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Customer Service is Not a Competitive Advantage

Posted on November 24, 2016 by Daniel Taibleson in Digital Insurer

Customer service is not enough

Does your agency believe that customer service is your competitive advantage? Carriers, MGA/U’s, how you about you?  

Agency and Grow consultancy owner Jason Cass has some bad news for you: “Customer service means nothing.”

How can that be?!

Well, Cass says providing customer service are table stakes – “It’s what the client expects,” and in an era with increasing competition from Insurtech startups and outside players like Google, we can agree he's onto something. Instead, Cass says “it’s the entire customer experience that separates you from your competition, and it must have a strong digital component.” He should know, his consultancy helps agencies rebuild to become more relevant to today’s insurance customer and it’s the focus of his book Customer Service Is Just Foreplay: The Modern Customer Experience Will Separate You From Your Competition.

Watch Jason Cass answer the question: What is the definition of customer experience?

The only thing that truly differentiates your business is…

For the last four years, during conversations with thousands of agents, Cass has shared how the customer experience is the only way to truly differentiate your business, and that digital and social media is a ‘must’ if you want to remain competitive in the years ahead. He’s helped many agencies embrace the fact that digital and social media allow you to create a robust digital customer experience—just like the ones offered by companies like Amazon.

Watch Jason Cass answer the question: How does customer experience help you differentiate from your competition?

Got Leads?

A lot of people Cass talks to say, “Oh, I don’t want to know about that. That’s marketing. We’re getting enough leads.”

If only getting “enough leads” was enough to grow a business. You and I know that’s a short sighted view of the complexity of running a business.

Knowing that this knowledge about the customer experience is new to most of the agencies he works with, Cass educates them on how he’s created a digital customer experience in his agency. “I use social and digital at the beginning, middle, and end of the process. I keep contact through social and digital, and we cross-sell through social and digital—social and digital allow me to create the experience people expect” Cass says. He goes into more detail in the video below.

Jason Cass provides advice for insurance agencies and organizations that are apprehensive about started with digital and social

Cass shares that you shouldn’t think of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Google+ as just sales tools—they’re brand building tools. More importantly, the tools are opportunities to keep in front of your clients so you can answer their questions. That’s part of how you create a digital customer experience.

Jason Cass teaches you how to use social media as a branding tool

The exception: Cass uses Facebook ads when working with specific customers. For example, a number of churches he works with buy insurance through his agency, so he puts content online that is relevant to their concerns, and then uses church-centered keywords to target pastors so that they are more likely to find his agency website. By speaking to issues of interest to churches and pastors, he creates a more personal customer experience.

Cass also firmly suggests that the 80 million members of the millennial audience are not only critical to bring in as customers, but also critical to hire—partially because the average age of insurance agents is 59, and because nobody sells to a millennial better than a millennial.

Learn more about the importance of hiring Millennials and how those hires will help you grow your business.

Advanced social media tips

Advanced tip: How to build a Facebook funnel that converts. There’s always something new to learn about digital marketing, especially when it comes to a platform like Facebook that seems to be constantly changing and updating its features. I’ve linked to a video from Moz’s whiteboard Friday series that will walk you through the process of building out multiple advertising campaigns to reach your customers and prospects with the message you want them to receive when they’ve made it clear they’re ready to receive it. Sounds kind of complicated right? Ryan Stewart from WEBRIS makes it easy to understand and the video helped me see the deeper value that a platform like Facebook can provide when it comes to architecting your customer experience. And remember, you do have to architect it. If you leave your customer experience to chance you’re going to lose business to competitors who’ve taken the time to understand how to use tools like Facebook ads.

Looking for more resources? Here are 3 more videos from Jason Cass that you should find helpful:  

1. How to use social media to generate new business - Top of the funnel marketing

2. Advanced social media tips for insurance agents - Middle of the funnel marketing

3. Using Facebook to cross sell and target prospects

It’s all about the experience because…

The impression people form about your business is a sum of the interactions they have with your brand. There are countless factors that are helping or hurting you right now: Your website, the ads you’re running, an email you sent, word of mouth, or your complete lack of digital presence.

No matter who your customer is, understanding the experience they want, and understanding how you can exceed their expectations using modern tools like digital and social has become essential to the success of your business.

There’s a lot more to learn about customer experience and how you can do it well specific to the insurance industry. Vertafore gathered industry experts to weigh in on this conversation and the output was an hour long conversation about how you can exceed customer expectations. Watch the video below.

Watch the Webcast: Exceeding customer expectations

daniel taibleson headshot blog vertafore

Daniel Taibleson

As a content marketing manager at Vertafore, Daniel acts as the Editor-in-Chief of the blog, uncovering and telling stories about the intersection of insurance and technology.


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