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Posts Tagged ‘Business Insurance’

Feedback Friday…Do You Listen to Your Unhappy Customers?

Friday, October 6th, 2017

A regular feature of the CommercialInsurance.net social media is “Feedback Friday”, where we share comments from our customers.

For the most part, we like to focus on what we’re doing right, and it’s easy to do; our approval rating with customers on review site feefo is 4.7 out of 5 stars (over 300 reviews as of this writing). We also offer the option to review us on our Facebook page and on Google+.

When the topic of customer reviews comes up in the office, however, we give equal time–and possibly even more–to the subject of negative feedback.

Bill Gates (who knows a thing or two about business) has famously said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Lots of companies quote this, or stick it on a graphic for their Motivational Monday posts. (We do it too–follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see for yourself!)

Actually putting it into practice can be a different story.

It’s not fun to handle a complaint, or dig down through a customer journey to see what fell through the cracks, but it can’t be slam dunks and high-fives all the time. Just like everyone has bad days, every company–every company–disgruntles someone, at some time.

Does your company talk about negative feedback? As a consumer, how do you process seeing a negative review on a website?

We thought we would share some practices–for both businesses and customers–that we believe make the best use of the feedback from the least satisfied customers.

If You’re a Company

  • Listen. Consider utilizing a service like feefo for allowing a medium for feedback from your customers, if you don’t already. Even if you don’t…pay attention to the complaints your customer service department gets, don’t brush them off and focus only on the compliments.
  • Learn. Examine each complaint. Do “autopsies” when one of your customers leaves, to figure out if something in your business practices needs to be changed, and then do it. One of our standards is that every call is recorded. While the paper trail tells part of the story, if there’s a disconnect between how your employee remembers a conversation, and how the customer is relating it, this can be an invaluable way to figure out what really happened. Every part of the customer journey needs to be traceable, as much as possible. Sometimes, it’s the only way you can really know there was nothing else you could do…or that there are weaknesses in an employee’s performance.
  • Leverage. As crazy as it sounds, your willingness to be transparent about unhappy customers can give you an advantage; honesty is something everyone is looking for when they’re shopping. Research used by review management media company Reevoo states that 95% of shoppers suspect censorship or faked reviews when the comments available to see are only positive. You don’t have to publicize your reviews right away, if you begin using a service and the feedback is bad…but you should use it to fine tune your process, and then begin sharing once you hit the mark reliably.

If You’re a Customer

  • Really Read. If you’re going to utilize reviews as part of your decision making process about things that affect your business, don’t just skim them. Think critically about what you’re seeing, and learn to read between the lines. If a customer complains about a specific issue, look at the company’s response, and try to figure out what might have happened. Does the company’s answer to the complaint make sense? (The best businesses will provide responses about complaints that attempt to shed light on the problem.)
  • Research. Everyone wants their experience to be easy. Top shelf customer service will make it as smooth as possible, and a good company will help you understand processes that might be new to you. However, you shouldn’t abdicate responsibility for decisions, even when you make another entity a trusted partner in your business. A little research goes a long way, and understanding simple terms and concepts about what you’re engaging in will help to forestall some common misunderstandings.
  • Re-evaluate. If you’ve traditionally just glanced at a company’s reviews and went ahead full force when you saw five stars, consider adjusting your decision-making process. Take time to look closely at the reviews. How many are there? How long does the review history go back? How old is the company? Two five star reviews for a year-old company do not tell the same story as 400 reviews for a business in its fifth year with an average of 4.8. Complaints from two years ago may abruptly change at a point in time and show a consistent uptick in ratings to the present day. Evaluate your process for reading reviews and change it if necessary.

Negative reviews aren’t all bad, in other words.

If you’re willing, they can help you search out the business that can best serve you, as a customer. For business-owners, they can be a chance to sharpen your service, and strengthen weaknesses.

Customer Service Week Highlight: The Accounting Team

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Every business has a “bottom line”. The last individual CommercialInsurance.net team we’ll showcase for Customer Service Week is our Accounting/Processing Team–the group that makes sure our books are balanced, and that we’re on track, financially, both for our benefit and that of our customers.

Whether it’s recording transactions, managing accounts and bond/policy paperwork, or coordinating benefits, payroll and licensing requirements for agents and other staff, the Accounting/Processing Team provides the behind-the-scenes structure at CommercialInsurance.net. While their duties aren’t customer-facing, the jobs performed by Accounting/Processing are crucial to the operations of our company, and they enable those in more visible service positions to focus on customer service, by making sure that the underpinning of what we do is functioning at its optimum level.

They’re the support behind customer service, and an integral part of the framework that allows us to assist our clientele the way we do.

Customer Service Week Highlight: The Service Team

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Our tour of CommercialInsurance.net now turns to the group of people that puts the “Service” into “Customer Service”…the Service Team.

All of the data entry for your policy, after it’s purchased, as well as requests for certificates, your welcome letter and other pertinent documents, are handled by our Service Team.

If there’s a challenge you’re facing with your policy or need service that goes beyond basics, the Service Team is who you’ll talk to–their job is to facilitate the ongoing relationship we have with you, as a valued customer.

The CommercialInsurance.net Service Team also acts as a liaison between you, our client, and the carriers and finance companies that implement your policy. After terms have been settled, the Service Team is the group that makes sure you’re getting what you need.

Call us today at 1-877-907-5267. We’d love the chance to earn your business with our rates…and keep it with the stellar service that our teams provide.

Customer Service Week Highlight: The Sales Team

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

For Day 2 of Customer Service Week, we’ll take a look at CommercialInsurance.net’s Sales Team.

While our Traffic Team is the introduction to our company for a potential client, our Sales Team is where the relationship really begins.

A sale is what turns a prospect into a customer; it’s the foundation of everything that comes afterwards. Our agents are the people building that foundation. They determine what’s needed to get the best quote possible, and take the steps to provide coverage if it turns out that we’re a good fit.

After a Traffic representative has made the decision to transfer a customer to a sales agent, the agent will get additional information about the business, answer a customer’s concerns, provide a quote, and close the sale.

Agents on the Sales Team ask questions about the business (after the general qualification process in Traffic), and help customers understand both what they need, and which options are best suited to meet their specific business insurance requirements.

There’s often a negative association with sales, and salespeople are frequently regarded with suspicion (sometimes with good reason), but CommercialInsurance.net is dedicated to cultivating the concept of the agent as both ambassador for our company, and advocate for the customer. Our sales team is on your side; they want your business to have the commercial insurance coverage it needs at a reasonable cost, so that your company can continue to grow.

Hopefully, our relationship with you will grow as your business does.

Call us today and speak to one of our specialists for your business insurance quote at 1-877-907-5267.

Customer Service Week Highlight: The Traffic Team

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

In honor of Customer Service Week (October 1 - 6), we’re shining the spotlight on the teams that make up CommercialInsurance.net, and sharing the things they do that make our customer-centric business a success.

The Traffic Team, pictured above, is a natural first stop, since they’re the frontline of customer service at CommercialInsurance.net.

Our business model is a hybrid one, combining technology and insurance sales by providing quotes and quick insurance coverage for businesses via the Internet, and that mix of traditional business with innovation creates a unique working environment with a very special culture. The Traffic Team is the starting point for our customer service, since they’re usually the first contact a potential client has with our company, and they’re also the embodiment of our company’s singularity…we’re different, so we need a Traffic Team, and our Traffic Team personifies that difference.

Our customers are business owners looking for competitive commercial insurance coverage, and they’re often searching for insurance solutions online under a time constraint. A lack of understanding about what type of coverage they need combined with deadlines and demands from clients of their own usually means that when a Traffic Team member answers the phone, the person on the other end of the line isn’t in the greatest of moods. (If you’re unsure what kind of coverage your business requires, visit our page describing Business Insurance Basics).

A good Traffic rep is adept at not taking bad moods personally, and quickly categorizing a customer’s business and its specific needs through the matrix of options we have available, to find just the right fit.

And they do it with a smile.

Analytical software/solutions leader SAS advocates, in their white paper Analytics and the Customer Journey, making sure that your first and best practice is providing a positive start to your customer’s interaction with you.

At CommercialInsurance.net, we’ve established a strong square one in our endeavor to gain your business by creating a Traffic Team that can deftly handle both your stress level and your company’s individual insurance needs.

Business Insurance Basics

Monday, September 25th, 2017

If you’re just starting your new business, or have recently been wondering if your current commercial insurance coverage is enough, it can be frustrating trying to educate yourself about business insurance options.

At CommercialInsurance.net we specialize in qualifying businesses over the phone and connecting you with the agent most appropriate for your needs. You don’t have to know exactly what you’re looking for when you call, since we walk you through the process of discovery, but it is helpful if you have a general knowledge of what some of the most common commercial insurance coverages are, so that we can expedite the process as much as possible.

General Liability

This is a foundational policy that will cover your business’s most common exposures, such as property damage or bodily injury caused by you during the normal course of operations. A certificate proving you have general liability business insurance may be required when you contract with other businesses, and we can usually provide that certificate within a business day.

Workers Compensation

If you have employees, this coverage will provide their health benefits for work-related injuries. Your state may require workers compensation coverage if your business has employees, and the specifics about what you’ll need will vary. The carriers we work with provide a range of options.

Business Owner’s Policy

If you need business personal property coverage, as well as general liability and insurance for your building, a Business Owner’s Policy, or BOP, can provide a reasonable commercial insurance solution by packaging all of these together.

Commercial Auto

Vehicles used in the course of your business may qualify for commercial auto coverage. When looking for a quote, be sure to have the license numbers of any potential drivers, and VINs for the vehicles.

Commercial Umbrella Coverage

For areas that fall outside of these specific policies, you might consider a commercial umbrella policy. This is written in addition to foundational business insurance policies like those listed above, and is intended to cover catastrophic losses.

Risk management is an art, and our business is helping you protect your business.

Call one of our professionals today at 1-877-907-5267 for help building a commercial insurance plan for your company. Quotes are quick and easy once you’ve supplied some basic information about your business.

Business Insurance Basics

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Whenever you think of business insurance and all the language which those in the insurance industry use, you will want to know these basics. When you begin your journey to acquire insurance and it all seems overwhelming, remember the basics we will discuss here.

Business insurance will essentially cover one of the following:

Property
In insurance-speak, property used in your business will include the building in which your business is located, whether it is leased or owned.

Property also includes equipment including business equipment such as computers and tools, furniture, and anything else which is used to conduct business, including vehicles. Property policies are created in order to protect these assets.

People
People in this case include you and anyone who works for you. As a business owner, your employees are one of your greatest assets. Hence, you might consider offering benefits such as health insurance and life insurance as well as short- and long-term disability insurance.

As of this writing, worker’s compensation is required in every state except for Texas. Though Texas law does not require worker’s compensation, many customers may require you to carry it.

Liability
Business liability insurance is created in order to protect your business from being held liable for error or injury. This includes damage to property, people, and implied damages. Liability insurance covers the cost of litigation for these claims.

Income
Your business cannot survive very long if your income stops. If disaster hits, business interruption insurance can provide a revenue stream while you  rebuild  or relocate to another location, either temporarily or permanently.

Use this basic information to work with your licensed insurance professional. Together, you can determine the coverages your business needs and how to maximize your coverage.

Equine Insurance

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Your business is raising and selling show horses. You own quite a few of them, and they are all gorgeous. And expensive!

Mortality and Theft
You will want to look into mortality and theft insurance for your horses. Your foals, yearlings, mares, stallions, and geldings of all breeds should be covered by this insurance.

It will insure your horse against death from any cause, much like your life insurance covers you against death. It includes illness or accidental injury as well as humane destruction which is made necessary by illness or injury.

It will also cover your horse if it is stolen.

Colic Surgery
You should also look into colic surgery and aftercare, which will cover your horse as long as the horse does not have a history of colic problems.

Major Medical and Surgical
Major medical and surgical coverage helps surprise veterinary expenses for your horse. Such coverage is an endorsement and usually covers reasonable and customary veterinary, medical, and surgical care costs which are the result of illness, injury, or accident. Frequently, such policies include emergency transportation of the animal.

Full Loss of Use
Full loss of use is another coverage you want to consider. It insures you against your horse becoming permanently unable to perform due to illness, disease, injury, or accident.

Stallion Infertility AS&D
Heaven forbid your prize stallion suddenly becomes unable to impregnate a mare due to an accident or disease. This coverage pays you for that loss. Usually, this coverage is not available to stallions who are in their first breeding season, as they must be proven valuable in this area in order for a loss to occur.

Do speak to a licensed insurance professional about what you need for coverage for your equine business.

The Fifth Grade Explanation Of Business Insurance

Friday, April 4th, 2014

I had a college professor who always said; explain it so a fifth grader can understand.  In the world of insurance, everything sounds really complicated.  Then, along came Jeff Foxworthy’s game show, “So you think you’re smarter than a 5th grader” as icing on the cake.  So, instead of being really complicated and covering every nuance, let’s break down business insurance in its simplest forms so a fifth grader (and the rest of us) can understand.

How does my business insure:

Buildings and Property

Property and Casualty insurance covers building and property.  As simple as that seems, there are a number of losses that aren’t covered, such as flooding as one example.  Just because your business is in leased space and not owned also does not mean you can go without property and casualty insurance.

Vehicles

A commercial auto insurance policy will cover your business vehicles and their drivers.  Again, while seeming quite simple, many business owners assume a variety of risks by using their cars and assuming a personal auto policy will cover any risk.  Sometimes, the auto coverage can be combined with Property and Casualty in a Business Owner’s Policy.

Employees

Every business must have workers compensation in place to protect them if an employee is injured on the job.  Some states also require additional coverage be provided.  Meet with your licensed insurance professional to determine what coverage is mandatory.

There are a number of additional insurances available to business.  Ask your insurance agent/broker about options available for your business.  Have a frank discussion about what risks your company faces while conducting your day to day business.

Liability

Small business liability insurance will protect against lawsuits, property damage or personal injury to a third party.  It will pay for legal fees, settlements and judgments subject to the deductible.

Small Business Insurance Basics

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Protecting your business with insurance is an important part of small business ownership. The proper insurance minimizes the risks associated with unexpected events, liabilities, and losses.

However, as with any choice you face as a business owner, knowing and finding the best insurance for your needs is not an easy task.

No matter that you are starting a business, taking on employees for the first time, or evolving your business structure, there are many variables that determine the right insurance for your small business, including your business structure, business activities, location, whether or not you hire employees, and many other variables.

There are two fundamental types of insurance - commercial business insurance, which is not necessarily required by law, and employer insurance, which is.

Here is a summary of the types of insurance you may wish to consider to protect the assets and investments of the business, as well as the insurance requirements you must comply with as an employer. First, we’ll cover the types of insurance policies available to you as a small business owner. Although not necessarily required by law, you would be wise to purchase enough business insurance to protect your assets against events such as the death of a partner, a natural disaster, or lawsuit to name a few.

It’s a misconception to think that structuring your business as a corporation or LLC limits the need for business insurance. While these business structures do protect the personal assets of the owner from business liabilities, relying on business structure alone to protect your assets is not a substitute for liability insurance, which covers your business from losses. It’s also important to know that, in some instances, state law may require that your particular business activity is covered by some form of insurance.

For example, if you use a car or truck for business purposes, your state may require that you purchase commercial auto insurance for its use.  You can consider a business owner’s policy, which covers both general liability and property insurance as one good example. It’s often cheaper than buying separate policies to cover each. You may also wish to purchase product liability insurance or professional liability insurance too.

Your state may require some form of employer insurance such as workers compensation insurance or disability insurance. Unemployment insurance is often required as well.  Talk about your business needs with a licensed commercial insurance agent.