David Waldo, of the Waldo Agencies in the Treasure Valley, recently told an interesting story about the quick response of an insurance company.
In the winter of 2011, Waldo was standing in the snow with a family whose home was burning. Wed made a call at 10 p.m. to the help desk letting the insurance company know that one of their policyholders home was burning, he says.
And while we were standing in the snow, watching that home burn, an adjuster came, he says, and before he left, the family had enough money to move into a motel for the duration of the cleanup and restoration of the home.
Giving policyholders more than they expect and fulfilling promises is crucial when it comes to keeping promises as an agent, Waldo says.
But buying and using insurance goes beyond just writing a policy and exchanging money between the business and the client. As agents, we understand its a bilateral promise both parties are making promises, he says.
Insurance carriers promise to be open and honest with the client. The client, in return, promises to be open and honest with the insurance company.
We see this as an education piece that we have as an intermediary, to work education into the process so [the client] can learn responsibility, he says.
An educational process is important for all businesses. Owners must step forward and walk customers and clients through the promise-keeping processes they have established. In part, thats the reason the BBB exists to help businesses make informed business decisions and assist them with voluntary self-regulation and education pieces.
By working with your staff and developing a plan of training, you can train, monitor and evaluate the customer-contact staff. Consider implementing an internal mentoring system whereby senior staff members assist new hires. There is never a lack of moments for education between employees.
Encourage the staff to look for moments when they can teach customers how you keep promises.
Consider the following:
Do you fully support your customer service staff and their efforts?
How do you help your employees keep promises?
Do you care about how they help customers keep promises?
How much does your company care, and to what lengths is it willing to go?
Determine how much the company is able to commit to going above and beyond to successfully serve its customers.
You should model the behavior you want from your employees. Demonstrate a strong commitment to keeping promises and education. Always lead by example.
Waldo puts it this way: When you focus on promises, you do go over and above.
ROBB HICKEN Chief storyteller for the Better Business Bureau serving the Snake River Region