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Facing Fears Part I: Do You Fear Client Interaction?

11/09/2009

In the Facing Fears Series we’re tackling the things that make independent insurance agents nervous about using social media in the agency. Feel free to chime in: What are your fears about opening the agency up to social media? What makes you nervous about social media? 

Let’s say for today, that YOU are the owner of your agency. (Hey, that may be true for some of you!) Please answer me this:  in a service industry, such as insurance, who do you let talk to customers?

Pretty much everyone, right?

From the receptionist to the most elite producer, all agency service staff needs to interact with customers on a regular basis. Whether that interaction is through phone calls, in person, or by email doesn’t matter. Sure, some staff may hold job functions that leave them little opportunity to interact with clients directly, but be honest: would you hire someone to work in your agency if you didn’t trust them enough to interact with clients?

It seems to me, that interacting with customers is not much different in any medium – there are expectations that include professionalism, timely responses, and appropriate topics, but interaction is interaction. Would you chastise an employee for asking a client if they had a nice weekend while they were on the phone? Or chatting for a few minutes about the most recent school play in town, new restaurant or latest movie release? Pretty doubtful.  This is what makes your agency great! You are part of the community at large and agency staff-people build client relationships at a personal level.

Is that not the point of social media? What makes social media interaction so different?

 

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