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Customer service – just a mantra?

Author: Paul01  |  Category: Insurance
Published: May 7, 2015

Gone are the days when customer service was restricted only to the hospitality industry. It has permeated across industries, including ours! Customer service has undergone a revolutionary change over the last few years. In the past, customer service was in the form of a toll-free number or a small kiosk at the end of a store. All you needed were limited resources to answer customer queries. Today, customer service can make all the difference between an industry leader and its peers. With multiple communication platforms now available, customer service has become an important management function. For instance, with the increasing popularity of social media, it may take just a few messages or tweets of customer dissatisfaction to put a dent on your company’s reputation and business.

Also, with easy availability of information, modern customers are better informed. Comparing various products and prices has become easy. Moreover, improving financial literacy, greater competition and wider product diversity has further added to the customers awareness even in the financial domain which so far was considered technical and complex. With increased awareness, customers have started expecting more and providing good customer service has become a challenge!

To meet the needs of the new and evolved customer successfully, we need to ensure that:
• The customer can easily understand the key product takeaways.
• In case of need for additional information, the same can be met easily.
• A feedback mechanism is in place which will allow understanding of the customer buying experience.
• In case of any complaints after purchase, the same can be addressed successfully.

Life insurance being a long-term contract, customer service becomes altogether more important. Unlike other businesses where the value of the service gets exhausted after a particular point, insurance is sought over a longer period of time. Customers need servicing at all stages – right from policy purchase to delivering the policy benefits which could be several years after the initial meeting. Moreover, while servicing a particular customer, interaction would be required with multiple entities such as nominees, legal heirs, agents, etc. A lapse at one point could create inconveniences across multiple points.

In a scenario characterised by intense competition and high innovation, we believe that trust is an age-old adhesive that continues to bind us with our customers. Trust is an essential element for acquiring new customers as well as retaining existing customers. It can be built and maintained by understanding the customer’s needs and offering suitable solutions without undertaking any form of misselling. We believe in the long term businesses will be successful only by recommending policies based on needs rather than the underlying commission!

Also, let’s not forget that the cost of acquiring a new customer is usually very high. It is thus critical for any business to retain its existing customers. Moreover, various regulations and law amendments have further empowered the customers, who now enjoy greater choice and flexibility. For example, the introduction of service portability across mobile networks and health insurance portability have enabled customers to switch from one service provider to another with relative ease and efficiency. Such customer-friendly regulations are likely to evolve further. This makes it crucial for businesses to provide quality products and services to customers to retain them at all times.

End note Remember, without customers there can be no business. And, if you don’t give customer the service levels they desire, they won’t come to you again and at the same time, they will persuade others not to come to you too! Excellent customer service is not just about talking about it; it’s about actually delivering true Customer Delight at all levels.

Author: Paul01

This author has published 1 articles so far.More info about the author is coming soon.

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