The forgotten insurance skill…Listening:
The forgotten insurance skill…Listening! Listening may be one of the most forgotten insurance skills, or to expand could become one of the skills in any industry most forgotten. The idea that products and services are marketed at someone and consumer told what they should want to buy is an amazing turn of events.
That the machine will know what you need based upon your Google search history, Facebook friends, email, etc. is great but it doesn’t give the customer the feeling of being heard, legitimized, understood and develop a long lasting relationship.
Listening is at the core of providing customers what they want, especially in insurance. Listening to their needs, listening to their concerns, listening to their known unknowns, and absorbing it all.
Listening and active listening as a skill is certainly going to help differentiate people, managers, salesman, leaders, etc. from the machines, robots, Insurtech.
Here is a great book on the topic I just finished.
The way to improve your listening skills is to practice “active listening.”
This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent.
In order to do this you must pay attention to the other person very carefully.
A chat bot will be great to figure out nuts and bolts of I ask “X” and Chat bot responds with “Y”, but how about the human aspect and the emotional needs of someone who has just lost their home to fire, needs to protect loved ones, has a dying family member or pet, etc?
What is the emotional IQ of a robot?
I guess it is no different than the emotional IQ of an agent, broker, or counter party who doesn’t listen.
For all of you out there who are concerned about being replace, systemic disintermediation, the rise of the machines, etc. keep in mind what makes us human and differences should be embraced.
This is a skill for people of all ages, seniority levels, to be used in personal and professional life, etc.
Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.