Over the last few years the Financial Service industry has changed considerably. Insurance has been one of the products impacted most, with the main driving forces behind these changes being regulation, competition and customer expectations.

The hard sell

When I first started working in the banking industry over 34 years ago the customer was far from “at the heart of all we did”.  The key drivers were numbers, volumes and targets.  As an advisor, I remember being hauled into my manager’s office because my PPI penetration rate had dropped below the 70% target one month.  I was told in no uncertain terms that if my performance on this key line didn’t improve I would be put back on the counter.  No coaching.  No mention of Customer. It was management by fear.

Fear drove a “hard sell” mentality across the industry, and when incentives for sales were introduced, the result meant the customer moved further into the background of what was important.