Policy Works blog | Commercial lines bliss

Your call is important to us: 3 keys to great customer service

Written by Steve Pieroway | Oct 21, 2015 8:19:00 PM

"Your call is important to us."

We've all heard this line from a customer service representative or automated recording. As customers, we are not only conditioned to NOT believe this statement, but to believe a terrible service experience is about to take place.

Which is why we had to share some unsolicited feedback we recently received from a customer and user of Policy Works. Here is what she had to say:

"I would like to advise of the superior service I consistently receive from Rowena with each and every call. I am obliged to express our great experiences with her on the support line. She walks you through the screens and helps us discover and resolve our system,  user issues or concerns which in turn save so much time and allow our office to become significantly efficient.

Whether it is a simple software issue or an inquiry, she is always friendly, courteous and knowledgeable.  We always feel like we are provided with service beyond compare. She is a definite asset to your team and really want to make sure you and your company notice it.

I wanted to express our gratitude and look forward to continuing our relationship.

Kudos Rowena!"

JayĆ© Nkemdirim 
Account Manager | Business Insurance
Mitchell Sandham

Think about this - most customers, software or otherwise, contact support only when they have a problem. And when there's a problem, there's frustration and anxiety because something is not being accomplished.

So we asked Rowena, one of our Support Specialists, "How do you turn feelings of frustration and anxiety into feelings of gratitude?" She shared three rules for providing a great customer service experience.

1. Be friendly

Every time Rowena answers the phone, she does it with a smile on her face and says, "Hi, this is Rowena. How can I help you today?"

As a former commercial-lines broker, Rowena understands the chaotic, hurried life experienced by many in the industry. And she knows that whoever is calling support has a problem. So the key, according to Rowena, is to proactively diffuse the situation by being friendly.

2. Be empathetic

Being friendly sets the tone for a conversation, but it's Rowena's ability to share in the brokers' experience, her empathy, that enables her to establish trust.

"I understand. I've been there. I know exactly what many of our customers are going through when they call our support line. It's really important for me to show our customers that we're not just a software company. That many of us have commercial insurance experience and know that side of the business."

For Rowena, a big part of building rapport is removing ego from the equation. "Brokers deal with many software systems and vendors. We recognize that users of our software may not care about us in the moment, but we need to care about them."

Using empathy to build trust and rapport is essential to great customer support, but it's not enough. To provide the type of service that gets unsolicited kudos, you need the to be an expert. Or as Rowena calls it, be knowledgeable.

3. Be knowledgeable

Great service can't be accomplished unless you know what you're talking about. For Rowena, this is a two-pronged approach:

  • Product knowledge expert i.e. knowing Policy Works inside-and-out, and
  • Understanding the nuances of commercial insurance.

The first key, knowing Policy Works, is a given. You can't give great support if you don't know what you're talking about. This holds true for any support environment.

It's the second, the ability to express the system in terms of the reality that commercial brokers are facing, that makes the difference. Things like how coverages or different contracts need to be presented, or what subscribed policies mean is key to the life of a commercial broker.

Of course, ask Rowena about her fantastic support and she shrugs it off. 'I'm part of a team', she'll say, 'We're here to help our customers.' Aside from the three keys she provides, it's the humility that sets her and our entire team apart.

And that's what creating a great service culture is all about.