The “Concierge” Approach
FCIP, AIB, Vice President, Team Leader
We are all familiar with the role of a concierge in a hotel. Although there is always one on hand, it is clear that the quality of the services offered is not always the same. The mission of a concierge worthy of his title is to respond to our needs in order to make our stay enjoyable. He strives to relieve some of our stress, help us save time and, most importantly, advise us appropriately.
The “concierge” approach in the field of insurance brokerage and risk management is exactly the same. Many insurance brokers claim to provide the same services, when in reality few master this humble service intended for a specific clientele.
This approach applies essentially to medium and large businesses and so called “risk management” accounts that do not necessarily have a risk manager position. It is even more relevant for clients with businesses outside of Canada or internationally.
One way to advise
Thanks to the “concierge” approach and the risk analyses that will be carried out, the broker will acquire an overview of a range of risks, namely operational, strategic and financial risks. As an outsider to the company, the “concierge” broker forges a distinct vision of the client company, enabling him/her to advise the client conscientiously. For example, offering to perform a risk analysis for/with the client is a good opportunity to provide the client with important information. The traditional insurance broker, for his part, will service his client by concentrating on the common risks (fire, theft, explosion, water damage, earthquake, civil liability, product liability, etc.), that are tangible and more easily quantifiable.
In fact, the client’s bottom line may be affected by several intangible, uninsured risks such as:
- Identity theft;
- Reputational risk;
- Product recall;
- Misrepresentation in mergers or acquisitions.
Intangible risks can have a serious impact on a company’s revenues and/or profits. They could even affect the share price of a public company and eventually turn into a suit by shareholders against Directors and Officers.
A different kind of teamwork
The “concierge” approach ensures that the service provider status of the broker becomes that of a business partner. He/she becomes the official “advisor” of the client, an extension of its risk management department and perhaps even the external risk management department.
A broker that provides only part of the insurance program for a client but whom the client turns to for advice, in confidence, on the work and services provided by other brokerage firms is shown an incredible level of trust.
The “concierge” approach, when properly applied, will help retain clients for many years. They will consider themselves so pampered that they will speak to their colleagues and friends about the exceptional service they receive from their broker. They will often be willing to pay more for this VIP service. And when they have to go to tender next, they will support the “concierge” broker given his/her comprehensive approach, which is more in line with the business’ needs.
Author: Gilles Gervais, FCIP, AIB, Vice President, Team Leader