03 June 2014

It is normally every company’s first priority to provide good quality products and services.

reputationThis is a complicated task for insurers who employ the best actuaries, accountants and lawyers. They perform these tasks with 100% accuracy and reliability which can affect reputation.

Policyholders should rightfully take it for granted that insurers get this right, as it is 100% important. Delivering only what is promised in exchange for the agreed premium is unlikely to build policyholder loyalty, as it should never be perceived as great service. Trust and confidence in the insurer’s people is what builds reputation and is ultimately the driver of long term loyalty. Great insurers have built reputations not by what they say but rather what they do.

The policyholder, who pays the premium, often does not experience the benefits of insurance, which is an intangible product. The policyholder must have utmost faith and trust in the company to ensure the delivery of all promises made, even in their absence.

The reputation of an insurer, which is seldom built overnight and never built through advertising promises, represents its biggest asset. Earning a good reputation takes time and effort, and ultimately, the trust that employees and clients have for the brand is a measure of it.

Jenny Handley a contributor to the Cape Times offered some valuable tips that we can all follow towards building a favourable reputation:

1. Avoid over promising at all times.
2. Be considerate of others who you work with and clients you serve.
3. Always be transparent.
4. Provide accurate and considered responses to any information requests.
5. Take responsibility, say sorry, and make amends when you make mistakes.

Ultimately, the people within a company build its reputation, transforming it into a preferred provider sought out by new clients and loyally supported by those already existing on the books. Good products and services, although important, can only take a business part of the way. And reputation is never the responsibility of certain individuals or departments. Each and every one of us has the responsibility, as we form it through the sum of our interactions with each other and our policyholders.

The information contained in this communication, including attachments, is not to be construed as advice in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act of 2002 (“FAIS”) as the writer is neither an appointed representative of Zestlife, nor a licensed financial services provider as contemplated in FAIS. Please consult your Financial Adviser or Zestlife should you require advice of a financial nature and/or intermediary services.