10 Tips to Support New CSR Success
Emily Huling, CIC, CMC
Most agencies cringe at the thought of bringing a new CSR onboard. Will she get along with everybody? Who will train her? Will her work be accurate and reliable? How fast will she learn our agency management system, rating programs, and carriers? Will she connect with our customers? While this conventional thinking puts the burden of success on the new employee, it’s the employer who is primarily responsible for ensuring that the qualified new hire is a winner.
Before the CSR’s first day, let everyone know a little personal information about her and why she was chosen to be part of your agency team.
Have her workstation clean and organized with equipment to be up and running on the first day. Remove all things that she won’t need for the job or was the personal property of the former employee. Having business cards and a name plate ready is a nice touch.
Plan the reception that your new employee receives from the minute that she walks in on her first day. This includes being greeted warmly by all employees and scheduling a break time to mix and mingle.
Assign an office buddy. Match your new CSR with a coworker from another department who will make introductions and familiarize her with general office information. This assures a cross-departmental welcome which is often overlooked.
Agency owners should spend some time to welcome the new hire and impart firsthand the vision and values of the agency.
Have a 90-day structured orientation and training program in place to coincide with the 90-day probationary period. Within that time both the manager (or assigned training coordinator) and new employee will have enough interaction to determine if the employment is working as it should.
Expose the new hire to as much as the agency operation as possible through shadow training. Have the CSR spend several hours or more with coworkers in various departments and positions to get a feel for job responsibilities and the flow of the agency.
Utilize as many coworkers as possible for technical, product, and technology training. This not only spreads the work around, it helps build relationships.
Ask your carriers for assistance in training. Marketing reps love to do this to gain loyalty and get business.
The manager or training coordinator should provide weekly feedback and monthly updates to both the employee and the owner. This keeps the training and education process on track and opens communication for adjustments in the training schedule. A highly-monitored program helps avoid surprises and if things don’t work out, the situation can be handled within the 90-day trial period.
Think of your new employee as a guest. Be welcoming, helpful, have the place in good order, and educate them on the house rules. With an effective 90-day orientation, your new CSR will be a guest you want to have around a long time.
About the author
Emily Huling, CIC, CMC helps the insurance industry create top-performing sales and customer service organizations. She is the author of Selling from the Inside, Great Service Sells, and Kick Your “But.” For information on her programs and products call 888-309-8802 or visit www.sellingstrategies.com.