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  • Jacqueline Le Sueur

It always pays to ask

A letter landed on the doormat this morning, its purpose clearly inscribed on the envelope ... the annual renewal of my roadside assistance cover for my much-loved 12 year old car.

I have used this particular company for many years. Every so now and again I have a look at the competition but I always stay put. And always for the same reason.

Their customer service I have always found excellent, even though I have friends whose journey with this company is far from mine. If they do need to come out, they are punctual and the garages they use offer friendly and efficient service. But it is the way they have always accommodated me when I have queried my renewal premium that impresses me. And query them every year I do, because it always pays to ask.

What is there to lose in any circumstance by asking a question? Nothing ... because at the very worst your situation will remain the same. At the best it will improve.

I had expected my premium to have increased as my car is going into its 13th year and I did have a roadside call out claim in the current insurance year however I thought a 25% increase was way too high.

The call centre was overwhelmed with calls so I turned to the webchat facility and very efficient it was, too. In conversation with a most friendly and knowledgable operative I commented, "My premium is quite a lot more expensive this year over last, isn't it?" She immediately asked if I would renew today if she could do something with the price. A classic sales tactic and one I appreciate. I replied in the affirmative and was politely asked to wait for a moment whilst she looked at the best price she could offer me. My simple query was rewarded with a 20% reduction in my annual premium, offered straight away by an empowered employee without hassle or any further questions.

Of course, I renewed straight away.

A simple customer query + an empowered employee = a satisfied customer & retained business for the company.

A simple equation and yet so rarely experienced.

The lesson for customers - always ask, you have nothing to lose.

The lesson for companies - empower your employees or you have everything to lose.

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