Agency Performance Partners


Is Your Agency Ready for an Increase In Rate Concern Calls: Have Empathy

Posted on May 17, 2022 by Alex Arellano

Is Your Agency Ready for an Increase In Rate Concern Calls: Have Empathy

We know that rate concern calls are on the rise, because of inflation, and other rising costs. Yesterday, we discussed that we should be prepared for an increase in these rate concern calls, and should have a plan. Today, we’re talking about how to show up on those rate concern calls.

“That’s part of what we do as insurance agents. Sometimes we have to be that counsel and we just listen to what they’re saying.”

The most important tool in your tool kit? Empathy.

What exactly is empathy, what does it look like in these rate concern calls, and how can it make a difference?

Setting the Stage

To understand exactly why empathy is crucial in these rate concern calls, we need to understand the state of affairs today. Factors like inflation and the state of the economy are leading to skyrocketing costs all around.

Gas prices, daycare prices, and grocery prices are all on the rise, and as we discussed in yesterday’s post, we need to be prepared for inbound calls about price. Customers are looking for ways to save money, and their insurance is definitely going to be something they take a look at.

So what else can we do when customers call? It’s not enough to simply show up to these calls.

We also need to show empathy. 

Empathy is not the same thing as sympathy, which is where you share those feelings. Empathy is simply understanding the feelings, even if you don’t share them.

Much of the time, we don’t actually share the feelings that someone else is expressing. But that’s when it’s crucial to tap into our empathy.

Empathy in Insurance

What exactly does empathy look like, especially when it comes to these rate concern calls? It might look like us saying something like, “Okay, I understand where you’re coming from.”You’ve probably been in this scenario before: you get on the phone with someone, and you let them talk, and they suddenly tell you what’s going on. We’re talking about—all of their problems.

That’s a big part of what we do as insurance agents. Sometimes we have to be that counsel and we have to just listen to what they’re saying.

And immediately, it’s important not to go into re-shop mode. Don’t always re-market right off the bat.

Holding Your Position

When you start experiencing an increase in rate concern calls, it can be tempting to want to re-shop or re-market. 

There may be an option for a reduced rate. And this is a great opportunity to show your service.

So instead of re-shopping right away, listen for a minute, take a breath, and then go into our favorite mode: education. Go into the mode of showing the customer your value, showing them why they come to you.

Because remember: if they’re calling you, they’re not calling your competition. They believe in you, they trust you, and they’re coming to you.

So at this moment, you can say something like: 

“Okay, let’s look at your policy for a minute and explore some options.”

Maybe there’s some discounts you could uncover. Maybe there’s some changes within the family that you can look for to reduce their rate. Maybe there’s a student discount you can apply. Or maybe there’s something simple like telematics you might be able to put in that hasn’t already been done.

But before you immediately go into re-shop mode, remember that education can be much more powerful. Take a look at their policy, take a breath, and try to look for discounts. 

At the very least, you can use this call as an opportunity to take a close look at their account, to update information that might impact the rate.

Rate Concern Calls as Opportunity

We spoke a bit yesterday about how an increase in rate concern calls should really be seen as an opportunity to take a close look at customer accounts, and to update client information. And we just touched on many things to look for that could impact their rate.

How else can you take advantage of this opportunity?

  • Maybe there’s a discount out there that you haven’t put on their account yet
  • Maybe they had a driver leave the situation
  • Maybe you can take someone off the policy
  • Maybe they updated their roof in the last few years

These rate concern calls are an opportunity to really dig into the policy, and to show your service.

Maybe it’s looking at options within the coverages with deductibles. There are tons of ways you can look at these policies, update them, and find ways to really showcase why you’re the best choice for their insurance agent.

Empathy is Key

At the end of the day, these rate concern calls are simply an opportunity for us to show empathy, and just sit there for a minute and listen. And if your customer feels like they’re being heard and understood, that’s going to make a big difference.

This is a tough time for everybody, and often, the customer might just want to get on the phone and vent for a minute. They want to feel like they’re being heard by their insurance agent, because people just need to be heard.

That’s why having even a little bit of empathy is going to go a long way.

So when these rate concern calls happen, don’t go into panic mode, and don’t immediately go into re-shop mode.

Let’s look for ways to show our service, show the options, and go into consulting and education mode. Don’t forget to take a deep breath, and tell your customers, “I hear where you’re coming from,” and go from there.

Follow Us on Social Media

Follow us on social media to get a daily dose of our 3 Minute Videos, to help you on your journey to becoming a Ridiculously Amazing agent. We share our videos on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.