We Really Exist
Probably the biggest reason I always try to meet face to face with someone before they become a client is that it gets the relationship off on the right foot. It is also why I always offer to meet with clients to go over their annual renewals. People like to know who they are working with and that they can reach us when they need to. We feel the exact same way and it is not just being polite. Open communications is essential for a successful relationship. Often we have had contact with a client dozens of times over the preceding year including little things like routine phone calls, enrollments and disenrollment’s, claim issues, etc. We view that as a positive because it means things are going as they should.
Another reason I know this is true is because it is that this is what large insurance companies wish they could do and they spend a lot of money trying to simulate it. Take Flo at Progressive for instance. She is that sparky customer service representative that specializes in high touch personal care. You know her name, her face, and that she and her beta sidekick Jaime will help you when you call. She jokes with customers, mocks other agents, and can always help you with your needs. The only catch is that she does not really exist. Neither does Jaime. Yes they are real people, actors, but when you call their 800 number they will not be the one picking up the phone; guaranteed.
In the esurance commercials, Dennis Quaid openly jokes about being an actor. Everyone knows he won’t be helping you because he flat out tells you he won’t and directs you to go online skipping the agent and Flo altogether. Good luck with that when you need help.
Why the pretense? It is because when given an option, most humans simply prefer working with other humans particularly ones they already know and trust. It is also what drives referrals (thank you)! It is a big disadvantage when your main point of contact with your customer is their television set. They could show you any image but they try to mimic the one that meets most people’s expectations which is that of someone you already know who provides personalized care.
Buying car insurance from a gecko is one thing but this is even truer when dealing with health insurance which is not a commodity. There is a significant group of people who are more self-directed but sooner or later even they wish they had a real agent. My educated guess is that the persistency for products sold using expensive television advertising is probably tenuous which is why they have to bombard us with advertisements. It is also why they hook customers with cheap car insurance first before trying to up-sell and cross sell other products.
Stop on by
While I don’t begrudge my competitors or the actors representing them, perhaps we can give you something more substantial. We are right here, open most business days, staffed by real people who know you. We will always take your calls and if you prefer to meet in person we are available for private consultation. And if you just want to drop in to say hi, you are welcome to do that too. See you around.
John Helms & Associates Insurance Brokers
2940 Camino Diablo Ste. 205
Walnut Creek, CA 94597 (925) 287-8600
California Life License # 0702479
With us, You’re a big fish in a small pond.