In-House Appointment Scheduling: How Effective is it for Insurance Agencies?
Updated: Mar 26
Many insurance agents understand the value of conducting consistent customer insurance reviews.
They lead to higher customer retention, customer referrals for new business, cross-selling opportunities and overall revenue growth.
These appointments between agent and client are essential to the growth of an agency, but when it comes to scheduling these appointments, it can be tedious, time consuming and expensive if not done the right way.
Some insurance agencies rely heavily on staff members to handle in-house scheduling, but in-house services can be far more expensive and far less effective than outside vendors.
In-house appointment scheduling can fall short in the following ways:
Calling & Appointment Setting Tools
Most offices do not have the automated tools to make time spent scheduling appointments effective. Some of the key tools that most insurance offices lack and most contact centers have are:
Click to call capabilities, which bypass the need to manually dial each number. When calling hundreds of customers, the seconds add up.
A customer database that will automatically load the next client after a call, keep track of call-back requests, and schedule confirmation calls. A secretary would have to open each individual file to find the customers’ contact information and notes with this information.
An integrated calendar that instantly and automatically records appointments that are set.
All of these great tools work together to increase the number of calls possible per hour and save money over time.
As anyone who has worked at a call center can tell you, setting appointments is harder than you think. Even though your office staff is calling your customers who already know who you are, it is surprisingly difficult to catch people at a good time and arrange an appointment that fits their schedule.
At times, some people are rude. There is a mental fatigue that wears on an individual assigned with making essentially the same call over and over.
Without proper training or experience, it can be difficult to effectively schedule appointments, or handle different types of objections that often come with attempting to set appointments. Most outsourced contact centers have employees who are trained calling specialists, who have the proper skills and experience in handling all sorts of call situations. They understand the business, and perform well at it.
In-House insurance secretaries are paid an average of about $15 an hour. Let’s say one staff member spends around 20 hours per week making calls, this would mean that appointment setting would cost you $1,200 to $1,500 per month for a single appointment setter! On top of that, given the reasons already discussed, the hours spent will likely be fairly ineffective. The cost for an in-house caller is much more than you would spend with an external vendor.
Your staff probably works at the same time as your customers, so contacting them when they are available will be a difficult task if you do it yourself. Compared to normal insurance offices, call centers are open during a lot more of the day such as prime evening hours from 6:00-8:00 PM and can reach people that you normally could not contact. Along with that, external appointment setting vendors are able to set up call-backs and be 100% certain that a caller will be available to return the call at a time that would work best for your customers. If a customer requests a call back at a time when your caller isn’t working, you won’t be able to return the call.
Overall Thought & Effort
When considering all factors, one of the most important things that an outsourced appointment setting service gives you is the freedom to have one less thing on your mind. You can focus on successfully conducting the policy review, building your client base, and strengthening agent-client relationships while the vendor takes over the stress of setting up appointments.
If you'd like to learn about our appointment setting services at Engagex, click here!