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Friday, December 26, 2014

Social media key to future business: communications expert

“Australian insurers lag far behind other organisations in Australia,” according to the digital communications manager of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF).

Dr Amy Gibbs, who earned her PhD in communications with a focus on social media, has warned that insurers and brokers need to act quickly when it comes to their social media presence or risk losing business.

“It won’t be your current competitors that you’ll have to compete with in 5 years’ time; it will be companies that insurers have never heard of and they won’t necessarily have come from the industry.

“As the insurance industry stands right now in terms of social, those disrupters will have all the advantages.”

Gibbs noted that it is not just the big players in the industry that need to buck up their ideas but smaller brokers can use social media to their advantage over the coming years.

“Social presents enormous opportunities for small businesses and challenger brands.

“It isn’t about adding a Twitter account or getting on Facebook; it’s a cultural and mental shift in how insurers interact with customers, and that’s much harder for a larger company to buy into and takes a lot longer.

“Larger companies need longer to affect that change, and they’re running out of time. Small companies who embrace digital now will be well placed to take market share from the bigger players who don’t adapt.”

Tim Allan, an AR of Insurance Advisor Net, is an avid social media user and believes that even though he is a “small cog in the wheel” of social media, it can pay dividends but warned that it does take time.

“It’s the way of the world and you’re not paying for advertising space or anything like that so your utilising a free platform to spread the good word.”

“It’s not an overnight success or overnight fix, it’s something that you have to work at and I’ve probably been doing it for a couple of years now and I’m only just starting to see some rewards at the end of the day where I’m getting some traction.”

The online space offers a changing world for insurers and brokers alike and new, younger consumers will begin to look for a social profile before they decide to do business with an insurer or broker and Gibbs warns that the risk of being off social media far out-weighs the risk of being on social media.

“The insurance industry is very focused on the risk of being on social media – mainly the risk to reputation and exposure to disgruntled customers, but the risk of not being on social media is far greater.

“A company’s interactions on social are a trust indicator, particularly to younger generations, and staying away from social is sending the message they are untrustworthy or have something to hide.

“In much the same way that 30 years ago you wouldn't trust someone not in the phone book, or without a physical shopfront, customers expect a genuine company to have a website and to have social channels. And not just a place holder with a few followers, but an active and genuine presence.

“As the recent E&Y survey and various other research shows, the insurance industry’s reputation is already dire in the eyes of consumers. Social actually provides the means to improve that trust with customers, if done with the right intentions and transparency. It allows insurers to create touchpoints with customers outside the sales cycle, to show the good that insurance professionals genuinely know they are doing and to be human.”

Allan also believes that social media can play a big part in consumer trust and sees the benefit for insurers, brokers and consumers.

“I think it’s paramount and the more people can see what your message is and what you’re trying to say, you’re putting your brand in front of them constantly, and as far as the trust factor - eventually after seeing all your posts and things like that they’ll begin to trust you.”

Insurance Broker in Perth W.A. has their bases coveredCentral Insurance Brokers facebook fan page, with more than 30,000 fans...  They're doing it well and worth following, like they say, if you want success then get a pen and paper and listen to the experts; experts means those that have a proven record.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Seven secrets to a Successful Leader

Mark is up with the best of them 

Mark Taylor (linkedin) newly appointed Managing Director at Central Insurance Brokers, Perth WA

Most everyone has a New Year’s resolution they aim to stick to, whether it’s working out or learning an instrument, but do you have a professional aim this year?

Improving your leadership skills could lead to great opportunities in 2015 and beyond and leadership.

Suggest a solution, but always begin with problems.

“Every time you say, ‘It’s not that bad,’ you minimise the value of any solutions you find,” says Rockwell. “Never minimise the pain and frustration of others, even when it seems small to you.”

Stop thinking about perfection

“Don’t talk yourself out of imperfect solutions unless you have better ones,” warns Rockwell.

Taking action and improving the situation is better than doing nothing and letting
it be idle. According to Rockwell, it’s better to talk yourself into action, rather than out of action.

He urges leaders to consider these three questions before they talk themselves out of taking action.

Will it help?

Will it harm?

What happens
nothing is done?

Learn while you take action

“Don’t talk about it unless you plan to do something about it,” says Rockwell.

“Welcome those who point out troubles. They aren't the enemy. The enemy is talk without anything being done.”

Focus on getting people in the
correct roles
“Successful leaders understand and influence the talents, skills, and drives of team members,” says Rockwell. He suggests providing leadership and personality assessments to gain a better understanding of what motivates your employees and find out what they’re best at.

Energising environments

In other words, be positive! “The most important thing is about the way we treat each other while we do the work,” says Rockwell. “Spend more time affirming than correcting.”

Embrace forward facing contrarians

“Conformists don’t build the future,” says Rockwell – forward facing contrarians do. “Protect them from the frustrations of others, as much as possible.”

Results don’t define you

According to Rockwell, “The road to great results is more important than results themselves. Honour behaviours that get you there.

Mark has rolled forward with an excellent resume from proven success, and certainly experience from failures and wisdom which leads to greater character.

20yrs experience in General Insurance Broker he is leading the way with re engineering the company.

Call Mark (Direct) 08 93688 903 or mobile 0413560056

Mark profile at Central Insurance Brokers, South Perth West Australia

follow Central Co page at Linkedin

Social media channels Central are top of their website

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Businessman busted snooping on ex-girlfriend

A broker who sought to rat out his ex-girlfriend to a broker regulator had the tables turned against him when the regulator found out he had breached her privacy rights to support his complaint.

Necker Tsz Wing Kwok alleged to the Insurance Council of British Columbia, Canada, that his ex-girlfriend, who used to work at the same brokerage, was listed as the principal operator of a vehicle when she shouldn’t have been.

In support of his complaint, Kwok showed council staff copies of screen prints from the agency’s internal system, as well as screen shots from the B.C. public insurer’s broker query system.

“When the licensee was questioned about why he had these screen prints, he claimed that he was asked by council staff to provide these screen prints to facilitate review of his complaint about the ex-girlfriend,” council wrote in its intended decision. “Council staff denied ever requesting this information from the licensee.

When council further probed Kwok’s actions, he said he was aware of privacy requirements. He maintained that, apart from the time he obtained the screen shots from the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC), he had never before accessed ICBC’s systems in an unauthorized manner.
Except, perhaps, for those other 10 times he checked out his ex-girlfriend’s personal information on the ICBC database between November 2011 and July 2012, as the council later found out. (The ex-girlfriend stopped working at the same brokerage as Kwok on Nov. 9, 2011.)

None of the 10 checks occurred with a corresponding ICBC Autoplan transaction, council’s investigation showed. In each instance, the broker was able to view his ex’s vehicle registration information, the name of the vehicle’s registered owner, the principal operator of the vehicle, the principle operator’s driving license number, the vehicle owner’s address and the effective date of insurance coverage.

“[Kwok] initially explained it was necessary for him to determine the ex-girlfriend’s assets as they were involved in litigation resulting from their separation,” council said in its decision. “In a later submission to council, [Kwok] denied that he had accessed the ex-girlfriend’s records with the intention of determining her assets.”

Council suspended Kwok’s license for two years and ordered him to pay a CAD $1,000 fine for inappropriately accessing his ex-girlfriend’s private information.
Council has not published a decision related to the ex-girlfriend, and Kwok's allegations against her have not been proven in a judicial or disciplinary forum.