It’s been more than a year since the outbreak of COVID-19 and many of us were not prepared for the abrupt disruption of life-as-usual that resulted. Changes in work, learning, shopping, and dining routines transformed the risk profiles of many organisations. This inevitably caused gaps in risk planning, which called for an evolving response and fluid risk management approach.
Intermediaries still have a pivotal role to play in terms of being a reliable resource to clients during this time. That requires shrewd adaptation, so service levels never falter. While face to face engagements have decreased, it has become necessary for intermediaries to service clients via digital portals, over the phone, and by using conference-calling tools that have become almost universal since the start of the pandemic.
Continue adding value
- Amplify advocacy for clients - Focus on the effects of the crisis on your clients and relay these insights to insurers to add value back into the insurance chain through the co-creation of new, necessary innovations. For example, the introduction of SmartPark ™ was based on a need for an on-demand and behavioural insurance product due to clients travelling less.
- Position yourself as the go-to resource for clients – You play a very critical role in identifying new information, distilling it, and translating it in ways that provide tangible and actionable insights for clients.
- Humanise interactions and strengthen relationships by anticipating client’s needs and proposing solutions - Reach out to clients and ask them what kind of information and offerings they would really value. Send out regular surveys to assess what’s working and what’s not. Also distribute relevant news updates to stay top-of-mind.
In terms of adapting offerings to quickly pivot online, here are a few suggestions:
- Incorporate your insurers’ digital assets as part of your client servicing model
- Provide clients with self-servicing options directly on insurer systems
- Incorporate a WhatsApp business account as a transactional platform for handling client queries
- Make your website your shop front. Keep it – and your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts – regularly updated with information
- Create a call to action (lead and sale generator) on your social platforms
- Present webinars on key topics; propose solutions to collective problems South Africans are facing
Regarding changing clients’ plans to adjust to the pandemic:
- Introduce significant savings by tailoring insurance needs to the risk environment; for example, reconsider theft and liability risks and up cyber cover while people work from home.
- Strengthen your value proposition by showing your clients how to restructure their cover to reduce premiums. Encourage clients to decrease their cover and take up premium relief efforts, when appropriate, even if it means a loss of commission earnings.
- You can also showcase your risk coaching ability by helping clients to identify, understand, and manage and transfer some of their risks.
Having a frictionless digital experience is paramount to achieving a high level of client satisfaction. Ensure your online servicing model integrates seamlessly and enables the client to process as much information as possible on a self-servicing basis. Now is the time to maintain a positive approach and recognise that chaos creates opportunity. By pivoting online, you could significantly strengthen your business model for the long-term.
For more on the Santam digital assets visit or contact your Relationship Manager.