I preach a lot about creating an “experience” for my customers- it’s plastered all over my agency website for that matter. But nothing hits home like a person actually talking about the experience.
10 years after the fact.
Here’s the story:
Got a call from a lady asking us to take a look at her auto and home insurance. When asked where she heard of us (because we have this nifty little referral program you see), here’s exactly what she said-
“I was in your office 10 years ago to talk about health insurance. Alan listened to my situation and then advised me it was probably in my best interest to continue my current insurance through COBRA, instead of buying a policy from him. I was amazed- here he was recommending something that was good for me instead of something that would benefit him. I never forgot that. And that’s why you got the call today.”
Unreal. It blew me away. And still does.
And even today, we still practice the same principles. I’m not saying we’re perfect or holier-than-thou. What I AM saying is that in a business long thought of as shady, dishonest and filled with crooks, we are doing everything we possibly can to shed those stereotypes. We’re tired of the stigma and the derogatory comments and the negative image portrayal that “all insurance companies do is screw you out of your money.” I’ve been fortunate enough to become friends with lots of good insurance folks. I promise they’re out there. And if yours doesn’t fit the bill, then it sounds like it’s time to look for someone else.
Here’s my takeaways from this story- you can agree or disagree or add to the list- please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments:
- Your everyday interactions matter. I don’t care if you’re at the grocery, at church or at a community event, yes a first impression (and I’ll go so far as to say a consistent impression) matters.
- It’s not always about “making the sale.” It is about making the right decision.
- In order to build goodwill, potential customers need to see you have their best interests at heart. I know I’ve been a victim of a slick salesperson promising the world and then disappearing when I needed help. How much does THAT suck? Are you left with good feelings about what’s happened?
- People see you as the professional and look to you for guidance. If you take that trust and twist it, does that really get your relationship off to the best start? Or have you already compromised it?
- People appreciate honesty because it breaks down barriers and opens the way for communication. It can also prevent a lot of time wasting on the part of either party.
- Don’t ever forget that every “sales” opportunity is more about emotion than it is selling something. People are emotional. If you make them feel good, happy, satisfied, etc. about their experience, they will always remember. Even if you can’t help them at that particular moment. Even if you have to send them somewhere else to get what they need.
I’ll leave you with a quote that aptly sums up this sentiment:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”~ Maya Angelou
What a smart lady.
The proof is in the pudding, so if you’re curious if we really “walk the walk”, contact me (Ohio residents only). Let us prove it to you. I’ll take that bet any day. 🙂
Do you have any examples of small or big business providing an amazing customer experience? Let me know in the comments. We all can learn lessons from each other. And if you dig it, please share!