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Five Star Agency Designation


Five Star Agency Designationsm
 
What is the Five Star Agency Designationsm?
It is a fitness system that was created to assist the independent agencies in their endeavor to achieve a high level of distinction in all of their services. It is designed to recognize the achievement of being one of the best at providing superior knowledge, service and value by doing the right thing all of the time. This program analyzes your agency's culture and provides you with valuable information and insight that will ultimately affect your bottom line. Whether you're just beginning the journey, somewhere in the middle or within reach of the Five Star Agency Designationsm, your agency will benefit. The program challenges you to continually improve all that you do.

It focuses on the following:
 
  • Customer Focus
    (Service, Voice of Customer, Customer Service Model)
  • Management/Leadership
    (Communication, Mission/Vision/Value, Planning, Business Results)
  • Human Resource
    (Selection, Development, Involvement, Motivation)
  • Process and Products
    (Carriers/Products, Process Management, System Efficiencies, Business Associates)
  • Future Success
    (Sales/Marketing, Accountability, Community Involvement, Innovation)

Why should I get involved in the Five Star Agency Designationsm and When?
The reason to get involved in the Five Star Agency Designationsm is simple, it’s because you want to improve your Agency. While attaining the designation is great and certainly sets you apart from others, the real reason to become involved in the program is because you want to place a stake in the ground today and see what potential you have for tomorrow. It allows for an independent voice and set of eyes to look at your agency, analyze what you do and develop a report that will certainly tell you where your strengths are but, more importantly, point out those areas that you need to work on to become that much better, that much more efficient, and that much more successful.

A study was done on the Five Star Agency Designationsm by The Institutes in Malvern, PA and it noted that agencies who have gone through this program and earned the designation saw a:

~‘Step-up’ in employee performance and commitment to agency and job function
~ Increased revenue, new business and profitability
~ Higher customer and employee retention
~ Enhanced internal and external communications
~ Team-based problem solving
~ Happier employees and a positive work environment and culture

There is no perfect time to decide when it is right to take on this process. There will always be reasons not to…too busy right now, not sure staffing is right, just hired new people, thinking about a new management system, and the reasons go on. The right time is when you say, I want to be better and I am not going to push this off anymore.


But I think I am (you fill in the blank) for the Five Star Agency Designationsm

Let me try to fill in that blank for you…you think the Five Star Agency Designationsm is…

  • For Large Agencies.
  • For Small Agencies.
  • For Agencies who KNOW they will "pass."
Or maybe you would like to get the Five Star Agency Designation but...
  • You're not really sure what it is.
  • You wish you knew what to work on prior to the Five Star Review Team's visit to your agency...
  • You want to "test the waters" before jumping in.
We can assure you that you are not too big, you are not too small and some of our Five Star Agency Designees will tell you the best thing that happened to them is that they didn’t ‘pass’ the first time around! And if you are unsure if the Full Five Star Review is right for you, we can cover that too with the Five Star Preliminary Review!


How does the Five Star Agency Designationsm work?

You have two options here:

Preliminary Five Star Review
This is an abbreviated review for those who do not want to go through a full review but still want an independent person to review their agency and give them some initial direction and feedback on how they can improve. It is only one day long with one review consultant and consists of the following:
  1. All staff (or as many as can be accommodated) are interviewed on a chosen day. The interviews may be with individuals or in groups and they may be in person or over the phone. These logistics are determined by the size of your agency, and remember...ANY size agency can participate in this program.

  2. A report will be created using the feedback from the interviews. The report reveals what your Strengths are and what your Areas of Improvements are in the following areas: Customer Focus, Management, Human Resources, Process & Products, and Future Success.

  3. This report will be reviewed with the agency owners/management staff usually within 1 week of the interviews. The Strengths and Areas of Improvements will be discussed as well as an overall impression of your agency in relationship to the Five Star Key Imperatives with tips and suggestions on how to possibly work on the Areas of Improvements mentioned in the report.

Full Five Star Review

To attain the Five Star Designation an agency must pass a rigorous fitness review. The review requires a team to go into an agency and conduct confidential interviews with agency personnel. The minimum amount of time for a full review is 3 days and is dependent upon the size of the agency. Upon completion, the team meets and discusses their findings on each set of criteria and presents the agency with a detailed report listing their strengths and areas of improvement. Strict grading standards are followed by all team members and all information is kept totally confidential. When an agency meets the criteria by scoring high enough, a Five Star Designation will be awarded for distinction. If an agency does not reach Five Star status, improvement initiatives can be developed from the report and a path set to help the agency achieve a greater level of distinction. An Agency can come back for a follow-up review within a year of the original review date to see if enough improvements have been made to reach the Five Star status.

A fitness review is required every three years to maintain the designation.

What is the cost?
Preliminary Review: $500.00
If you do decide to move forward with the Five Star Designation, $250.00 of that will be credited towards your full review fee if you complete the full review within a year or your original review.


Full Five Star Review: $1,800.00 per day

And again 3 days is the minimum amount of days required and it is dependent upon your size and on how many days it takes.

*Most insurance companies recognize the value of the Five Star Agency Designationsm and many have already supported their agency partners in taking their first steps in the Five Star program. You should contact your carriers to see if they would support you in this endeavor.

Who do I contact if I am interested?
Please contact Heather Kramer, Vice President & COO, at the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents. Heather has done countless reviews of agencies and has been an integral part of the Five Star program since its design and inception in 1999. She can be reached at 800-742-6363, 508-634-2900 x369 or hkramer@massagent.com