As 2015 comes to an end, most agencies are reviewing their results and looking to establish their 2016 goals. Included in the goal setting should be the development of your E&O goals for 2016. It is best to focus on a handful of initiatives, at most as trying to launch too many has the potential to result in doing an “okay” job on a significant number, as opposed to a solid job on a more manageable number. Here are some items to consider:
Enhance your staff education. A strong focus on ensuring that you have a technically proficient staff that possesses strong customer service and automation skills is recommended. Work individually with each staff member to identify those areas that need improvement. Each employee’s annual performance review should include the specific goals that were agreed upon.
Raise awareness of options and limits. Make sure your customers are aware of limit options and that higher limits are available.
Secure customer signatures. Be a fanatic about requiring the staff (producers, account managers, CSRs, etc.) to secure customers’ signatures on the various insurance applications.
Confirm in writing all rejected coverages. There is a general feeling in the courts that “if it is not in the file, it didn’t happen,” so any initiative that strengthens the agency’s documentation culture and commitment is a good thing. Implement a procedure that requires that all rejected coverages are memorialized in some form of written communication back to the client.
Do an annual mailing to clients to determine any change in their exposures. Many agencies have designed a form that is automatically sent to each personal and commercial lines customer 60-90 days prior to the expiration of coverage. The goal is to secure an update of any changes in exposures so that insurance discussions can take place.
Educate your customers. Identify the key coverage issues by line of business and then develop a marketing/education campaign using the media that would be most effective. Embrace the position that “your best customer is an educated customer”.
Establish a strong quality control/audit process – or update your current one. The goal of an audit process is to verify that the staff meets the expectations established by the agency. Without this type of a process, how can any agency feel confident that the various tasks and requirements are being met?
A strong E&O culture doesn’t just happen. As you finish up 2015, dedicate some time and thought to how you can enhance the E&O culture in your agency moving forward.