Brokers and agents specializing in the high net worth client space are doing something right. A new Net Promoter System survey focused on these insurance professionals has revealed that their level of service is as exceptional as big hitting companies that are popular among consumers, like Apple, Ritz Carlton, and Lexus.
The survey, which the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA) administered on behalf of its members, was a first-time benchmark for the industry, and showed that brokers and agents providing risk management services to the affluent market had an average net promoter score of 70. This tops the average score 39 for household-name insurance companies.
“The big revelation for us is that, overall, high net worth clients have an incredible relationship with their insurance broker,” said Azeema Hartley (pictured), director of member relations at PRMA. “If you think about companies like Costco or Apple or Amazon, where they have scores in the 70s, we love those companies. They’re meeting our needs and they’re making our lives easier.”
Hartley noted that a lot of brokers and agents in this space were nervous to take part in the survey because they were afraid of negative feedback based on a bad year of flooding events, for example, as well as other natural disasters and claim-inducing events. However, the results from the new survey revealed quite the opposite. Based on the survey findings, clients that gave high scores valued that their broker was acting in their best interests, despite having claims.
“It was this common thread of ‘my broker has my back,’” said Hartley. “There were many ways in which that showed up – brokers being proactive and shopping accounts, and coming to the table with options already in place before the client had to ask for it. There was a general sense of ‘I trust this person. They’re doing the work and they’re actively engaged in our relationship, as opposed to just showing up and telling me that my premium has increased because the insurance market has hardened because of all the climate risks that we’ve seen.’”
Nonetheless, there’s always room for improvement. One area that stood out from the survey was ease of doing business. Compared to tech giants we all know and (sometimes) love, the insurance industry can be antiquated at times as companies adopt technology at a different pace.
“People are used to ordering something and being able to return it with similar ease, and I think when you compare that to the insurance experience, we saw sentiments of ‘Please, can I do this online? Can we make this paperless?’” explained Hartley. “The process is a little bit cumbersome so clients want their brokers and the insurance industry in general to embrace technology and provide that experience that they have in their everyday lives elsewhere.”
Brokers can also approach handling internal changes with a client-focused mindset. One of the pain points in the broking world where a client could be lost is when there’s some sort of change in staffing. The survey results showed that brokers and agents need to hone in on how they’re handling a client relationship when there’s turnover – when someone leaves or when somebody new is being introduced as a touch point for the account. After all, clients want to know who they’re supposed to contact when things come up.
For brokers and agents working with other clients across the industry, a valuable takeaway from the survey was that people like interacting with their insurance advisor.
“What we found was that our clients valued all of the interactions,” said Hartley. This means that insurance professionals should continue being present at key points in clients’ lives, whether they need advice on what auto policy they should buy, how to protect themselves during a divorce, buying insurance for a new piece of art, or how to structure their insurance if they’re planning to retire and live on a boat. “We were hoping to learn something and build out training on one particular area, but we’re learning that you need to bring your A-game every time you interact with your client.”