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Australian brokers struggling with customer service
Thu, 21st Mar 2024

Insurance technology leader JAVLN has discovered in its recent report that customer service presents a greater challenge to Australian insurance brokers than providing coverage for natural disasters or cyber attacks. The research report, titled 'Brokering Change,' investigates the professional and personal challenges brokers encounter, their views on productivity and compliance, and most importantly, their struggles and solutions in tech.

According to the findings, meeting escalating customer demands has emerged as one of the biggest hurdles for 26% of Australian brokers, only second to insurance affordability which was cited as a concern by 28% of respondents. Other issues included rising competition (25%), providing adequate cyber insurance (24%), seeking sufficient coverage for natural disasters, identifying evolving risk landscape, and attracting and retaining talent, each reported by 23% of brokers.

The report's insights arrive subsequent to another study by insurance behemoth Vero, which learned that client satisfaction with brokers is at an all-time high. This indicates that despite the difficulties, brokers are performing well whilst acknowledging the complexities involved. From the JAVLN's research, it appeared that just 28% of insurance brokers believed that their clients would rate their customer service 8 out of 10 or above. Meanwhile, 24% of brokers expressed interest in honing their customer service skills in 2024.

The study titled 'Brokering Change,' facilitated by insurance-tech firm JAVLN, was supported by global research entity Censuswide. It surveyed 500 insurance brokers from small broking firms across Australia in January 2024, revealing the prevalent mindset and hurdles faced by the industry in the year.

According to the study, excessive administrative tasks are a significant reason behind the difficulty in delivering exceptional customer service. The research found that 70% of brokers spend more than three hours daily on administrative tasks such as processing and data entry. Nearly 24% stated that compliance adherence is both challenging and time-consuming.

JAVLN's Founder and CEO, Dale Smith, noted: "The insurance industry in Australia needs brokers more than ever, but if those brokers have to fight battles on multiple fronts every day, they're naturally going to struggle to deliver the kind of customer service they'd ideally want."

Smith attributed the productivity issues prevalent among Australian brokers primarily to outdated technology. He explained, "Most brokers are lumbered with old clunky technology for their jobs, which makes managing client and policy information extremely difficult, and in turn, makes customer service difficult."

This perspective aligns with the findings of JAVLN’s research. It noted that 27% of brokers found the technology they use for managing client and policy details too complex. Additionally, 23% believed that the technology currently serving the insurance broking industry is no longer suitable.

Smith concluded, "Technology is now more important than ever in insurance, not simply just to keep up with other financial industries, but also to help broking firms in Australia take their services to the next level." He also mentioned that nearly 30% of brokers believe that a more modern cloud-based tech setup for managing clients and policies would make a significant difference to their business.