Insurance professionals: start hugging your haters!

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Insurance professionals: start hugging your haters!

social media for insurance professionals

“I wish I could 0 stars. This company sucks and is a complete rip off. We pay high premiums for nothing. Can’t afford to actually go to the doctor with this plan. Rot in hell whoever created this “health care” company.” (actual Google review)

In 2014 I attended Social Media Marketing World 15 in beautiful San Diego, California. If you’re not familiar with the conference, it’s considered a ‘mega-conference’ for marketers from around the world. There were fantastic speakers like Guy Kawaksaki, Andy Crestodina and  Christopher Penn. A speaker who stood out most for me was Jay Baer. Jay presented a keynote called: “Hug your Haters.”  At the time, I was a social media and digital marketing professional in the insurance industry – so  I was painfully aware of the argument he was driving home: stop ignoring customer complaints.

 Did you know that while 80% of companies say they provide superior customer service only 8% of customers say it was! Wow. Talk about disconnect. 

Insurance is considered a ‘grudge buy.’ It’s something we’re forced to purchase; it is not something we buy for pleasure like a new watch or car. When something goes sideways – like claims – emotions run high and reviews run low… as in low star ratings.

The problem is that insurance has an age-old reputation of being made up of a bunch of crooks. People often look at it as ‘big bad insurance company’ that doesn’t listen to the little people and continues to rip them off. A lot of the resentment is rooted in the complexity of insurance policies; whose job is it to explain this stuff so that clients can understand it? Insurance professionals.

There are many insurance professionals who have been proactive about this – leaders in the social media and digital space. But upon a recent audit (November 2017) integration into companies is still rare.

Why are insurance professionals, companies and brokers resistant to social media?

“Especially in our domains of expertise, we all just think that we’re kind of great…and when someone gives you feedback that threatens that belief, it’s going to be really hard for you.”  – Al Pittampalli, Persuadable

One of the number one reasons insurance professionals don’t want to use social media is because they’re afraid of putting the company in a vulnerable position; they’re concerned about reviews and feedback. Reviews are scary because they put us in a vulnerable position. They give customers & clients a platform to tell the world whether we’re good or bad at our chosen service (and/or product.) But the truth of the matter is this: reviews also give us the opportunity to make positive changes to our products and services. And truthfully, if we’re offering something that isn’t ‘up-to-snuff’ and what we promised, then we absolutely deserve to be blasted for it. We cannot change the things that are causing pain to customers and clients, without knowing about it! And even if we’re not online, these conversations are still going to happen – isn’t it better to be there?

Here’s where you can start:

  • Sign your company up for Google, Yelp, YellowPages
  • Do your best to acknowledge and respond to every complaint, in every channel, every time. (Both positive and negative.)
  • Make a plan on how you’ll right the wrong and follow up.
  • Track reviews and complaints.
  • Share what you learn with your employees and encourage them to share what they learn with you.

It’s not too late to get online and start acknowledging and embracing feedback from customers. You may be surprised by what you learn!

Other Blogs:
Social Media and Digital Marketing for Insurance Brokers
Does sex sell insurance? One insurance broker thinks so
Insurance and Social Media: 4 ways to leverage social for customer service
Social media is new rule in insurer catastrophe response

Need help getting started? Give me a buzz! 🙂

Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics and a certificate in Data Science from IBM. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.