The CMA and FCA’s recent changes on the sales of add-ons and protected no claims discounts are designed to improve consumer understanding and pricing transparency.
We talk to Jill Holland one of our Market Specialists about what these changes mean for insurance call centres.
Jill, what are the main changes to the selling of add ons?
- Customers now have to opt in to add ons instead of automatically having them added to a policy quote.
- Insurers need to take reasonable steps to inform policy holders of any add ons already sold to them on an opt out basis when their policies come up for renewal.
- New scripts must be followed for explaining the details of no claims discount protection.
How will this impact insurance call centres?
New regulation can mean a lot of change for call centres, as call processes and scripts need to be reviewed and updated and agents trained on new disclosure or policy wording.
It can also impact the customer experience, where the challenge is providing the right level of information at the right time so your customers can make an informed decision about what they're buying without being put off.
What’s the best way of ensuring your call centre staff are fulfilling their new regulatory requirements?
I would recommend using mystery shopping to test your updated path to purchase through the eyes of the customer.
It’s about providing the right information at the right time in the call. For some insurers, it may be that they need to provide a bit more information than they are already providing, and it may be that some of the information they have to provide earlier in the call than they are currently,
What’s the best way of introducing new information into the call process?
Agent training on both delivering and gathering information and the softer skills to manage the call successfully as part of an ongoing training programme is crucial to the success of meeting new regulatory requirements.
Breaking down the new information into bite size chunks, so that it is easy for agents to learn to deliver it in a confident, professional and friendly manner, and easy for the customer to understand and absorb.
Our mystery shoppers say the agents from the top performing brands are friendly, professional, helpful and clear and these are the sorts of things that make for a great customer experience on the phone.
Do you think these new changes could have any other impacts on insurance call centres?
In our experience consumers tend to buy insurance quite passively and their decisions on what to include in their cover and what information to disclose is often heavily influenced by the customer journey. So if there are any changes to question order, and what’s included or excluded in the cover, it could have a big impact on what they buy. This could impact the volumes and average premiums of sales coming through the call centre.
How are Consumer Intelligence responding to the changes?
We will be closely watching and gathering data on how different insurers are meeting the new requirements from 1 October, how much information they disclose and at what point in the sales journey. We think the winners will be the brands that don’t take a scattergun approach and offer everything all at once.
Infographic: Telephone service for motor insurance customer journey
These insights come from our telephone mystery shopping programme, as well as a survey we carried out using our in-house panel and our Insurance Behaviour Tracker. If you've got questions on what your customers think of your call centre service or how to improve its efficiency and effectiveness, we can help you find the answers.