Alright, everyone - it's 2023, and we think it's about time to dispel some common misconceptions or "myths" that many insurance agents still believe about outsourcing appointment setting.
As we dispel these common misconceptions, we'll do so with our appointment-setting service in mind - we can't speak for other vendors and companies, but we can speak for our services.
Let's jump right in.
Myth #1: Outsourced appointment setting is more expensive than having an in-house staff member set your appointments.
Reality: Outsourced appointment setting is MUCH cheaper and more cost effective than having an in-house appointment setter.
Take a look at the chart below - we've based these numbers on industry averages.
As indicated in the chart, not only do you save money on the appointments set, but you also save time when you outsource. You don't have to worry about managing more employees, providing training, benefits, paid time off, vacation time, sick leave, quality assurance, etc.
Time is money, people!
Because we use a team approach, you get after-hours calling, consistent appointments scheduled (staffing turnover/sick days aren't your problem - calls will continue), and your customers have the best experience possible.
Our callers are bright, articulate, and friendly.
One of our customers, Lisa B., has seen first-hand how much more cost-effective and time-efficient it is to outsource:
"For the past 20 years, I've used a team member to [set appointments] for me. What I've found is using Engagex is a MUCH more efficient use of time and money."
If you want to learn how to calculate the ROI of your customer insurance review program, check out this blog post: The Surprising ROI of Meeting with Your Current Clients
Outsourcing your appointment setting is more cost-effective than hiring an in-house appointment scheduler.
Myth #2: If you outsource your appointment setting, your customers will get calls from foreign call centers.
Reality: Located in Provo, Utah, our call floor comprises young, part-time callers (most of whom are college students attending Brigham Young University or Utah Valley University).
Our callers aren't career call center folks.
Most of our callers work part-time - this keeps them fresh and full of professional, friendly energy to interact well with your customers on your behalf.
While our callers never mislead your customers, most people we call assume that someone from your office is calling them.
Occasionally, customers who know their agent/agency staff well will ask if we're calling from the office.
When questions like this arise, we just let them know that we don't work in the office but in the scheduling department and that their agent has asked us to call their customers to set the appointments.
Myth #3: Outsourced appointment setting has lower success rates than in-house.
Reality: In many cases, outsourced appointment setting has HIGHER success rates than in-house.
We've repeatedly heard from agents that, somehow, we get those clients in for appointments that they and their staff haven't been able to reach or convince to come in for an appointment!
"I've had better responses from my clients from their [engagex] calls than I've had in the past when I've used my own office staff."
- Dennis Anderson
"Even with me making phone calls and leaving messages along with my team members, it's just not as effective as you guys doing it."
- Derek Vannelli
"The format and method they have has been proven. It works; you get the appointments - they even get appointments that I can't set myself."
- Kermit Walker
15+ years of experience in insurance appointment setting pays off.
Another thing to consider - your customers.
Can you think of any specific customers you or your staff hesitate to call?
Since our callers don't know your customers, we treat all of them the same!
Our callers have no preconceived notions about how someone will respond to the invitation.
This is one of the reasons we can get appointments that agents and their staff members can't get in the office.
Another factor that contributes to our better success rates is after-hours calling.
If you have someone setting the appointments in-house, chances are they only call during regular business hours, affecting how many people you can reach.
When you outsource to Engagex, you'll get after-hours calling.
Myth #4: When you outsource your appointment setting, you give up control over the customer experience.
Reality: We've crafted our technology and processes to give you the control you need.
While we don't change our general script (also to your benefit), there are ways you can customize your service to your liking:
Options for different appointment types - in-office, virtual, phone, home/second meeting place
New options for list scrubbing
You determine how often we call customers that we have already contacted.
Our callers specify who the appointment will be with - agent or licensed staff member - with specific names if you'd like!
The general script allows you to pivot in whatever direction you see fit during the appointment.
Call recordings upon request.
You choose the customers we call.
Schedule/location conflicts - requests from your customers to meet outside your chosen parameters for you to approve, deny, or suggest an alternate.
Caller ID matching - the call appears to be coming from your agency.
Myth #5: Outsourced appointment setting makes sense only for exceptionally large agencies/books of business.
Reality: The variety of package types and sizes we offer make it possible for even the smallest agencies to use our services.
Our flexible packages range from 25 to 400 names per month.
You can still benefit from outsourcing your appointment setting even if you have a small agency.
While we would love to have agents on service continually, month over month, we also know that the size of some agents' book of business doesn't allow for that; that's why we have no contract, and the service is month-to-month.
Myth #6: You'll have higher no-show rates if you outsource your appointment setting.
Reality: No shows happen whether you outsource or have someone in-house setting your appointments.
Some of the many factors that affect no-show rates:
The geographical location of your agency and customers
Appointment format options available (in-office, phone, virtual, home)
Type of list you use
How consistently you've been holding review meetings
Time of year
How long your customers have been with your agency
Previous experience with appointments
During the first year of conducting reviews, you'll likely experience higher no-show rates that will improve as your customers get used to it.
It takes time and consistency to condition your customers to expect a call, schedule an appointment, and show up.
You also need to ensure that the appointments people show up for are a good experience and add value to the customer's experience.
If they feel like it was a waste of time when they came in last time, the likelihood of them coming in again is very low.
One thing is for sure - the more consistent you are at holding these regular insurance reviews, and the more value you add to their experience, the fewer no-shows you'll have (regardless of who is scheduling them).
At Engagex, we have a generous no-show policy on our guaranteed appointment packages: replacing up to 3 no-shows each month at no extra cost to you.
We also take care of any reschedules you need.
Check out this blog post for 12 Ways to Prevent Insurance Appointment No-Shows: Reinforcing the Value of Annual Review Meetings
Myth #7: If you outsource your appointment scheduling, your staff won't have enough work to do.
Reality: When you take the tedious task of appointment setting off of your staff members' plates, they'll have more time and energy to service your customers, contact prospecting, and conduct appointments!
Your team members won't get burnt out as quickly if they don't have to set up these appointments.
Happier employees directly correlate with happier customers (Research Gate).
Myth #8: Outsourcing your appointment setting risks your customer's private information.
Reality: Approved and trusted vendors like Engagex have extensive security measures to protect your customers' data.
Keeping your customers' information safe is increasingly important in this digital age. We don't take that lightly!
As part of our security measures, we don't accept customer information other than their name and phone number(s).
Our online portal is secure; we have periodic security training for all our employees and regular security checks to ensure all protocols are upheld.
You can rest assured that your customers' information is safe with us!
We hope this article helped clear things up!
Agents who have consistently outsourced their appointment setting know the many benefits of doing so.