When it comes to differentiating yourself from other wholesale insurance brokers, communication is key. It pays to be accessible to the agents and brokers you work with, over a variety of mediums. But when you’re busy with other aspects of your job, sometimes the finer points of customer service can get lost. Here are a few tips for better communication over phone, email, and social media.
By phone. It’s challenging conducting business over the phone. The most basic step is to make yourself available—answer the phone when it rings, and don’t make the agent or broker wait for you to call back. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but the more available you are, the better impression your agent and broker partners will form.
It can be difficult to form a connection over the phone, as you can’t see the other person’s body language and facial expressions. The second most important tip is to listen. Take the time to understand the caller’s question and give a clear, concrete, and concise answer.
By email. Billions of emails are sent each day, and email communication is often the preferred form in business—depending on the demographic and industry you provide insurance for. As with the phone, it’s essential to respond quickly—ideally within the same day—and be concise when you do respond. Be careful of hastily dashed-off emails; these can often result in misunderstandings.
Email is often treated as an informal medium, but the reality is that the emails you write to brokers and agents are crucial business communications. If you’re writing something complicated or important to preserving or developing a key relationship, treat it like a more formal document. Write an outline, take your time in crafting your email, and consider letting a trusted colleague read over some of the more crucial ones before you send.
By social media. Good communication over social media is essential—because it’s happening where all your prospects can see. The first key is to be where your agents and brokers are—for many insurance professionals, that’s LinkedIn. Then listen—see what insurance issues have people talking, and join in when there’s a conversation that addresses your area of expertise.
Being accessible and providing good communication via social media often means responding quickly—the response time expectations are higher in many social channels than they are for more traditional modes of communication. Stay positive, and don’t hesitate to move more complicated discussions to another channel such as email, private message, or the phone.
Communication is key to building a strong wholesale brokerage—as the relationships you have with agents and brokers will fuel your business’s growth. Follow general best practices for communicating over the phone, email, and social media, and you should be able to strengthen those relationships with every point of contact.