Characteristics of a Best Practices Agency
- Focus on customer service and satisfaction. Understand customer perceptions through formal and informal surveys and informal inquiries. Agencies ask if they are meeting their expectations and how it might improve service.
- Frequent customer contact. Educate the client, build the account, explain new products and prices, serve as a consultant and problem solver and making each contact pleasant and productive.
- Valued staff. Employees are given the education, training and tools they need to do their jobs. They are expected to perform at high levels and to grow personally and professionally, and their accomplishments are rewarded,recognized and celebrated.
- Participatory management. Top managers are involved in day-to-day operations. They share financial information and make sure that employees understand profit expectations. Employees have the authority to exercise their responsibilities and have input in planning and budgeting.
- Vision. The agency has a clear mission statement that focuses on the customer. The mission statement is shared with understood by every member of the staff.
- Win/win supplier relationships. Agencies seek partnerships with insurers that share their vision and values. They take part in joint planning and the principles that govern agency company relationships are trust and respect.
- Efficient processes. Technology is no longer an option, it is a necessity for growth, continuous improvement, and customer contact and satisfaction. Agencies streamline workflows for the benefit of both employees and customers and strive "to do things right the first time."
- Continuous improvement. Always seeking ways to be better, agencies continually measure their performance against past performance as well as against that of competitors and successful non-insurance enterprises
- Focus on revenue growth Growth comes from a focus on account development and leveraging relationships but the new or renewed focus on growth encompasses new ways of finding customers and keeping them such as social media and other technologies.