Leveraging VoIP Solutions for the Modern Insurance Agency
Technology | Charlie Griffin, Bluewave | Mar 30 2018
This article was developed by Bluewave for the Applied Client Network audience.
VoIP (voice over internet protocol) is very popular for insurance agencies right now, with vendors touting features like integration, voicemail to email, mobile apps and more. But how do you decode all the clutter and actually use VoIP to really propel your agency forward?
Here at Bluewave, we have consulted with our customers on this very topic for years, and, without a doubt, we find the most productive, revenue-generating feature of VoIP to be call recording. Recording calls is becoming a standard practice in the insurance industry, and the business benefits of call recording are well known:
- Significant quality improvement
- Faster dispute resolution
- Reduce liability and E&O exposure
- Continuous, real-time feedback for best-practice training
Until the advent of affordable VoIP options, the high cost of recording technology has limited its implementation to large corporations and high-end call centers. Smaller businesses — insurance agencies in particular — were forced to compromise and use unreliable solutions or no solution at all.
Call Recording for All Insurance Professionals
Many VoIP solutions deliver call-recording solutions that effectively record every inbound and outbound call from your agency and store them securely in the provider’s cloud network for easy retrieval or download. Some even automatically move them into your agency management system.
Call recording enables continuous identification and immediate response to effective and ineffective conversations with your customers. It enables you to have quick and efficient resolution of "he-said-she-said" disputes that otherwise consume your valuable time. Time that should be spent writing business.
Today, interactions with your policyholders and potential customers are handled almost entirely by phone, through email or over the internet. The days when most of your business comes from personal, face-to-face meetings or walk-in traffic are quickly coming to a close, which has given rise to the need to document every single conversation that happens electronically.
Yet, in spite of this transformation, many companies have only a vague idea about how to conduct their frontline customer interactions. A manager might sit next to an agent during a few calls or use a “listen in” feature to monitor some calls, but past that, isn’t much of a review period to better customer service and operations.
Recording calls is tuning into a best practice for insurance services providers. So, let’s look at a few real reasons to implement a call-recording strategy in your agency.
- Dramatic quality improvement: When every call is recorded, employees are at their professional best knowing that management and others can review their actual conversations at any time. Even on “bad days,” customers are treated with respect and professionalism. Ultimately, your staff will spend less time on unproductive socializing and chit-chat and focus on the job at hand.
- Faster dispute resolution: Free up management and staff time by resolving disputes before they escalate. Recorded calls allow you to rely on fact-based conversations to eliminate no-win “he-said-she-said” confrontations. A solid call-recording strategy that combines recording calls with regular reviews of those calls can avoid disputes altogether as mistakes can be identiﬁed and rectiﬁed proactively.
- Continuous, real-time feedback for best-practice training: Train staff on best practices using real-life recordings stored at your ﬁngertips. Be empowered to immediately coach behavior and improve operational results through effective telephone practices. Increase morale and reduce churn through ongoing, relevant feedback that builds the skills of your team. Review agent and staff performance at your leisure, rate individual calls and store relevant comments with the recordings to facilitate an effective review process. As one customer said, “My telemarketing efforts would be wasted if I couldn't go back and listen to the calls the next day and see who was doing the best job.”
- Reduce E&O exposure: No one really wants to talk about E&O issues, but they are one of the biggest threats to your agency and its long-term success. Eventually, it happens to nearly every agent, so you must be armed with all the information necessary to protect your business and reduce the number of claims submitted against your policy. A solid call-recording strategy that includes a regular review of agency calls will reduce E&O claims.
Set Your Insurance Agency Up for Success
What is true in other businesses is true in insurance. When a problem or issue is identiﬁed, the most effective way to prevent escalation is to “get out in front of it.” Knowing the facts of a potential problem and addressing them with the other party will undoubtedly minimize E&O issues while maintaining good customer relations by referring to facts rather than hearsay evidence.
VolP is the way to go for those who want to grow and maintain a competitive edge in their local market, and call recording is the “must have” feature to get the most out of your VoIP service.
When evaluating potential providers, don’t just focus on “savings” and glitzy features; focus instead on selecting a vendor who can provide you full-time call recordings as a standard option or, if not standard, at an affordable incremental cost increase.
You’ll be amazed at the results you will see from this simple but powerful tool.
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