Empathy is not talked about often in the business world, including the insurance industry, and this is a mistake. Ensuring that employees connect with clients not only promotes client retention but also increases profits.
Attempting to train employees to be empathetic presents a problem because this is not the easiest skill to teach. Still, it is important that insurance companies focus on this money-making skill, especially now that the industry is losing revenue.
Happiness is infectious
Empathy is something people are born with, so choosing a naturally empathic employee is one of the wisest decisions an insurance company can make. Car insurance claims are made after a traumatic experience. Making sure that employees can connect with clients is vital.
Now, this does not mean an employee cannot be trained to put him or herself in other people’s shoes. One thing that can be done is creating a happy environment for workers. Offer flexible schedules, treats, or relaxation tools to employees to make them feel better.
This is more of an indirect approach, but it works because happy employees tend to be nicer to customers, which is how insurance agents should act.
Rewarding good deeds makes a difference
Showing care is not easy, especially for employees who are not naturally empathetic. Companies should consider adding an incentive program that rewards employees when they go that extra mile to keep customers content.
Employees are going to try harder because it is going to help them in the long run. Sure, this particular step tugs at people’s innate selfishness, but it is an effective tool that should improve relations between employees and customers.
Keep in mind that this type of program also makes the workplace a happier place since employers want to make employees happy.
Active listening goes a long way
Clients are already dealing with a lot when they make the call to the insurance call center. For example, an individual who was slapped with a DUI may already have to deal with car repairs expenses or having some driving privileges revoked. These drivers will need to find sr22 insurance to get back on the road.
This client is begrudgingly expecting his or her car insurance premiums to go up, which may be inevitable. An employee needs to pay attention to the troubles of the client and show understanding. Active listening is a skill that employees can learn. For example, teaching employees to picture what customers are saying is a great way to improve this listening skill.
An employee that offers support or possible solutions to the client’s specific problems will effectively make the customer feel better. Breaking the news that premiums may go up should be easier because the customer might feel like the employee is sad that it has to be done.
Pass the good news around
Another effective way to train employees to be more empathetic is to find avenues for customers to share their experience. Employers need to highlight the moments when customers say something positive about a particular employee.
Sharing these accounts with employees could make them feel good about their work. These accounts are also meant to make employees feel valued. Getting insurance agents to associate these positive feelings with good customer satisfaction should nurture empathy.
Encourage employees to share these stories and to share how they helped clients so that others follow. Keep in mind that this change in culture is going to take some time, so employers should be patient with employees.
It should be noted that there are a number of empathy workshops springing up that might teach insurance agents additional tools, so it would be wise for employers to look out for them for the sake of their car insurance firm.