In the face of expected increases in insurance premiums due to a potential interest-rate rise, one expert has stressed that now more than ever, it is important for brokers to deliver increased value.
“The role of a modern insurance broker has to go much further than simply broking an insurance placement,” said Nigel Thomas, divisional chief executive, Austbrokers Network, AUB Group. “Brokers need to be trusted advisors, providing impeccable customer service and understanding their client’s business inside and out. This includes foreseeing any risks, whether they’re physical, financial, or people risks.”
Thomas said service is a key to retaining customers and rising above competitors.
“Service is a major contributor to customer satisfaction and loyalty,” he said. “People tend to share information about bad experiences, so this could affect future engagement as well. For many organisations, service is a key factor that distinguishes them from the competition.”
The broking boss said brokers need to be people-oriented, knowledgeable, and efficient. These qualities could help them save clients from expending much energy thinking about insurance and focus instead on their core business. In addition to services related to insurance buying and negotiating, he said brokers should also offer all-round risk-assessment capabilities. This arrangement will allow them to offer more to their existing client base.
“Technology, data, and analytics keep changing the insurance landscape, and customers have increasingly complex demands and needs,” Thomas said. “This means that brokers need to maintain high levels of formal training, and stay abreast of the latest industry trends.”
Thomas also said that to overcome the natural apathy customers have toward insurance, drive long-term loyalty, and offer them comprehensive and strategic service, brokers should leverage technology and develop a holistic knowledge of global emerging risks, including cyber.