Communication is Key
Communication is an essential tool for the growth and productivity of any insurance agency. But for all the opportunities communication affords us, it can also be difficult at times. The lack of or ineffective communication can derail over 80% of your workplace projects and make your day-to-day processes more difficult. Sticky notes can be great, but they don’t always create the best communicative environment. If you want to improve your agency’s communication, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Communication Automation: Automating tasks and emails within your agency not only saves you time but can also help improve your inter-agency communication. Automated Workflow allows you to set up triggers that, when the criteria is met, automatically send out detailed tasks, assignments, and emails to your coworkers. These automated tasks, assignments, and emails help you to stay in touch with your coworkers, boost communication between agent and agency, and stay in contact with your clients. Automation helps to foster communication around events that could easily get lost in the shuffle of your busy day.
2. Instant Messaging: Email is a great way to stay in contact with your coworkers, but it’s not always the most efficient. Think of the number of emails you receive on a daily basis. There’s a lot. You can see how your message could easily get lost in the deluge. Mckinsey & Co. found that you can spend up to 28 hours each week writing, reading, and searching for information in emails. That’s over half of your typical work week. Consider downloading an instant messaging app. Instant messaging is built for quick and efficient communication, and most apps are compatible with any device (mobile or desktop). You’ll be able to easily communicate with your coworkers that are working off-site and the ones that are too busy for an in-person conversation.
3. Respect Your Coworker’s Time: As insurance agents, you are busy, and it can be hard to fit everything you need to do into your day. That’s why respecting your coworker’s time is crucial for improving your inter-agency communication. A study out of the University of California found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to a task after an interruption, so think of how much time that could potentially be taking out of your coworker’s day as well as yours. Try and make any and all communication during business hours as efficient and quick as possible, so you can use the majority of the day to better serve your clients.
4. Watch Your Tone: Sarcasm and jokes are sometimes a nice reprieve from the monotony of day-to-day communication, but you need to use them wisely. First, consider your audience: will they understand the sarcasm or the joke, or will they be confused, or worse, offended? Secondly, ask yourself if it’s appropriate in the given circumstance. Don’t get me wrong, sarcasm and jokes are needed throughout the day, but just be choosey about when you use them.
5. Be Empathetic: Empathy can encompass a lot, but it does help to foster a more pleasant, and often more successful, working environment. We discussed earlier that you need to be respectful of your coworker’s time. This also includes your response. If your coworker needs your response on a message to move forward with their day, then you need to be empathetic to this necessity and respond with urgency. Keep in mind what your coworkers need from you in order to be successful, what you need from them to achieve your goals, and how you can utilize empathy to make it all run smoothly.
Use Communication to Boost Your Retention
Join Carl and Torey Maerz of Rocket Referrals and Mike Ivory of AgencyBloc to learn how you can use personalized communication to strengthen your agent-client relationships