Best Call Center Practices for Insurance CompaniesThe Editor
Insurance call centers play a crucial role in providing customer service and support to policyholders. In the era of nearly unlimited insurance options, staffing an outbound insurance call center may appear to be a challenging task. And besides, even when receiving a valuable service, some call recipients perceive an unprompted call as an intrusion, as well as a nuisance.
Outbound home, auto, and health insurance agents must be able to establish a connection with call recipients quickly, whether notifying insurance companies and claimants of policy changes, responding to inquiries or simply verifying policy applications for new customers. Otherwise, they might get a grumpy person on the other end of the line.
Customers can benefit from outbound insurance call centers, but if they don’t pick up the phone or aren’t interested in listening, no one gets the benefit. These best call center practices for insurance companies can bridge the ever-widening gap between your agents and customers, establishing the kind of professional and friendly relationships that create a better overall customer experience — something that customers remember long after your agent hangs up the phone.
Here are some best practices for insurance call centers:
- Choose Correct Metrics
It is all too easy to regard each call as a standalone experience. Calls, however, do not operate in a vacuum; they are data points that indicate the effectiveness of your team and its strategy. As a result, increasing customer satisfaction is dependent on establishing the appropriate success metrics. Answer success rate (ASR), average handle time (AHT), calls per agent, occupancy rate—even metrics related to telephone etiquette, tone of voice, and speaking speeds—are all worth tracking. Although it is prudent to track every possible metric to uncover hidden connections, you may prefer to focus on a few key metrics and work to improve them.
2. Know Your Audience
Outbound call centers most likely already have the benefit of accessing customer information before your agents dial the number. However, knowing your customer’s age, marital status, education, and policy information may not be enough to fully customize the call to meet their needs. Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions can assist you in creating a detailed profile of each customer you need to approach and making this information easily accessible from a centralized dashboard. Review previous contact and claim records, take note of call interests, and transition between agents seamlessly by sharing relevant call data. An effective CRM provides insurance agents with a better understanding of each customer, allowing them to make more outbound calls.
3. Choose the appropriate time to call
Call centers have historically had greater success when they call in the evening rather than in the morning or afternoon. Furthermore, studies show that Thursday is the best day of the week to make sales calls, while Monday and Friday are much less likely to pay off.
Knowing your audience, on the other hand, entails knowing their schedules. Someone who only works in the evenings or who works on Fridays will have different preferred calling times. Keeping track of customer preferences and incorporating them into your strategy will help ensure that you reach out to each interaction at the best possible time for them.
4. Identify yourself with VoIP
Only a small percentage of people will answer an unknown phone call; in Canada, this figure is less than 25%. This isn’t the best place to start, is it? Use only local phone numbers to reassure people that you are connected to the area in which they live. Use advanced features to display your company’s name, which is available from many VoIP providers. Remember to identify, because your cold-calling campaigns will be meaningless if no one answers. It’s difficult to run a successful call center if your customers are unwilling to answer the phone. It is your responsibility to inform your customers who are calling before they agree to speak with you. Caller ID can help by connecting your company’s name and phone number, but there are better options for a more comprehensive experience.
5. Take Conversational Cues from Your Customers
Whenever it comes to outbound calling, every insurance agent must walk a fine line between professionalism and friendliness. Each customer will have unique expectations.
When a customer responds to opening pleasantries with short, deadpan responses, they may want to skip the niceties and get right to the point. Those who happily engage in conversation and ask friendly questions of their own, on the other hand, maybe more willing to chat. Hiring agents who can detect subtle cues and adjust their approach according to each customer’s response can help create a better overall experience for your customers.
You can also offer ongoing training and development programs to help agents acquire the skills and knowledge needed to handle calls effectively, and also help them stay current with the industry’s regulations and laws.
By following these best practices, insurance call centers can improve the customer service experience, increase efficiency, and better meet the needs of policyholders.
CYBELLS has created an innovative approach to call center practices that can offer insurance companies a smarter way to handle customer service. Our advanced AI-enabled platform and predictive dialer allow agents to provide a more personalized experience, ensuring that calls are answered quickly and efficiently, while customers can benefit from faster and more accurate responses. Through our comprehensive suite of tools and services, insurance companies can improve their service and streamline their processes, creating a more efficient and cost-effective customer experience.