The modern independent agent has a lot on their plate. From keeping up with the competition to sourcing new business opportunities, it can feel like you’re moving 100 miles per hour. But do your customers feel the same?
The reality is, the more you try to conquer, the more your customers suffer – from a slow customer experience that is.
Here are five reasons your customer service might be lacking speed. Does your agency exhibit any of these signs of slowing down?
1. Increased competition.
In order to grow in a competitive environment, your agency must find ways to work smarter, not harder. With a focus on finding new business, generating more revenue per customer, and improving retention, you may decide to introduce new processes or even restructure to fit your goals. However, with change comes uncertainty which can lead to slower reaction times with your customers.
CSRs who are overthinking customer touchpoints might result in increased wait times. Producers that are spending too much of their time on proposal creation might force customers to look elsewhere. You see yourself as working at top speed, but your customers see you as unorganized and sluggish.
2. Aging producers and staff.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, by 2024, one in four U.S. workers will be 55 or older. That’s more than double the rate in 1994 when 55-plus workers accounted for just 12 percent of the workforce. With an aging workforce comes experience, but it can unfortunately also bring low-energy and complacency, which may result in slower reactions to customer servicing and inquiries.
Employees who have been around for a long time tend to have the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mentality, and that can be detrimental to any business. If they believe that what they have done for the last 20 years is working, it’s unlikely they will change the way they interact with their customers resulting in a slower experience.
3. Spending on the wrong things.
With a push to adopt technology, agencies can be rushed into their purchasing decisions. This often results in owning multiple products that overlap in capabilities and features going unused. Agencies might feel like they are paying too much, and then they don’t learn to use the software to its fullest potential or don’t keep up with enhancements.
The agency will believe that they aren’t receiving enough value from their investment – causing frustration and even an aversion to further spending on technology that helps speed the customer experience. This puts the agency at a serious disadvantage as they fall behind the competition who adopt and implement their technology appropriately.
4. The semi-successful trap.
Another symptom affecting speed in an agency could be complacency with success. It’s reasonable to think that a moderately successful agency would be less likely to change and improve. With constantly changing consumer expectations, however, this is a dangerous game to play.
It can lead to the slowing of adoption of new technology and an increase in manual processes. As you remain the same, your competitors are perfecting their customer experiences and slowly taking more and more market share.
5. Lack of commitment to grow.
Agency growth isn’t going to happen overnight. And it certainly isn’t going to happen without specific initiatives put in place to make it happen. An explicit focus on customer experience is necessary. Agencies need to prioritize faster service with investments in new processes – not just wait around for customer expectations to change.
By taking charge of your own customer touchpoints and finding ways to improve each one you can increase customer satisfaction and retention. Reaching your growth goals starts with a customer experience focus.
So, what can you do to keep your customer experience in tip-top shape? The answer is investing in tools that help you speed up servicing activities while ensuring you spend the time learning how to use them their fullest potential.
When searching for technology that can help you speed up your customer experience, look for something that enables you to do the following:
Simplify document management
Increase visibility into your agency
Interested in adopting technology to speed up your customer servicing? Contact us to learn how you can improve the customer experience with one of our agency management systems.