Premiums generated by call centres in Canada have risen by 96% since 1994, says Ted Belton who addressed the Strategy Institute Call Centre Conference recently. Belton notes the more traditional distribution methods generated premiums at a lower 20% growth rate for the same period.
Belton, author of quarterly The Belton Report, predicts companies and brokers who fail to take heed to this implication will lose a significant portion of their customers. “In order to survive, traditional industry players have to come as close as possible to duplicating call centre convenience, accessibility and speed,” he adds. He cautions that the banks are ahead of the insurance industry in recognizing the importance of relationship marketing, noting, “traditional property and casualty insurers are still very much product oriented and ill-equipped to develop strong client relationships because brokers are a barrier between the insurer and client”.
Belton says the rise of the call centre will continue, “in the province of Ontario alone, where there are more than 4,000 call centres, the call centre industry grew by 28% in 1997”.