to allay people’s fears, soothe anger, answer questions calmly, and respectfully but firmly deny requests that are out of bounds. Your agents can be empathetic when the situation calls for it, but may choose to escalate when there’s a need to.
These will all depend on the kind of training they receive. That’s why choose your outsourcing provider wisely. Click the button below to arrange a meeting with our consultant now.