OK, let’s be real. This is not the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought. Cars and houses lead that category, but customer service after the sale for cars and real estate is distinctly lacking. It’s certainly not the most often used. Your television and internet and phone service would be the leaders in that genre of customer use, but again, I’m just not seeing what I would call true customer service in any of those. You might get an electronic survey from the latter and nothing from the former, but when’s the last time you got just a plain old phone call from either, post sale, asking if everything is working out as you expected? When is the last time post sale you got a phone call or email (not a survey) asking if you had any questions?
Customer service is defined and described as a noun. It is the same as a rock or chicken in that aspect, “the assistance and advice provided by a company or person to those customers or clients who buy its products or services”. But I would propose that customer service should have its’ roots in two grammar areas as a noun and a verb. As a noun it’s a good concept. As a verb it puts in action what a client or customer should expect, “actively providing ongoing assistance or advice, free from any attempt to sell additional products or services, to its’ clients and customers”.
So here is what my customers can expect from beginning to end, till term length or death do us part (so to speak). First I find the very idea of being sold or selling someone life insurance as an abomination. Selling insinuates some kind of a close (twist of the arm). The epitome of what I’m speaking to is in car sales. You drive onto a lot just to look around, a drive by so to speak. That is almost always preempted by someone cutting you off with the hope that they can get you engaged in buying (not a drive by). Then the games begin and it eventually ends up with, “What can I do to get you to leave here with a car today”. High pressure from the beginning to end.This is just me (obviously), but I believe we should be advisers not sellers. So customer service begins with not pushing for a sale, but assisting a potential client in gathering information and answering questions. That process is driven by the customer’s time line and needs and their sense or urgency, not mine. While I have been blasted for not using possible unknown impending death as a closing technique, I don’t. It’s not my job to make you be something you aren’t, like prudent and responsible.
So, to wrap up. There is a process for applying and getting a new life insurance policy in force, and while I will provide good customer service during that period, I won’t push. Again, if you want life insurance, that is your responsibility and you know that. You will know what needs to be done and you will know that nothing is in force until it’s done, but you’re not going to feel the tug of a tow rope from me.
Once the policy is in force you will get 1 call or 1 or email from me annually doing the verb form of customer service. If you want to buy something I have no doubt you will contact me or take that opportunity to ask about it, but you won’t be getting contacted by me concerning a sale unless I believe a life insurance company has just come out with some product or price that will improve your position. Life insurance products don’t change that often, so that would be rare. I might send an email asking if some health condition has improved that could lead to better rates. Even then you would only hear from me about it once. Being bugged turns me off and, I believe, that is a commonly held feeling with most of us.
Bottom line. Am I a lame life insurance agent or what? What you’ve read above is exactly why I am an independent life insurance agent versus a company agent, so if you feel hounded by your current agent or want to try out the verb “customer service”, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.