5 Criteria to Find the Right Answering Service for Your Insurance Agency

Elizabeth Lockwood

In the business of insurance, relationships are everything. That relationship starts the second that an individual interacts with your agency, whether that’s through brand marketing that they see online, a radio commercial, or even a referral from a friend or family member. Making sure that you’re there to build those relationships is a must. 

Of course, you can’t be around all the time. That’s where the assistance of an answering service can come in handy. While you’re busy writing policies, submitting claims, and helping people who’ve walked into the office, you need someone to be there to answer those incoming calls. You can hire an answering service for additional support around the clock or even just for after-hours and overflow calls. 

The important thing is that you choose the right answering service for the job. Here’s what to look for. 

1. 24/7 availability

Insurance is designed to protect people in case the worst happens. Most of the time, the “worst” doesn’t happen between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM. It happens on Saturday afternoon, at 3 AM, or over the long weekend when no one is going to be back in the office for a few days. You don’t want your clients (or leads) to be kept waiting until you get back to the office and have time to make calls, do you? 

With a 24/7 answering service, you don’t have to wait and neither do your callers. Although the agents won’t be able to handle actual policy changes or specific insurance laws, they will be able to provide a host of solutions for lead intake and scheduling, and so much more. Plus, when a call comes in that you need to take, it will be passed along so that you never miss a beat.

2. Transparent pricing and plans

As a business professional, you understand the value of straightforward, transparent pricing. The insurance industry is big on being transparent for customers when it comes to coverage, premiums, exclusions, and other factors. It would only make sense that you’d want to work with an answering service that has transparent pricing information and plan details so that you know all your options. 

This is an investment, not an expense. However, it’s still something that needs to fit into your budget. That’s where transparency comes into play. Plus, if the answering service is willing to be upfront with your callers and your team alike, that proves they’re even more reputable and probably right for the job. 

3. Customization and scalability

The beauty of outsourcing your answering service is that you can scale it and customize it to your exact needs. What is your insurance agency looking for in an answering service? Do you need a full-time solution or just a little extra support now and then? What type of solutions do you want the answering service to provide for your audience? Can the plans and services grow and change with you as your agency grows? These are all important things to check for when hiring an answering service. 

4. Features

And speaking of getting what you need, take the time to check out all the different features offered by various answering services and virtual receptionists. There is no exact set of features that you’re looking for, per se. Instead, you want to look for a company that offers the features that you want or that will help you streamline communications and provide better solutions for your insurance clients and leads. 

Answering services include features like appointment scheduling, lead intake, customized voicemail greetings, custom caller greetings, outreach assistance, and even support for live website chat and other communications tools. Make sure that you take advantage of all of these and get the perfect plan for your agency. 

5. Easy setup 

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll want to ensure that you choose a partner that makes the setup and starting process easy and stress-free. This answering service is supposed to make business simpler, after all, and that should start from the beginning. Make sure that they have tools that integrate with your tech stack and that you can be up and running without a lot of time spent on executing a strategy or setting up your specific features. 

The benefits of an answering service

With all this in mind, it’s helpful to take a minute to think of the benefits that will come from enlisting the help of an answering service. While you are handling policy changes, writing policies, or even helping clients submit claims or decide on new insurance coverage, you can allow the leads to go to the answering service first so that they don’t get put on the back burner. 

Today’s consumer has instant access to almost everything. Therefore, if your insurance agency isn’t available to answer the phone, they’re probably going to find someone who will. What’s more is that modern answering services can even offer live website chat support and other services so that your customer can get in touch in a way that works for them. 

This is a cost-effective way to make sure that you never miss a lead or opportunity. For a fraction of the cost of hiring an employee and training them, you can get a comprehensive solution for answering calls and more. 

Partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai for all this and more

Running an insurance agency takes a lot of your time and attention. You probably already spend dozens of hours on the phone each week, and yet you still find yourself missing calls. Missed calls mean missed opportunities, which is why the assistance of a 24/7 answering service is a must. 

And when you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you’ll get that along with support for lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even assistance with your outreach campaigns to generate the leads in the first place. Learn more when you schedule a consultation or reach out to us at hello@smith.ai

Elizabeth Lockwood

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at Smith.ai. She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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