Mark's Musing: Lessons Learned from Insurance

Apr 17, 2014

I recently was in need of a new insurance policy, so I decided to use a local agent who happens to actively support my kids’ school. I think it’s important to support small, local businesses who are active within the community. I prepared some forms to have my existing policies switched over to this new agent.

About two weeks later, I got a phone call from my old agent. He asked point-blank, “What did we do wrong?” I was surprised that he reached out to me. It was awkward, but I explained to him nothing was wrong, I was just switching to an agent who supported my community. Also being local, he insisted he was a community supporter, too. He seemed hurt and dejected.

I realized later that it wasn’t what the previous agent did wrong, but rather what he didn’t do right.

See, the old agent, which I’d only been with for about three years, never once called me. When I moved my policies to him, he never picked up the phone to say, “Hi.” Only his staff dealt with me. Were they pleasant? Sure. Spectacular? No. They did an adequate job. I would have stayed with this agent if I didn’t have a compelling reason to move to a new one. He only reached out when it was too late.

Which makes me consider how I treat my own customers. Do I take them for granted? Am I reaching out too late to ask how I could do better? If my customers leave, will it be due to apathy I could have prevented?

Seems like I got something from my old agent after all.

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