In 2018, Crombie Lockwood undertook client research and discovered that time-poor small business clients often prefer to deal with their insurance broker over the phone and by email, being too busy to meet with their broker in person during the working day. So Crombie Lockwood developed Smart Business Broking, a specialist desk-based team of brokers dedicated to the needs of small and micro businesses.
“That kind of service design means our small business clients can manage their insurance quickly, smoothly and at a time that suits them,” says Crombie Lockwood’s Executive Marketing and Communication, Debbie Lowe.
Smart Business Broking wouldn’t have happened without that direct line of communication between Crombie Lockwood and its clients. It’s why, from 2019, the insurance brokerage has implemented a rolling Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey to hear feedback from clients in real time.
A direct line to a client
Developing strong, personal relationships with clients – particularly during some of their more high-stress moments – is critical if businesses hope to evolve alongside their clients’ needs.
The NPS surveys are “a tool to get completely honest feedback from our clients, where we instantly see what they thought of their experience with their broker and what they might need more of,” explains Lowe.
“… we instantly see what they thought of their experience with their broker and what they might need more of.”
“That kind of client insight is a gold mine. We use it to see what people want from Crombie Lockwood and we use the data to help us make broader company decisions.”
As with accountants, Crombie Lockwood’s clients come to them for professional knowledge.
“Because we have a direct line to insurers as well as understanding what clients need, we can help them feel confident and worry free, particularly when it comes to underinsurance or making a claim,” Lowe adds.
High Net Promoter Score
The NPS implementation has paid off. In 2020, Crombie Lockwood achieved an overall Net Promoter Score that was almost four times the industry standard. The insurance company heard from more than 6000 clients on how it performed and received an overall Net Promoter Score of +44; the New Zealand insurance industry standard score is +12.
As the business landscape evolves, clients evolve. Crombie Lockwood has found the NPS survey has helped it develop new solutions to evolving client problems.
“When you can see the customer testimonials and read how they feel about us in their own words, that communicates so much more to the business than anything else,” says Lowe.
Crombie Lockwood has NPS dashboards so each broker can monitor their clients’ customer experience in real time. If someone reports an underwhelming encounter, a broker can respond instantly.
“It’s become a big part of our retention strategy,” says Lowe. “If someone gives us a poor rating, our brokers can immediately identify where issues might be and remedy them. Clients’ needs are changing all the time and, because we aspire to always deliver great client experiences, we need to understand when we don’t meet expectations.”
Business trust in a broker is paramount and once that trust is in place, those clients can focus their energies on their own business with peace of mind.