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Insurance Brokers' Call Center Performance Rated, Falls Short

August 04, 2014

Callstream, a business that specializes in call management, recently announced the results of its "Mystery Shopper" analysis of call center performance within the insurance brokerage sector.

Callstream notes on its website that it has 15 years of experience advising insurance brokers, and says it used that experience to analyze various aspects of how more than 200 insurance brokers’ customer service units responded to customer calls. In its report, the company offered seven "fundamental indicators" that are part of customer calls but which brokers often overlook.

Those indicators are: wait times, number of options offered, automated messages, ability to transfer calls, credit card processing capabilities, call origination tracking, and outbound response to online inquiries.

It is the first indicator that Callstream said was the most striking of the group. In fact, it found that 16 percent of calls were left unanswered after customers had been on hold for at least five minutes of waiting. It is that threshold of five minutes which marks a critical point in a customer service call, Callstream noted. It said that most customers will abandon their calls if they have to wait that long.

Abandoned calls translate directly to missed opportunities for increasing profits, and the study found that the 16 percent of unanswered calls reflected in more than approximately $2,189,000 for average-sized insurance brokers.

Mick Crosthwaite, CEO of U.K.-based Callstream, commented on this issue. He noted that brokers often do not have the correct technology in place to properly monitor their performance. Overall, their lack of answering phones within a certain time period not only causes them to lose direct opportunities for sales but also reflects on their entire business models. He says the unanswered calls could easily lead to "intangible reputational damage and loss of repeat business through inadequate customer service."

It is no secret that customers want their chosen businesses to pay attention to them and provide them with efficient results. Customer service shows a strong link with revenue, and it appears that no business of any type can avoid improving its customer relations if it also wants to increase its profits.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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