This article originally appeared in the autumn 2016 edition of Telegraph magazine. Download the magazine now.
“I’ve had some clients for 20 years – we don’t lose many,” Account Executive Mark Linehan laughs. “I’m still working with some of the same clients I had when I first joined the company in 1997. Some of my clients have become friends over the years.”
Personal relationships are the focus in Mark’s line of the business, working with private clients to arrange their personal insurance covers, from property to antiques and priceless items. He explains that relationships are not only vital to finding the right cover for his clients, but also to exceeding their expectations.
“A lot of my clients are busy and don’t have the time to search the market to find the right insurance cover,” he adds. “Trust is a big word for my team. Clients know they can trust me and my team to find the right product for them.”
Like every member of the insurance team at Alan Boswell Group, Mark’s team knows the industry inside out.
“I love meeting new clients and building those relationships. It’s the best part of my day, but building that initial trust with a new client is one of our biggest challenges. That said, the way we do it never changes; be yourself and go the extra mile. I recently won some new business and went to meet the client and gave them advice in person – nothing was too much trouble. We now do lots of business with them because of that initial service.
“It’s important that no one on the team would overpromise and under-deliver either. If we promise to do something, we’ll make sure we achieve it. As a result, we get fantastic feedback from our clients. You can see the positive response we get in our Feefo scores and we’re proud of that.”
It’s important that no one on the team would overpromise and under-deliver
All about people
Not only do the Private Clients team know what they’re doing when it comes to personal insurance, but they are also adept at building strong client relationships.
“It starts with Alan really,” Mark explains. “If you look at the way he’s built the business, he knows his clients personally and that has filtered down through the company and how we all work.
“To be on the Private Clients side of the business, you’ve got to be good at talking to people. My philosophy is that people buy from people they like. The reason the team gets so many recommendations is the way we deal with our clients.”
Mark emphasises that this is one of the key benefits of working with a broker, rather than sourcing insurance online: “People don’t know the value of their insurance until they come to make a claim. If you go online and pick an insurer based on price, that’s fine until you have a bad experience; it’s no longer good value because you may get a poor claims service. “We have an in-house claims team, who
“We have an in-house claims team, who often have delegated claims authority. They are focused on customer satisfaction and will work with you to help resolve a claim.”
Mark highlights that the team is always learning from its clients, too. Over time they’ll discover what works for them, continuously adapting to different client needs.
“Anyone who says they know everything is lying. You learn that as you go through life and through business. You’re always adapting in order to provide the best service for your clients – putting what you’ve learned into practice. Plus things change in the insurance industry too, so you have to make sure your knowledge is to speed and you adjust to those changes.”
You’re always adapting in order to provide the best service for your clients
Client expectations of the insurance brokers have certainly changed since Mark joined the business. In the 1990s there were few computers, no emails and most business was conducted over the phone and by post.
“Now our clients need answers in minutes or hours, not days and weeks,” he explains. “While our expertise and service have remained unchanged, the time it takes to deliver solutions has been compressed. Everything we do is almost instantaneous.”
And there’s thing that the Private Clients team wouldn’t consider either; they will try to help with anything insurance related.
“No two days are ever the same in the Private Clients team. We’ve insured all sorts of things, from Aston Martins and Bentleys, to multimillion pound properties all over the country. We offer a bespoke, personal service that lots of other brokers struggle to provide.
“We will be honest if there’s something we can’t do, too. We will do some research for the clients to help them find a solution that works. A prime example is car hire excess insurance; we can’t provide this cover when you hire a car abroad, but we will provide a list of companies that we know will do it.”
But it’s not all about insurance.
“The Alan Boswell Group has a financial planning arm, which can provide support for both you and your business,” Mark explains. “As such, we can help you with investments and savings or even help you with auto-enrolment pensions.
“We never turn customers way and will always help them find a solution.”
Find out more
As part of a leading insurance broker, our Private Clients team can help you to arrange a broad range of personal products, including high-value home and car insurance. They’ll even manage the claims process for you should the worst happen, wherever you are in the UK – from Norwich to Newquay.
To discover how they’ll make your life easier, call us on 01603 218000.
You may also be interested in: The insurance claims process explained