Since the advent of ADD, I think we have all felt we may have a touch of attention deficit disorder from time to time. Call it lack of focus, distractions or multi-tasking, to stay 100% in the moment is something I think we struggle with as adults. There have been countless articles and blogs written about being present for your family, well the same can apply to the workplace. So really ask yourself how often are you completely present for your clients, your team and the task at hand.
If we all were being truly authentic and honest, the answer is we try really hard but can still fall short. There is no shortage of at work distractions:
- Phone calls
- Co-workers questions/conversations
- That “oh no” moment that pops into your head randomly thinking “Did I do this?”
Staying present has to be something we intentionally practice rather than just hoping it happens.
So in this cluttered world, what is the solution? Here are our best strategies for insuring our client gets the best of us not just sometimes but all the time:
- Turn off the email pop up alerts: For some of you, I just made you cringe. You love the Las Vegas feel of what task could be coming next or want to hop in and multi-task. Turn it off. When you are speaking with a client or focusing on a task at hand that all be it small but mighty 2 second distraction hurts you and your concentration and takes you away from the client or task. Think about how many emails you get in a day that could be 100 2 second distractions breaking your concentration. The reality is that emergencies call in and emails can wait the 10 minutes for you to complete your action and give it the fullest attention.
- Put your cell phone away: The number one activity for American’s is unlocking our cell phones. They can often feel like a central hub of communication but let’s face it for the vast majority of agency team members their clients are not calling their cell phones. However, those quick weather alerts, Facebook pop ups or texts from friends and family can bring an unwelcome distraction to our lives. By totally silencing (not just putting the phone on vibrate) you can attend to those matters on breaks or at lunch. True emergencies can still happen but remember they can call the office to find you. The quick text here and there may seem harmless but when we are talking about being present that makes us more present in our personal matters than the matters of the client.
- Focus on Your Desk Not the Floor: This one may take some inner work. We often pick up noise and chatter around us. Could be a phone call your coworker is on, a friendly chat near your desk or the background noise of the radio. Blocking out those distractions can help you really stay present in your task at hand. Our minds can all naturally wonder however I bet you can remember some times where you were completely focused on your matters at hand. How much more productive were you? How much more did you accomplish? I bet if you are like me, it was significant.
- Personal Matters: Every single one of us has something in our personal life that can cause a distraction at work. Sometimes it’s a small matter and other times it’s a larger challenge. Either way, we have to realize if there is nothing we can do about it during the work day then we need to leave it at the door and pick it up when we leave work. By having it on our mind all day or working on it at work, we break the focus on the client.
- Work to Complete Tasks: Yes, we all think we can multi-task. By having 20 internet browsers open we aren’t doing anyone any favors. There are certainly days where everything feels like an interruption, but by focusing on one thing at a time you limit mistakes and misfortune.
- First Call Resolution: To really become excellent at giving our customer everything we have, we need to work on and through first call resolution. This is the concept that we complete, in its entirety, the clients request on the phone with them. To do this you need to remain focused on the client, connect and build rapport with them during the call, complete their request and document all in one swoop. Why this is critical is it leaves nothing more to do after the call. All the little details are completed and you can focus on the next call coming in. What this means is the stack of “to do’s” in your brain that can cause you to cut a call short is now minimal.
Another major way we can show our clients their importance is by making sure we consistently give them our time. The number one thing we hear in every agency is how busy and how little time everyone has. It’s important to ponder, with the lack of time in an agency are we often short cutting client connections? Think of it this way – on every call are we:
- Confirming contact information
- Providing a quick, yet detailed, account review
- Thanking them sincerely for their business
- Clearly outlining next steps with deadlines
- Encouraging referrals
Before you jump to the next paragraph take a moment, on every new call with a request are we doing these 5 steps?
If we are not, why?
If we are not are we making it the best call of their day?
If we are not are we maybe not giving them our full attention?
Remember for most insurance clients (not your frequent flyers) they will only speak with their agent once every 2-3 years. When they engage with us how can we present the best of ourselves and be impressive?
We can handle an insurance transaction or provide an experience!