The customer experience was the topic of this year’s Young Brokers Conference, held in Niagara Falls. The keynote speaker, Dennis Moseley Williams, Customer Experience Expert, started the day’s sessions with a statement of purpose: “Customer experience is about generosity and authenticity — and a willingness to do the work that’s required, not assigned.” As he explained, it’s not the work that you’re supposed to be doing — that’s the easy part — it’s everything else you do to identify your clients’ needs and create an experience they’ll remember and want to tell their friends about.

By being creative and strategic, you can make yourself memorable without having to spend anything. Erin Chard, North Strategic, highlighted how every communication is an opportunity to create a better customer experience. “Ask yourself, ‘What’s the goal of your communication? What’s the best case scenario for the communication you want to put out there?’”

Gore Mutual’s Igor Bubic and Sachin Rustagi discussed using technology to track your customer lifecycle. “There’s huge opportunity in insurance to integrate modern marketing and digital tools,” said Rustagi. By using customer relationship management software (CRM), you’ll know the best time to reach out to potential, current and former clients and foster that relationship.

From chatbots to mobile apps, Sean Mulcair, Gradient Solutions, described the impact various insurance technologies can have on customer experience, “Clients want to self-serve and have access to their information.” He was careful to explain each tool’s cost to implement and the degree of effort needed to make operational, asking, “Can we be everything to everyone and still be good at it?”

Staff is crucial to delivering an excellent customer experience and Travis Dutka, 360insights, described his method of inspiring people to do their best work. “At 360insights, this is how we think about building a culture of happiness. The four pillars of workplace happiness are Purpose, Connection, Growth and Choice.” By helping employees feel a sense of autonomy, connection, progress and importance they’ll be happier and performance will improve.

YBCers were tested on their understanding of customer experience in the case study competition. They were given details of a fictional brokerage and they developed a one-year customer experience plan. Joanna Mendonca, Territory 7 Team Leader, was part of the winning team. She attributes #TeamGreen’s success to a holistic approach to improving customer experience. “Our strategy was built on an accumulation of smaller approaches. We broke into five smaller groups and each tackled a particular area of the operation — technology solutions, human resources, operations, product and finance.”

Mendonca said she’ll be able to implement a lot of what she learned from the sessions back at her brokerage. “There were lessons in every presenter’s topic that can work in your business. They’re all sort of interconnected and more traditional broker management is only scratching the surface of it.”

Thank you to all of our speakers and young brokers that participated in the event — your investment in customer experience will help to strengthen the broker value proposition for years to come.