We talk a lot about inbound customer calling and how it is a great way to gain new business and customers. In this post, I want to take the idea a step further and look at how to optimize these calls to ideally increase sales and customer satisfaction.

Although it seems customers only want to buy insurance online, many people still want to talk to a real person, when buying something as important as insurance. A Google study, in a post on dialogtech.comsays, over half of all insurance shoppers want to call an agent during the research phase, and over 60% want to call during the purchase phase. Customers want to talk to a live person because buying insurance for a lot of people, is based on trust and by talking to a live person, it gives customers a sense of trust.

Although, the Google study shows customers prefer to talk to a live agent when buying insurance, that doesn’t mean they are 100 percent satisfied and often will either cancel their renewal or move on to the next insurer. The Harvard Business Review (HBR), says this is because companies do not always deliver on their promises, even the most basic ones. Companies are trying too hard to promise everything and give the “best” customer service experience, and then in the end cannot deliver. In the same post, they did a survey and found:

“First, delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does. Second, acting deliberately on this insight can help improve customer service, reduce customer service costs, and decrease customer churn.”

Most inbound calling customers don’t want you to go to the moon and back, they mainly want their insurance needs covered for their lifestyle at a reasonable price, while having a happy customer service experience, so stop trying so hard.  Research from the HBR also found exceeding customer’s expectations during service interactions, i.e. offering refunds, free product, or free service, makes customers only marginally more loyal than simply meeting their needs. Meeting customer’s simple needs should be, well, simple. When you say you will call back, call back, when customers ask to have certain part of their lives covered, figure out how you can best help them.

We have a number of posts, in our Agent Resource section about how to work with customers in the best way to meet their needs, without having to break your back to do it. Have you had any great experiences with optimizing inbound calling customers? Let us know in the comments.

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