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Record keeping and all that

What’s all the fuss about record keeping and all that? There’s one school of thought that runs, in effect, that it’s the advice that counts – not the file.

Monday, September 3rd 2018, 9:53AM

by Russell Hutchinson

These people are particularly scornful of detail, process, forms, and data that comes with, say, the current AFA Code.

Let alone the new one that is coming. It is easy to have a lot of sympathy with such a view, but the data supports the opposite proposition.

I’ve recently had meetings with people that run disputes resolution organisations. Hearing them talk about the types of complaints they get, and what happens with them, underlines the value of effective record keeping.

Not for compliance purposes, although that is essential. Their data underlined the importance of good records for effective business management.

Although “advice” is the single largest category of complaints all the others have a common thread – bad management or administration.

So, it is your administration that is causing more complaints than advice issues. Most complaints do not arise not from selling the wrong product or the wrong amounts of cover.

Most complaints come from screwing up the admin, not explaining something properly (like how much you are going to charge), and so on.

This is good news, but annoying.

It’s like the person that comes up to you at the swimming pools and says you need to keep your feet up when you dive.

We should be glad of the advice, but think they are an interfering know-it-all. It’s annoying that admin is the issue for several reasons. We’re really interested in advice giving, not paperwork.

We like arguing about what represents good advice. We want that to be the thing. Insurers are like this too.

The focus, the glamour, comes with launching clever new products and features. Software launches are tolerable. Operational sessions are the worst. Something for “administrators”.

Administrators are, in fact, like the superhero’s backup, the ones that give directions and help you out of trouble.

Now the data suggests that instead of spending heaps more time and money on advice process, balancing that with increased operational investment is likely to yield greater value in customer satisfaction.

So it might be time to immerse yourself in study on how to manage data, ensure quality, and operational efficiency in the business.

It is a question of going back to record keeping and all that: and it is handy, because you are going to be told you have to do it anyway.

Tags: Insurance Advisers Russell Hutchinson

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