When we were creating the Partners& brand, we did a lot of research into what prospective clients were looking for in their broker. We wanted to make sure that the brand we were creating challenged the status quo and really addressed the needs of our clients.
In our view, the insurance sector had found itself in a difficult position. What was once regarded as an industry acutely focused on relationship, today is characterised as transactional, impersonal and bogged down in red tape.
We’ve all experienced it – call centres, ever changing teams, increasing fees, decreasing service levels, reams of unintelligible documentation – you are left feeling uncertain about whether you’re adequately covered or not, and frankly, just proceeding on blind faith.
We wanted to get away from all that. So we engaged in focus groups to get an understanding of what really mattered.
We started from the premise that we’d hear what most of us in the professional services sector would expect: experience, technical expertise, sector understanding…sound familiar? Interestingly, in our clients’ minds these were givens.
Clients expected this, but it wasn’t enough to get them to turn their heads and break free from the inertia which characterises the industry.
The feedback we received from these focus group participants was compelling. It spoke directly to the poor experiences they had almost become resigned to receiving.
What they wanted all pointed to relationship. They wanted their broker to spend time building a rapport with them, developing insight, and to express a degree of care for them and their business.
They wanted their broker to “speak plain English”, to help them understand the fi ne print and to explain what insurance they have and why they have it.
When the time came for a claim, they wanted their broker to be there for them, standing shoulder to shoulder with them, fighting their corner to help secure the best outcome.
Finally, they wanted a broker to work in partnership with them, to co-create a programme that is spot on for their business – not an o_ the shelf solution, but one that addresses their specific risks.
I’m sure these comments will be familiar to others in the wider professional services sector. In the race for profit, and focus on spreadsheets and shareholders, many have forgotten that we actually are people businesses.
“We exist to support our clients, to provide important advice to help them, their businesses, their employees and their families to succeed, thrive and achieve their goals.”
– CEO Phil Barton
The last year has brought about many changes in the way we conduct business. Let’s hope one of the lasting impacts of the pandemic is a return to focusing on people – our clients and our colleagues. As we challenge the status quo, that’s exactly what we intend to do.
For more information, visit www.partnersand.com
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