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Is Your Agency Ready for an Increase In Rate Concern Calls: Discount & Review

Posted on May 18, 2022 by Alex Arellano

Is Your Agency Ready for an Increase In Rate Concern Calls: Discount & Review

All this week we’re talking about preparing for an increase in rate concern calls, as rates rise due to inflation and other economic factors. Instead of feeling irritated that customers are calling, we’re focusing on being prepared for these calls, and seeing these calls as an opportunity.

“So we can’t just have a two minute call and say, “Oh, I’ll shop you and get back to you.” That is not a great customer experience. That’s a transaction.”

But what do we actually do when a customer calls us frustrated about their rate, and we have a million other things on our to-do list? 

Most agents want to say “I’ll shop you,” and head back to their work. But is that really the right thing to do?

Nope, definitely not. Instead, you should pause, take a deep breath, and review the account. You might be surprised at what you find. 

Here’s exactly how you’re going to do that, and why you should.

Why Not Remarket?

When you have a frustrated customer on the line who is calling about their rising rates, it can be all-too-tempting to say “Let’s get them off the phone and remarket.”

But when we do that, we’re missing out on so many opportunities. Plus, a re-shop doesn’t always solve our problems. 

Even worse, sometimes all a remarket does is give customers a reduced premium with a lower-tier carrier that’s paying less commission. Is this really what’s best for your customers most of the time?

Probably not.

What should we be doing instead? Scrubbing the account, doing a full top-to-bottom review, and looking for ways we can use helpful discounts to help our customers feel more comfortable with their rates.

What We Mean by “Scrubbing”

As we discussed in our previous video, this increase in rate concern calls is an opportunity to thoroughly check the accounts of our clients. We should be “scrubbing” the account, doing a deep review of everything, to make sure all of the information is accurate, and up-to-date.

For example, we can be looking at the drivers, the roofs, security system, and any new discounts that we can come up with.

The main point here is that if your customers call another agency to get a competitive quote, those new agencies are going to find these discounts.

And as we’ve been saying, the longer a customer is on the phone with you, the less likely they are to call other agencies. That’s exactly why we shouldn’t be having a two minute call where we’re saying “Oh, I’ll shop you and get back to you.”

Staying Away from Transactions 

When we simply look to re-shop a client, this is not a great customer experience. This is simply processing a transaction, which is precisely not what we’re here to do.

Instead of executing the transaction, we need to stop and take a deep breath, and identify what we’re going to be doing for the person.

We know how complicated and how productive insurance agencies are, but we still have to seize these opportunities. Remarketing is actually the most time consuming piece. If we can find a handful of ways to manipulate the account through discounts, cross-selling, and double-checking information for accuracy, that’s the best bet.

Re-Shop as the Final Option

Re-shopping is fine as a final option, as a last resort. But it certainly shouldn’t be our go-to, where we’re essentially saying “spin the wheel, save some money with an inaccurate account.”

That’s something we definitely don’t want to do. We also have to keep in mind that there are also some things that might prohibit us from re-shopping somebody. 

So as we get updated information, we might actually learn that re-shopping is not even a viable option, and it’s essentially off the table. 

Learning your Options

Instead of leaning on re-shopping, how else can you look at discounts to handle this increase in rate concern calls?

You need to learn your options inside and out. There are great new discounts out there, especially in personal lines with telematics and usage-based driving apps that we need to investigate and understand.

If you feel like this is challenging to do because you work with many different companies, we hear you. But you should also understand that you need to know your options inside and out, and that this knowledge can be extremely powerful in helping your customers when they’re concerned about rate increases.

You should be going on the carrier websites, and looking up these discounts. We also need to be leaning on credit score, and updating insurance score. All of these actions are going to save you time, and improve your experience with a client.

Changing the Remarketing Mindset

You might be thinking:

“Remarketing is natural. Let’s get it done and get them off the phone.” 

But remember that you could also be reducing your customers’ premium and putting them with a lower-tier carrier that’s paying less commission. 

Also, the biggest discount you can always get is, of course, with cross-selling. So let’s not stop.

Even if that customer is frustrated by their rate , they’re calling us. This is a huge opportunity to showcase your knowledge and services, and to really hone in on their policies.

Don’t forget, everybody is really feeling the pinch right now. Gas prices, grocery prices, daycare prices are all on the rise. You definitely feel it yourself, and you should practice empathy when your customers call you, looking for ways to save money.

And when those calls come, you should be prepared to dive deep into their accounts, to do a thorough review, and to find new and helpful ways you can use discounts in your arsenal, to help your customers feel more satisfied with their rate.

All of this should be done before we decide to remarket.

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