The Right Attitude

As with most companies we have a periodical briefing about how the company is doing. We have a brief talk from several of the directors and get to see some of the innovating ideas that the company has. It’s normally very interesting and the latest one was not disappointing, showing us the technology that the engineers had been given and the way our customers were benefiting. Our CEO then went and destroyed any positivity that the briefing had given us.

Right at the end our CEO decided to say that he didn’t want anyone with wrong attitude working for the company. So if we didn’t have the right attitude we could look for another job. And if we knew anyone who didn’t have the right attitude we could tell them to look for another job.

Well, what kind of attitude is that? Are we to take it that he is looking for another job?

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Customer Attitude

We’ve noticed a change in customer attitude during the last few weeks. It’s probably due to the amount of information in the media about various companies miss-selling, and several companies being fined by the Financial Conduct Authority. But the attitude is not pleasant.

Several of us have had customers coming through saying that they want investigations into their policy being miss-sold. I asked one woman why she thought it may have been miss-sold. She said it was because she had received a lot of phone calls from companies offering her various things so she didn’t know what she was doing. Is it really our fault if she doesn’t know what she’s doing? Various companies is not one company is it?

Many people are coming through and complaining about the tone of our voice, or our attitude, or how unhelpful we are. It’s usually because we can’t give them the answer they want, or we can’t tell them what policy they need. Well how can we? Seriously. We don’t know what insurance they may already have, or what they need to get covered in their house. This is for the homeowner to know. It is for the customer to tell us what they want covered. Many of them seem to be unable to do this.

They’re yelling at us because we can’t discuss someone else’s policy details with them, or because they are not covered for something they have a problem with, or because they haven’t bothered to read the documents. Yes. It’s all our fault.

We’re regulated by the FCA so we have to abide by those regulations, such as getting a policy holders permission before discussing policy details with anyone else, or stating clearly in the documents what is covered and what is not covered. We also give an explanation in the mailings that are sent out, and we run through a lot of information when setting up the policy over the phone. All of this was done by the FCA to make sure that things were done fairly for the customer. In other words to ensure that the customer can buy safely and with everything up front and in detail, so they know what they are getting. Of course it doesn’t mean that the customer will read the information or will listen to what they are being told. Far from it at times.

Maybe if people stopped paying so much attention to the media and more attention to documents that are sent to them, their own property, their families, maybe then they’d realise that things are being done with regards to their well being. Maybe if the government put more into the education of this country then more people would be able to think for themselves. Just maybe.


My Attitude Stinks

I work for a non-advised sales company. This means that I cannot advise a customer what is suitable for their needs. I actually think that this is the best sales method. Afterall, as a customer, you should know what is best for yourself and your home, and not rely on someone else to tell you.

Gone are the days when sales people could frighten, cajole or badger customers into making a purchase. Now the onus is well and truly on the customer. If they don’t know what they want then we cannot help them.

However, we still have potential customers ringing through, who expect us to tell them what is suitable for them. Yes, we have x-ray eyes and can see straight into their homes. We know exactly what insurance they already have and what they don’t have. Afterall, we are omnipotent. We know everything about the person calling us.

Think I’m being sarcastic? Well, I would hope so. But one such person called me during this past week. To top it off, this potential customer had been looking on the web at our insurance policies and requested a certain cover for his own home and his several rental properties.

Now we have a section on the web for landlords. This deals specifically with landlords policies. He quite clearly had not even looked at this section.

I informed the customer about these products to which he informed me that he had the landlords section open. I asked him what he wanted covered for his rental properties and he told me about a non-landlord cover.

I then explained that this particular cover was for where he lived himself and that it could only be set up online. He didn’t like this and had a go at me. I didn’t say anything – I had told him it was only available online so there was nothing more to say about it.

I then began to run through the landlords policies for him. Yet again he wasn’t happy. He wanted me to tell him which cover was the best for him. I explained that we are non-advised and that only he could decide what cover was best for his needs. All I could do was to explain the policies that we offer. This enraged him even further.

‘Your attitude stinks!’ He told me.

He proceeded to advise me that our competitor had given him lots of advice. I bet they had. They are also regulated by the FCA so work on a very similar basis to ourselves.

He then demanded to speak to a manager. I put him through. He complained about me not advising him which policy he should have. Of course, the manager told him exactly what I had told him. He wasn’t happy and hung up.

As sales staff we would very much like to bully people into taking a policy. We have targets. Badgering people and frightening them gets them to buy policies. However, we are not allowed to do this. This is for the customers benefit as well as ours.

Customers can be assured that when they ring insurance companies they are not going to be pestered into taking out cover. They can make a simple call to ask for a price and they now know that that is what they will receive and they will not be nagged into buying.

This is a much better way of doing things for everyone. Customers can feel more relaxed about making that phone call. So if my non-advised sales attitude stinks, then so be it.

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