July 16, 2011


neglected bike 500x285A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so. 
— Mahatma Gandhi

Is this the era of bad service? A week without phone service. A summer of medical mistreatment in 2008. There's poor after-sales service with life insurance,

Doctors are among the most coveted clients. Even they get mistreated.

Doctor Says

Here's an email from a doctor
Hi Promod,

I'm a physician living and working in Toronto.

I recently met with my insurance adviser to transfer life insurance policies to my professional corporation (PC). He asked me to meet with an actuary to determine a fair market value in order to allow for their sale to the PC. I found your website through the Canadian Institute of Actuaries website.

Would you be able to assist with this assessment and what cost would be involved for your time and opinion?



Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get. — Nelson Boswell
I've never, never, never heard of a single time where a client was told to arrange an actuarial valuation of their insurance on their own. I even asked around.

New insurance landscape (click to read on Globe & Mail website)Experienced insurance advisors already know valuation actuaries. Novices can easily find you a pre-screened one with a quick email or phone call to the intermediary through which they sell insurance (called a Managing General Agent (MGA)). This is step 2 in the graphic from the Globe and Mail (click to read).

If your doctor prescribed an MRI, you'd expect them to arrange the details, guide you through the process and follow-up.

Advisors don't need much training to sell insurance. That's why solid support is readily available to them.


How you do anything is how you do everything. Your “character” or “nature” just refers to how you handle all the day-to-day things in life, no matter how small. — Derek Sivers: Character predicts your future
How can you trust an advisor who takes a clear shortcut? There may be weaknesses with the insurance currently in place and the proposal to change ownership.

the Process System for planning simply (click to read article)Before going further, this doctor would do well to get his insurance needs evaluated by an advisor he trusts. The Process System is a simple way. There are other models that achieve similar results with more steps.

What's Wrong?

There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. 
— Roger Staubach
Insurers pay salespeople the bulk of their compensation the moment you buy. You've prepaid for after-sales service and are entitled to receive it. The advisor could have helped the doctor in mere minutes.  How long does it take to make a phone call or send an email? Better still, the advisor could have taken care of the details to save the doctor's time.

Why would an advisor provide such lousy service? No immediate compensation. How sad.


Podcast 126 (4:41)

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PS In a future post, we'll look at the kind of post-sales service you deserve.

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