For better or worse, we live in an era of instant gratification. People expect immediate responses and results – and they may have little patience when forced to wait.

If you think everyone is in a hurry, you’re right. According to Smithsonian Magazine, researchers have found that people are walking faster than they used to and acceptable load times for webpages have decreased – in short, people expect things to happen faster and faster.

Slow Insurance Customer Service Is Bad Customer Service

People don’t contact customer service to chat leisurely. They contact customer service because they have a problem or a question. They need help, and they want it immediately.

According to research from HubSpot, 90 percent of consumers say that getting an immediate response to customer service questions is important or very important. For marketing or sales questions, 82 percent of consumers say that an immediate response is important or very important.

For the insurance industry, speed is especially important.

How Slow Responses Lose Insurance Customers

Imagine these common scenarios:

  • An individual contacts your company. He needs insurance and has a few questions before he’s ready to purchase. You don’t respond until the next day. In the meantime, the has already purchased a policy from a competitor with a faster response time.
  • An auto insurance policyholder gets into a crash. She wants the claim handled as fast as possible so she can get back on the road, but your insurance company’s response is slow. Overall, it’s a very bad experience for her. When her policy is up for renewal, she decides to switch to a different insurer.

According to Harvard Business Review, businesses that take less than an hour to respond to potential customers have the best chance of qualifying leads. Waiting an hour reduces the chance by seven times, while waiting 24 hours or longer reduces the chance why a whopping 60 times.

But the work doesn’t end when you sign up new customers. American Express found that one in three Americans will consider switching companies after a single instance of poor customer service, while 40 percent say business should focus on taking care of their needs quickly.

For your business to succeed, you need to attract and retain customers. That requires good customer service – and good customer service requires speed.

How Does Your Speed to Service Measure Up? Industry Best Practices

Speed is an important part of your service formula. If your service doesn’t include all these elements, something isn’t adding up.

  • You measure response time in minutes, not hours or days.
  • Fast responses happen every time, not occasionally — even during peak hours.
  • Every stage of the customer journey is fully supported, from first contact and underwriting to premium payment and first notice of loss.
  • Customers feel heard and cared for; service should be fast, not rushed.

The team at Covenir is serious about speed. Whether you need speed to lead, speed to market or speed to customer satisfaction, we can help. Check out these case studies for examples of how we make insurance potential possible.