I had decided to change to another insurance broker as I see them regularly and consider them a friend and my business insurance is up for renewal. I signed off the paperwork so that my friend could take over my business account.
Yesterday, I received a call from my current insurance broker. They were NOT happy.
The insurance broker was abrupt with me and questioning why I changed insurance brokers. I explained to them about the friendship I forged with the new insurance broker and I thanked my current insurance broker for their support. The insurance broker then questioned their colleagues (my friends) abilities because they 'appeared' to be mirroring their work and not doing anything differently. I explained that I appreciated the work this insurance broker did for me and that what I do with my insurance broker is not their concern anymore.
They decided to say on the phone, "whatever, (insert huff sound), bye."
This level of customer service bothered me. We all gain customers in the hopes they become life-long clients. To clarify, I define a customer as a single transaction whereas a client is multiple transactions. Not only did this insurance broker not come across as helpful or considered, she decided to challenge what another insurance broker was doing. While I can appreciate that they are trying to keep me as a customer, they were losing me entirely on the attitude. What sealed the deal was how the conversation ended. I received this insurance broker's information from a friend. This friend said they have used this particular individual for a while now. So naturally, I thought I would work with them. Because of the negative experience I had, I let my friend now my experience. They agreed with me that the customer service I received was really poor.
The domino effect happened.
After this call and the call from my friend, this insurance broker business cards have been removed so that they were no longer promoting this insurance broker's contact details.
The bridge has been burned.
Not only has the bridge been burned, but I also am not sharing this experience with over 1200 people. I am explaining a specific and detailed account of a negative experience that could have gone a whole different way. This insurance broker could have simply thanked me for my business and asked that I send business their way or if something happens in the future, they will be there. No, that was not the mindset.
When I work with my clients, I also explain the importance of building bridges. You don't know where the bridge will lead you to AND who is on the other side. Also, the issue of not knowing what is on the other side reminds us of the need to be always on the ball with connecting with our existing clients. In my opinion, my insurance broker didn't do anything special. They didn't review the renewal policy with me or give me guidance. Rather, they sent the policy notice in the mail.
Yes, I am now going over to a friend that is an insurance broker. I see this person regularly and I am already sending business their way. Why? Because I know them. I know what they are capable of AND, most important, I trust them. I know that, if I hear from a referral that they have NOT received contact (which has yet to happen) with them, I know I can easily follow-up to make sure that I don't look bad in the process.
A referral is a big responsibility.
When you are sending someone business from your existing network, I feel like I am a bit vulnerable as I want to make sure that the person receives the same level of experience that I offer. If the service is sub-par, this reflects poorly on me. My friend who originally gave me the contact details of the "huffy" insurance broker feels HORRIBLE right now. They are besides themselves. I don't know what is happening behind that scene but I am sure they are having/had a conversation with that insurance broker to explain what had happened.
Remember, a customer turns into a client when that service is solid. Both customers and clients come across the bridge and go across that bridge. Remember not to burn that bridge in case that customer/client wants to send a referral to you!
-Dr. Drew's Digest