Real Talk

Insurance Mystery Shopping

Insurance may be one of the trickiest commodities to market, albeit one of the most important. When you buy most types of insurance, you’re protecting your assets from a catastrophe that may or may not happen – and the odds of nothing happening are generally in favor of the consumer.

The good news for insurance companies is that the most profitable coverage they sell is required by law. If you finance a car, truck, RV, motorcycle, boat, plane, home or commercial property, the law requires you to insure those items against damage or loss to protect the lenders as well as the owners. In many states, drivers must have at least liability insurance to protect other drivers and passengers in case of accidents.

RBG insurance mystery shoppers assess agents on several levels. Through a prearranged set of questions specifically designed for the insurance industry, shoppers analyze sales and marketing techniques, levels of service, trust and honesty, cross-selling and upselling strategies, and ease of understanding options and benefits.

Insurance mystery shopping reports usually include a mixture of Yes/No/NA questions interspersed with narratives outlining the specifics of the interactions. The shops may require only a telephone inquiry or a combination of a phone call and office visit.

Telephone Inquiry/Appointment Scheduling

Shoppers given telephone assignments must assess all aspects of the call, from the tone and wording of the initial greeting through the clarity and confidence of the agent’s presentation to how the conversation is ended. If scheduling an appointment by phone, the demeanor of the scheduler is analyzed, as well as the relevance of the screening questions and the ease of setting up a convenient time to meet.

Welcome & Introduction

Although it may seem like a small part of the process, a customer’s first impression of a company commonly and significantly impacts their choice to buy, especially in a business office environment. Shoppers must report on how clean and orderly the office is, along with levels of privacy to discuss personal assets. Details on eye contact, smiles, handshakes, and other aspects of the initial meeting are also required for this section of the shopper report.

Sales Presentation

The agent’s attentiveness, level of service, knowledge and presentation skills are evaluated, as well as their attempts to cross-sell, upsell and close the sale. Since most consumers qualify for several types of insurance, a needs assessment is often conducted at the onset of the meeting to facilitate cross-selling later in the presentation. For example, the shopper may be assigned to pose as a shopper for car insurance. After the details of the main vehicle and driving habits are gathered, the agent is likely to ask the shopper if they have any recreational vehicles, if they rent or own their home, or comment on a piece of expensive jewelry the shopper is wearing, all questions that open the door for selling more and different types of insurance coverage, including homeowner and renter policies. Combination plans and related cost savings should be part of the sales pitch. Shopper reports for insurance companies also commonly ask if the agent spoke highly of the firm’s history, reputation, customer satisfaction, and competitive pricing. It’s also important for the agent to follow industry and government mandates regarding full disclosure and limits and restrictions on different types of policies.

Closing & Follow-up

Insurance customers frequently take a few days to ponder their options before purchasing a policy. Agents usually provide printed estimates, options and comparison charts on terms of coverage and/or competitors’ rates potential customers can review at home. Shopper reports generally ask detailed questions about the agent’s closing and if the shopper would buy the insurance or continue shopping, as well as the reasons why (price, consumer confidence, lack of understanding based on the presentation, etc.). Sometimes shoppers have to wait a few days after the visit to give the agent a chance to follow up with a letter or phone call to attempt closing the sale.

RBG insurance mystery shoppers usually glean a wealth of information from these assignments, knowledge they can apply to real-life decisions. Coupled with an opportunity to pose as a customer with multiple vehicles and an upscale home to protect and payment for their time, it’s an opportunity hard to pass up.

Become a Mystery Shopper »

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