Insurance Time Off Process: How To Not Cause a Disaster
It happens to everyone at some point: you get sick, or have an emergency, and need to miss work unexpectedly. It may happen to some people and agencies more frequently than others, but either way, there’s definitely a few different ways this whole thing can go. Having an insurance time off process at your agency is the big difference between a team that can handle when an agent has unexpected time off, and an agency that drops the ball. That’s because when someone calls out sick, and their work is simply left neglected, your customers are the ones who are left out in the wind. This even rings true for when agents take planned vacations, and their work is simply left in a pile on their desk, and their inbox fills up with emails.
“When someone calls out sick this is the checklist we have to do. And we all have to rise to the occasion because we’re all gonna get sick at some point. We are all going to need to use this process.” (5:00)
And the worst part? Your best customers are the ones that probably won’t call at all. They’ll just sit there wondering why someone missed their conversation to discuss a reshop, and get a little more ticked off. In order to make sure everyone’s work is handled during unexpected time off, your agency has to have an insurance time off process in place.
Here are some things to keep in mind, when it comes to developing an insurance time off process for your agency.
Time off should not be a scramble
No matter what agency you’re in, or what the nature of the time off is, time off should absolutely never be a scramble. It happens way too often: someone takes off, and comes back to an absolute disaster. There needs to be a system in place that is triggered when someone takes time off. The manager, or someone else in charge, might have a protocol where they start fielding emails, or looking at that employee’s workload, to see exactly how much needs to be covered.
Pro tip: this is a great excuse to clean up your inbox! That way, if you’re out sick, you’re comfortable having someone else have eyeballs on your inbox.
Cover all of the major points of contact
This brings us to our next point: it’s not enough for an employee to set up an out-of-office email and forget about it. There’s a big chance that email will be missed by a customer. Someone in your agency needs to take it a step further, and do things like set up an out-of-office voicemail, with a direct next-person to call. Checking calendars and appointments should also be on the to-do list, to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
An agent shouldn’t come back worse off
When an agent takes time off, especially if they’re sick or experiencing an emergency, they deserve to come back to a clean workload. Coming back to a desk that’s piled high with papers, and clients who are angry, is not a good feeling.
Client experience matters
Your clients are the bread and butter of your agency, and at the end of the day, their experience with you matters a great deal. Clients deserve to feel special, and want you to communicate with them. As long as you take the time and energy to communicate with them about an agent’s time off, they’re going to be fine.
It may sound overwhelming to take on more work when a colleague is out, but if an established insurance time off process is in place, you’ll be much better equipped to handle these scenarios. If building processes and procedures is on top of your to do list this year, we’ve got you covered. Our brand new website has an entire section of process packs for your agency, which includes workbooks, templates, emails, scripts, and even videos.
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