Mark O’Mahony, UK Business Development Director, Reflects on 2014 BIBA Conference & Exhibition

MarkOMahony-webAs the exhibition stands were dismantled and the remaining unclaimed freebies were packed away, many of us will reflect on this year’s British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) conference as the event that put the customer, quite rightly, back at the heart of everything we do.

The conference’s timetable brought us face to face with the issue of whether the insurance industry actually does provide good customer service, and for me that debate continued on the floor of the exhibition itself.

For an industry that relies so heavily on the feedback of customers to help inform strategy going forward, it was a pleasure to be amongst the U.K.’s broker community for whom Crawford BrokerCare has played an increasingly active role in recent years.

We used this opportunity to remind hundreds of friends and colleagues from the broker community of our ongoing commitment to communication, resourcing and incident response, a trio of elements that helps brokers deliver superior customer service when claims occur.

By their nature, claims are events that put customers under extreme pressure , and at BIBA 2014 we used a variety of recent case study material to show brokers the kinds of tools we are able to deploy at times of crisis.

Devastating weather events in late 2013 and early 2014 left thousands of people in urgent need of support, and Crawford BrokerCare’s team worked hard to maintain open lines of communication throughout so that clients could prepare for and mitigate problems when they occurred. We issued daily updates from Crawford’s central communications team including the latest data and direct contacts for brokers in the event of a claim.

Having the resources and expertise available to properly respond was another common discussion I had on the exhibition floor at BIBA 2014. “We need to know who are the experts in property, real estate, liability, construction and engineering, before you need them,” said one broker. We agree but know that without a system designed to get resources onto the ground quickly, a claims service that a broker may have promised 24/7/365 may ultimately disappoint.

Thankfully, at BIBA 2014, our work with Aviva and Merrick Hill Insurance Brokers showcased the responsiveness of our service and the fact that resources can be deployed quickly to the customer’s satisfaction, even in the most challenging of circumstances.

The old business cliché that it is significantly more costly to attract new business than it is to retain an existing customer returned again and again in my discussions with brokers at BIBA 2014. Thankfully, those receiving a painless and effective claims process to support their clients and, thus, retain business have already worked this one out. See you all next year.

 

Mark O’Mahony, UK Business Development Director

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