Have communications preferences changed for good?
The travel restrictions and social distancing associated with COVID-19 heralded massive growth in the use of web-based communication such as Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams. But as we look further into 2021 and beyond, we must ask, have communications preferences changed for good or do SMEs want to return to face-to-face meetings?
As Jim, a Bottle Shop owner and valued broker client, said in a recent interview “The whole point of having a broker is to have a relationship”. So, do SMEs feel that a relationship can flourish without in-person contact?
Vero’s SME Insurance Index Changing Communication Preferences bonus chapter revealed some fascinating insights into SMEs’ attitudes.
Over half of broker clients welcome the return of face-to-face meetings once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. However, that is not the full story, 47% agree that web-based communications are an excellent way to communicate with their broker, with 41% saying that they would like to continue to use these channels in the future.
This year’s Index also explored which communication channels are preferred for different tasks. On the whole, emails came out on top. But for more complicated tasks, face-to-face meetings or phone conversations were preferred. Interestingly, very few broker clients prefer web-based communication tools for any tasks when other, more traditional options are readily available, suggesting that the ‘new normal’ of regular online meetings may not last.
It’s easy to make assumptions based on our own experiences of communicating during the pandemic. But this chapter shows just how nuanced and varying SME opinions are on this issue. It underlines the value of scheduling an open discussion with your SME clients about how they want to communicate in future.
To see the full findings for 2021 and what they mean for brokers:
Register to watch the CPD accredited Vero SME Insurance Index Webinar on-demand
Source: The SME Insurance Index report research was conducted by BrandMatters. See www.brandmatters.com.au
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