Yesterday a cousin had to convert a pension plan to an annuity, and he had sought my advise. He had an accumulation of a small amount to be converted.
They had sent him a form to his residence – he had filled it up and brought it. The form was complete in all respects…so he (we) thought it would take about 10 minutes to walk out.
How wrong were we!
We had to fill up a new form (Sir the form was changed in April, 2013) – this form was sent in March.
So he had to fill in the form again. No issues it took about 30 minutes to fill up the form. ALL THE DETAILS ASKED FOR WERE AVAILABLE with the insurance company.
Name, father’s name, address, date of birth….
then they wanted an address proof (they had taken it when they sold the policy), pan card (ditto), they wanted a photocopy of the cheque (same account from where the premium was being paid).
THEN THEY WANTED A KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER form to be filled in ! This got my goat. They had all the details as required by the KYC FORM.
Why the hell, could the life insurance company not pre-populate the forms? Why could they not send a pre-populated form to the customer after asking him on phone whether there are any changes at all?
I have a nice explanation – from a sales guy. Reads a lot like an Ayn Rand rant!!
Over the past 5 years the number of sales people has dropped dramatically. However the ratio of sales people to total number of employees has fallen far far more dramatically. When the number of productive people are reduced, the non productive people NEED TO KEEP THEMSELVES busy. So the people in audit, cost control, training, accounts, HR, operations, etc.
These people have to justify their existence, so they create forms. Sales guys are less in number and are not doing well in sales – this means they cannot now protest loudly. Terrible combination.
The BFSI industry should realise that the client is screaming because
a) he has been sold a lemon (of course the commission has been paid out),
b) he gets pathetic advice
c) he gets an indifferent company which never gives the feeling that he is wanted
d) they guy who sold him the policy is now not calling on him AT ALL.
Mr. Suresh Mahalingam of Tata Aig Life Insurance and Mr. Amitabh Chaudhary of Hdfc life insurance may not be able to do anything about the fact that the client has been sold a lemon but they can surely improve the internal processes.
I am also convinced that equity fund management skills do not exist in the industry. Thank God for falling interest rates…hopefully the debt funds will perform and give returns for some time…..
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