The unusual reason why insurers may be losing customers

Clients are annoyed – and it’s for a reason you may not have ever thought about

The unusual reason why insurers may be losing customers

Insurance News

By Paul Lucas

So why would a customer walk away from an insurance firm? Maybe frustration over claims handling… disappointment over renewal terms… or the lure of a cheaper deal elsewhere? Or what about frustration over the music that the company plays while they wait on hold?

Yes it seems that subjecting customers to generic music and audio might just be driving them away.

According to research by audio branding specialist PHMG, waiting on hold has become a major issue for many insurance customers – and yet 42% leave their clients on hold listening to nothing but generic music, 20% subject them to beeps, 18% leave them in silence and 16% make them listen to ringing.

The best practice, the firm suggests, is actually to use brand consistent voice and music messaging – currently only employed by 3% of insurers, albeit this actually puts them ahead of most industries.

“Call handling remains a critically undervalued element of customer service and marketing,” said Mark Williamson, sales and marketing director at PHMG. “A previous study of 1,000 UK consumers found 73% will not do business with a company again if their first call isn’t handled satisfactorily.

“Therefore, it is important companies do their utmost to improve the experience. Insurance companies appear to be performing better than the majority of British businesses in this respect but there is still work to be done in providing an experience that keeps callers engaged and entertained.

“Generic music, beeps, ringing or silence convey a message that the customer is not valued, which will only serve to compound any annoyance felt as a result of being made to wait on hold.”

Williamson went on to explain that many insurers are missing another trick when it comes to call handling – with a whopping 93% not using an auto attendant to greet their customers that call out of hours.

“It’s essential to give careful consideration to what people hear whenever they make contact with your company,” he added.

“Hearing is one of our most powerful emotional senses so the sounds customers hear when they call a business will create a long-lasting impression. Every element of a music track, whether tempo, pitch or instrumentation, will stir different emotions so traders should ensure they convey the appropriate brand image.”

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