06 Nov 2020

Client Management Best Practices in 2020

Two great insurance minds got together on a video chat to discuss client management best practices in 2020. It’s a conversation with Renee Stock VP Client Services, Practice Leader at AHT Insurance and Deborah Walling, Account Executive at Diversified Insurance Group from the TechAssure Summit. You can get more information about the summit here.

2020 has changed the way most people do business. Instead of meeting face to face, many of us are meeting screen to screen. Walling and Stock talk us through best practices in the insurance world. They also discuss how client management best practices have evolved and changed in 2020.

Prior to COVID-19, the occasional conference call was fine, now there is the additional expectation of presentation.

young professional on a zoom video call and chat talking about client management in 2020

Video Chat Fatigue

Becoming tired after video calls is actually quite normal and people do need to be aware of it. Wired magazine says, “The brain gets fatigued from overexertion,” Huston says. “Our brains process images, and when we oversaturate our eyes and brains with images on the screen from birthdays and graduations, these visual images cause brain fatigue. That, in turn, lends itself to physical fatigue.”

Be Courteous of Life Outside Work

Is your client a parent? That means there is a good chance they are trying to juggle childcare and work or even homeschooling their children. All of these things are very time consuming and they may not have the bandwidth to commit to many Zoom calls. It’s important to remember people are in a position they’ve never been in before and they are still trying to adjust.

Setting healthy boundaries

There are several ways you can set healthy boundaries in this space that will make your time more effectively used, as well as protecting yourself from the mental strain.

  • Ask your client what they prefer – a Zoom call or phone call?
  • In internal company meetings, encourage people to turn on the camera when talking, but don’t force them to have the camera on the entire meeting
  • Don’t schedule your meetings back to back for the entire day. Build-in breaks.

Insecurity and video chat

Being constantly on camera can make you feel insecure. It’s an odd feeling knowing a varying amount of people are staring at your face for an entire meeting. It’s something that takes getting used to, so be patient with yourself. Try not to let the thought distract you. From the female perspective, there is a new pressure to have your hair, makeup, and nails done to be on camera. This is unnecessary. Instead focus on looking professional. Use your skill and knowledge to feel confident on screen.

The focus should be to leverage tech tools in ways that feel comfortable to you and make an impact. That means letting go of some things if they make your job too stressful or overwhelm.

Lessons learned in 2020

There have been a lot of lessons learned about client management best practices in the year 2020. Firstly, we’ve found new ways to work as teams. You can use official programs like Microsoft Teams to engage this way. Learning how to utilize it effectively has been key. Expecting things to go back to normal quickly was a mistake. Obviously, six months later we are still very much in the midst of a global pandemic. Reluctance to jump on new technology because of the idea that things would go back to normal quickly was a mistake. This new technology has been critical in continuing business relationships.

One of the most important lessons learned in 2020 is the intention behind how you spend your time. It’s been brought to the forefront for many people. One thing is also realizing how beneficial it is to reach out to colleagues once a week and catch up. You can offer help and assistance with projects they are working on.

Client Servicing Changes in 2020

Here are a few things to note when talking about client servicing changes in 2020:

  • Rates are increasing
  • Deductibles increasing
  • The biggest challenge from a coverage perspective is the D&O market
  • Challenged in finding solutions with high limits
  • Often times have two weeks prior to renewal rather than 5 weeks

In conclusion, Stock and Walling both agree it’s important to pivot to new formats and technology. Walling gave a great example of insurance work feeling like a jigsaw puzzle. You have to pick the pieces you are confident about and then have others you trust help you add other pieces to complete the puzzle. If you would like more information about Diversified Insurance Group, go here.