From independent insurance brokers to multi-location agencies, the insurance industry has harnessed the power of hosted VoIP services to enhance their customer service experience. Additional benefits are found in the economics, as these organizations do not have to purchase an expensive in-house system to achieve the benefits derived from a hosted VoIP platform. Listed below are several examples of how insurance companies have utilized VoIP to improve their customer service:
- Find Me/Follow Me - We've all seen the commercials touting the responsiveness and availability of your insurance agent in times of need. Insurance agencies can utilize their VoIP platform to facilitate this promise in becoming a reality! Calls into the agency can be routed to the agent, adjuster, or other customer facing staff via a direct transfer or by implementing a find me / follow me feature on that associate's extension. Most utilize their cell phone as the destination for such routing of calls.
- Strategic Use of an Auto Attendant - Whether it be as back up during hours during high call volume or as the primary after hours process, agencies have utilized an auto attendant to help route customer calls to a destination that meets their current need. The agency may have a claims center or roadside assistance center that supports them, and customers can choose the particular option that meets their need and be transferred there. Reaching the agent or other staff after hours or in an emergency can be additional options on the attendant.
- Time of Day Routing and Holiday Schedule - A great feature of hosted VoIP is that it is essentially a program, one in which insurance agencies and similar businesses can customize to their schedule. During normal hours, they may choose to ring the office phones in a certain pattern. After hours, they can streamline the ring pattern and fall to an afterhours auto attendant. Similarly, holidays can be scheduled to operate in after hours mode and the greetings can be customized to the holiday.
- Voicemail to Email - Obviously, there are times where agents or adjusters are simply unable to take a call. With voicemails being delivered to email, they are able to immediately be notified of a customer's need, listen to the voicemail, and respond according to the level of urgency.
Insurance companies that deploy hosted VoIP to their headquarters and agent offices can achieve even greater benefit. First, the economics of using a hosted provider across so many locations is very compelling. Many hosted VoIP providers offer a declining rate schedule based upon volume. Especially in the agent office settings, the savings over their current phone service can be significant. Additionally, companies can drive uniformity to their agent offices, whether they are company owned or franchised. Certainly, a common phone system drives uniformity in and of itself. More importantly, standard messaging and processes can drive positive customer recognition and loyalty. Similar auto attendants and messages, call flows, hours of operation, and such can all be managed centrally in a hosted VoIP deployment.
These benefits are very applicable to the insurance agency, but they apply to many businesses, professional service firms, and other organizations as well. It has never been a better time than now to check out the advantages offered by hosted VoIP companies and improve service to your customers!
About the author: Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of VoIP phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.