The insurance broker market
In a market where smaller, independent brokers are being increasingly swallowed up by private equity backed consolidators and listed multi-nationals, there’s a real opportunity for those brokers who hold onto their independence, and turn it to their favour.
Certainly, private equity backed consolidators and multi-nationals have scale on their side. They generally have enormous teams allowing them to cater for every possible need. But savvy, independent brokers also have the ability to offer a breadth of products. But they have one key advantage. The ability to offer tailored, personal service.
The threat to client service
The inevitability with endless acquisitions, is that clients and customers increasingly become numbers on a balance sheet, rather than valued partners. With enormous scale, comes anonymity. With broker networks and big players dealing with thousands upon thousands of clients, it becomes impossible for each of those clients to be treated with exceptional care and attention.
This comes at the same time that we read how businesses are craving the personal touch. The relationship in their business that feels relevant to them. The fact that B2B purchases aren’t cold, emotionless and transactional. Particularly when dealing with insurance.
Customers crave reassurance. Knowing that their future is protected should the worst happen. And what’s the best way to find this reassurance? Is it through a faceless broker with offices all over the world? Or is it with an independent broker, which invests time, effort and expertise into the relationships it builds with its clients.
Treat business buyers like consumers
Businesspeople don’t park emotions and personality in a cardboard box when they arrive at work and buy products and services. The way people interact with B2B businesses is very similar to that of B2C. Which means that creativity, storytelling and personal relationships with a business, are just as important as the service or products’ features and price.
In an interview with Marketing Week, Claire Sadler of Direct Line stated:
“B2B advertising is often rational rather than emotional but in insurance the risk to a business owner can be greater than to someone personally. We are all human beings, and we do not become a different person when we go to work.”
And this philosophy really resonated with Managing Director of Romero Group, Simon Mabb.
Mabb, who has spoken internationally on the importance of the customer experience, is pioneering the fierce mission to remain independent, alongside CEO and founder Justin Romero-Trigo, who still lives and breathes the independent philosophy.
The Romero Approach
As a company that’s grown rapidly in its 22 year history, Romero Insurance Brokers is no stranger to the challenges a business faces with growth, and how it could impact customer service. But because of the relationship-first mindset, and the importance placed on remaining independent to sustain this philosophy, they have found a balance of how to deliver sustained growth, whilst remaining independent and delivering the best possible customer service all in one.
“I started Romero over 20 years ago with a simple mindset. To provide the people I care about with the best cover and the best service. Our colleagues and customers have been like family to me from day one, and it’s really important to me that this never changes.”
Backed up by Mabb who went on to say:
“Having worked in the industry for a long time, I can see the sustained effect that consolidation and acquisition is having on end users. The perceived value they receive in buying from big scale, is more than outweighed negatively by the lack of care and attention that inevitably brings.
By remaining independent and staying true to a customer first philosophy, I truly believe that independent brokers will not only survive, but thrive. In a world where personal service is hard to come by, those who do it well will be the winners in the end.”
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