Small health insurance agents often find themselves competing against larger insurance companies with more resources and established call centers. That doesn’t mean small insurance agents can’t carve out a strong customer base, and using a call center may be one of the best ways to reach a larger pool of potential clients. There are strategies that can help these small health insurance agents set up their own call centers and compete on a level playing field, and this article spells out some of the steps and considerations you should take in the process.
1. A call center needs a target audience
Before setting up a call center, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your target audience. Research their needs, preferences, and pain points. Once you understand who your call center should call (the target audience), you’re better able to develop a message that speaks directly to that audience. Even more, this knowledge will help the call center engage with that audience by understanding the questions they may be asked during their calls.
2. Don’t be cheap; a call center needs technology
To compete with larger companies, small health insurance agents need to use every bit of affordable technology possible. Invest in a reliable phone system that includes features like call routing, voicemail, and call analytics. Along with that, call centers should have some form of customer relationship management (CRM) software that allows them to keep track of the calls made, the responses received, and when they may need to reach back out to a potential client. Some of the top CRM software is extremely expensive, but there are options for a basic CRM that will work for your organization.
3. Don’t skimp on training your call center
The success of your call center depends on the quality of the people making the calls. In most cases, you’ll look for a third-party vendor to handle the calls, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be effective, no matter how strong their branding is. Instead, you must provide the right training to your call center, and the right training always entails having agents who understand your product. More than anything, spend time training your call center on the value of your product. Make sure they understand why you are competitive in the market, and help them develop a complete understanding of all the tools you can offer. Once you do that, make sure they have effective customer service skills, and call handling techniques. Training is a continuous process, so regularly assess their performance and provide feedback to ensure the call center continues to improve.
4. Data is not too big for your agency
While it still may seem too big of an ask for small health insurance agents, along with most other small businesses, to use data for decision-making, that isn’t the case. While data may sound like a massive word that is too difficult to understand, you can use call center data to determine customer behavior, call volume, and agent performance. This is the sort of data you can use to analyze areas for improvement. Using data can help you optimize your call center operations and provide a better customer experience.
5. A phone isn’t the only tool you have
In addition to phone calls, consider implementing a multichannel approach to customer communication. This can include email, live chat, and social media platforms. By offering multiple channels for customers to reach out, you can cater to their preferences and provide a seamless omnichannel experience.
6. Keep your call center positive
A positive and supportive company culture can significantly impact your call center’s success. Create a work environment that values teamwork, employee recognition, and ongoing professional development. Whether you’re using a third-party call center, or you decide to hire a group of agents to work directly for your agency, keeping these agents happy and motivated will help them deliver exceptional customer service.
The journey of small health insurance agents to compete with larger companies through the establishment of call centers is not only possible but also highly promising. By focusing on understanding and targeting the right audience, investing in essential technology, providing comprehensive training, harnessing the power of data, embracing a multichannel approach, and fostering a positive work culture, these agents can level the playing field and carve out a strong customer base. In the dynamic landscape of the insurance industry, the key to success lies in adaptability and innovation. Small agents can harness the potential of call centers to reach new heights and ensure that their voices are heard in the industry, ultimately offering superior services to their valued clients.