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Tuesday November 21st, 2017 

News Archive - August 2008

Customer Service

10/08/2008

Time for a rant about insurance companies, I'm afraid.

We spend a lot of our time on the phone to insurance companies, and it can be a very frustrating experience. We feel that levels of customer service are unacceptably low. Turnaround times for simple information requests are often in weeks not days. The person you speak to has insufficient knowledge to answer your question, so they have to promise you a call back, which does not arrive. Paperwork goes missing. Original paperwork is requested when a faxed copy should suffice. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

Whatever they might claim, some companies provide a bare minimum level of service and obviously need to commit more money to this part of their business. The problem is expecially bad with companies who are no longer actively seeking new business, as they have even less reason than most for keeping their customers happy.

For new business we prefer to use companies who have UK- based call centres. In general an overseas call centre just operates as a holding area which then forwards the call to the correct department (if you are lucky). All it leads to is a longer wait on 'hold'. We also like companies who offer online valuations and policy servicing. This is the industry's long-term solution to cutting the cost of customer service.

The FSA has introduced a directive called 'Treating Customers Fairly'. This is effectively a set of guidelines for regulated firms to use, ensuring that their customers receive a satisfactory experience. I am hoping that this will lead to some of these insurance companies being fined, and forced to commit enough money that they can give the level of service that they expect.

Small IFA firms like Mulberry Financial are also subject to the new TCF rules.

We have looked at our processes and implemented changes to allow us to monitor our progress. Happy Mulberry clients will help our business to grow, so we welcome these changes and hope that they will help to improve public perception of financial services in general.

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