Marketers with Broken Limbs
My belief on businesses, particularly marketers do not work as a cohesive unit is yet again proven right.
A recent incident where one of my colleagues gets a phone call from one of the leading general insurers in India and, the telemarketer ensures to gain my colleague’ attention and engages him in a chit-chat on phone for over 20 odd minutes. Gotten convinced with the marketing offer, my colleague was ready to buy the product under one condition – i.e., like most of us, asks the telemarketers to papers and an agent (read Human Being) to meet to furnish the details and subsequently process the policy.
This one simple but yet very important condition to any consumer lead to another 20 mins of dialogue and at the end, the telemarketer settles for take-it-or-leave-it-now attitude. Its so sad to witness this – The insurer almost won a new customer and lost at the same time for an obvious process failure which leads to substantial notional loss.
Automating various aspects of marketing process is considerably easy with some consistent effort, this however assumes the underlying strategies/processes are intact with an ongoing sustained effort from the management and other key stakeholders of the Business.
The equivalent business aspect I can think of is Retail Banks discouraging customers to visit the Branches. For example, to deposit funds into an account, some Banks levy a fee if the monies were to deposited through the teller counter in the Branch. Wherein, if the same thing is done via the ATM is totally free – Note, the Banks are moving a transaction to a cost effective channel, not managing customer acquisition.
The reason for the letdown from the tele-marketer is very simple, the insurer hires an external telemarketing service provider and has a seemingly tight SLA (Service Level Agreement) that states commissions/revenue for the telemarketer would be based on converted sales through telephonic offers only and not worries to amend the agreement on aspects of passing on the lead to the insurer – This is so supremely absurd!
I understand the value of customer acquisition through cost-effective channels, but with some substance beneath and not with an industry like insurance which is so nascent on market penetration levels and every insurer is doing the best to win customer.
To any business customer acquisition is a very critical aspect and its essential its dealt with uttermost care – Insurers or any business for that matter cannot just afford to miss a customer just because he/she cannot buy a product via the telephone.
Oh! My dear Marketers, are you listening?
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