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4 Ways to Delight Your Customers in Today's 24/7 Climate

Posted on April 13, 2016 by Phyllis Gillman

Phyllis answering questions

Last month, I launched a contest inviting you to ask your most challenging customer service questions in the comments section of my blog. I received a bunch of great questions! Our winning question, which was posted on this blog, was submitted by Tammy, a Commercial Lines Manager at Bilz Insurance in Kentucky. Congrats Tammy! Thank you to everyone who participated and submitted questions.

Tammy asked:

In today's "instant" world, where clients can get insurance quotes on-line, buy almost anything they want or get answers to almost any question they have, do you have any ideas or suggestions on gently letting your client know that we cannot always respond instantly to their request? I work in CL and get over 100 emails per day. A lot of those are certificate requests and I am finding if I don't stop and take care of it "NOW", the client is either emailing or calling me shortly to ask if I got their request or have taken care of it for them yet. Needless to say, this is a huge time management issue as you are always stopping in the middle of other work to take care of this other request.

In today's world of instant gratification, how do we slow it down enough to get our work done?

Tammy’s question is one that many of us struggle with as we try to keep up with the increasing demands of our customers, while maintaining organization and attention to our other tasks and clients.

While technology has provided so many ways for us to understand our clients on a deeper level, it has also transformed the expectations of our customers about when and how we respond. In addition to competing with other agencies, you’re now competing with tech giants who offer 24/7 service and have shifted what your customers expect from the companies they work with.

Like you, I have a lot on my plate and scheduling my day is difficult enough without interruptions. Take a look at some of my favorite methods for dealing with 24/7 customer demands without living in the office:

24/7 Customer Demands

1. Set Realistic Expectations

Establishing clear expectations for your clients will help you deliver on the promises you’ve made. Although you can’t please all of your customers, letting them know what kind of timing they can expect may help you avoid some of the follow up emails and calls, where they’re wondering if you’ve found an answer to their question.

When emailing or calling, tell your customers you’re working on their request and when they can expect a follow up on a specific date.

2. Follow Up – Even If You Don’t Have a Solution

It can be daunting to reach out to a client if you don’t yet have a resolution for them. But simply calling and letting them know you’re working on their request assures them you haven’t forgotten them. Authenticity matters. When clients are left questioning the status of their question or problem, they may reach out to you more frequently, worry or feel forgotten. Schedule a call to provide an update and you may be able to avoid interruptions when you’re extremely busy.

3. Take Help Where You Can

In some of my previous posts about getting organized, I’ve mentioned the importance of planning out your day and prioritizing your time. If you know you need to block an hour out to work on important projects, use your email automatic reply feature to help notify clients that you’ll be in touch soon.

Write a short email letting them know you’ll reach out later that afternoon. By sending an automatic reply you’ll be able to make sure you’ve let your clients know you’d love to help them and when they can expect your reply.

4. Anticipate Your Customers’ Needs

Delighting your customers and showing them you really understand them and their needs can be difficult. But using the tools and resources you have available will help you anticipate what they need before they even reach out to you.

You probably already notify your customers when it’s time to renew a policy that has an upcoming expiration. But you can also think outside of the box and use the technology you have to understand your clients’ needs and act on what is helpful and informative for them. Your clients expect you to provide them with valuable information and education about topics that can be extremely complex.

5. Be Consistent

When you are consistent with your clients, they don’t have to worry about whether you can fulfill their needs. Calling when you say you will and responding to clients in a consistent manner will give them faith in your promises and commitments. 

Hope these tips were helpful. Thanks again to Tammy and everyone else who asked some great questions!

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As a 27-year customer service veteran in the insurance industry, Phyllis Gillman has spent more than her fair share of time helping clients and customers. In her long stint in the industry, she’s answered over 702,000 phone calls.


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