Great expectations: The art of customer service

The insurance industry is growing and has a high need for talented professionals with a variety of training and skills. Recruiters are asking job seekers “where do you fit in?” In this series, Cincinnati Insurance associates describe their own career journeys. In March 2014, Amanda Rendell described how her journey brought a criminal justice major into the insurance industry. This is an update.

Where I fit in_16x9_RendellIt’s safe to say that working at an insurance agency and working at an insurance company are two very different careers.

After five years of agency experience, I was extremely confident about what I could contribute to the Cincinnati Customer Care Center, our group dedicated to serving our agents’ small business policyholders. When I joined the Customer Care Center in 2013, I had plenty of experience providing high-quality service to the clients at my agency. I knew I would be a great asset as the Care Center supports our agents as we interact with policyholders.

Then I had my first day.

I quickly found out that as a part of the Care Center, a wider skill set is needed. We would have to wear two hats as both agents and underwriters. Previous agency employees like me had to learn the art of underwriting, effectively assessing and managing risk. Previous underwriters had to tackle the art of customer service, negotiation and explaining complicated insurance verbiage directly to policyholders in layman’s terms. The agent “buffer” is gone, and what’s left is a completely new way of doing business for everyone involved.

I needed to learn so much about insurance from the carrier perspective. Luckily, my weaknesses were others’ strong points, so we helped each other to consistently provide expertise for our insureds. It was very uncomfortable not being totally sure of myself each day when I came into work. I tried to be a sponge and take in as much as possible, but there was so much to learn!

The reality is that underwriting is just like everything else: it takes experience, knowledge and lots of practice.

I’m coming up on my third anniversary, and I can confidently say that all of that has changed. I’m now extremely comfortable wearing both my agent and underwriting hats. The people I work with and the knowledge they possess amaze me each and every day. I feel extremely lucky to be a part of the Cincinnati Customer Care Center. We’re a fantastic group of underwriter-agent hybrids who strive to provide the best customer service day in and day out.

It’s a great feeling to know that by taking the time to work with our policyholders, I am helping them learn and ensuring that they are adequately covered while they continue to grow their businesses.

For more information about a variety of insurance careers, please visit the Insurancecareers.org website or Facebook page sponsored by Ohio’s insurance industry. Cincinnati Insurance posts open positions on our website and on our LinkedIn page.


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