Sales in RBC Insurance

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Sales in RBC Insurance

OVERVIEW

Royal Bank of Canada’s Insurance group “is among the fastest growing insurance organizations in [Canada].” Four key components contributing to its growth are excellent customer service, unparalleled sales support, an extensive product portfolio, and a respected and trusted brand name. This fundamental combination has led it to become an insurance powerhouse but it has also encountered problems in its aggressive marketing efforts, having been cited in a complaint stemming from the improper transferal of customer information from its parent company, RBC, to its subsidiary arm, RBC Insurance. Also, complaints from former and current RBC Insurance salespeople echo a pervasive sentiment of being micromanaged to death.

EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE

In a 2006 RBC Insurance corporate profile, former group head, Jim Westlake, stated that improving client experience would be central to their strategy going forward. Today, RBC Insurance makes it easy for clients to locate stores and advisers, allowing them to simply input any information about where they live to obtain relevant results. This Insurance Store and Advisor Locator platform also allows customers to find out about mobile advisers which visit different locations in Canada and offer financial literacy in regards to retirement, life, and health insurance plans.
In December of 2016, showing a continued interest in providing excellent customer service, RBC Insurance partnered with Medical Confidence to directly offer clients one-on-one support to better deal with the shocks and pains of illnesses and accidents. The service provides contact with a registered nurse and guidance in navigating treatment options. This and other previous efforts no doubt contribute to the overall appeal of RBC Insurance's products.

UNPARALLELED SALES SUPPORT

RBC Insurance also offers an online platform for insurance advisers which provides them with in-depth information of product offerings, like payout annuities and group benefits, in addition to services normally offered to managing general agents like forms, ads, bulletins, and other marketing material.
Professionally-trained sales representatives can be found in regions throughout Canada and act as consultants to third-party brokers on issues such as "training and development, field calls, sales concepts and product knowledge." These representatives have access to the Advisory Services Team which provide technical assistance on complex matters like tax and legal issues, among others.

EXTENSIVE PRODUCT PORTFOLIO

RBC Insurance has a wide product portfolio. Their insurance offerings will appeal to all entities, from the everyday person, looking for personal kinds of insurance like home and car insurance, to the business owner, looking for protection against overhead expenses or the loss of a key person. This makes RBC Insurance an attractive solution for those needing more multiple insurance services.
In January of 2016, Aviva Canada, "one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in [the country]," acquired RBC General Insurance Company, a subsidiary of RBC, in a long-term strategic agreement. It allowed RBC Insurance's clients full access to Aviva's property and casualty products while RBC Insurance acquired the rights to "market and sell these products" under their brand name. RBC is actively augmenting their product portfolio.

RESPECTED AND TRUSTED BRAND NAME

Royal Bank of Canada is a financial leader in Canada. RBC Insurance has leveraged this in branding statements on their insurance group's website, such as "We're one of Canada's largest and most trusted companies and an institution whose history stretches back nearly 150 years." Their history and name give them an advantage over insurance companies who don't have the same recognition to everyday people.

CHALLENGES

In 2012, RBC, Canada's largest bank, was accused of attempting to circumvent Canadian banking rules that prohibited subsidiary arms from receiving customer data from their retail banking divisions. While using its brand name in marketing materials is fine, the practice of exchanging customer information among different financial arms is illegal in Canada. In response to the allegations, RBC stated, "We are committed to regulatory compliance and respect the Bank Act and privacy legislation."
RBC has been known to situate insurance offices next to their banking branches and both, RBC and Bank of Montreal, were cited in a complaint by insurance brokers alleging that advertising insurance services on the banks' websites violated the law.
It is not at all clear if these incidents had any long-term effect on RBC Insurance sales and it gives insight into their logical strategy of leveraging their brand recognition.
A cursory glance at employee reviews on Glassdoor Canada shows that RBC insurance employees are generally happy with their jobs and coworkers but continually mention the lack of proper training as a con. One current licensed insurance adviser says, "Training is extensive but fails to prepare you for your role." The adviser goes on to say, "Culture is changing from service to sales." A life license advisor states, "Sales target are high, lots of changes in RBC Insurance side."
Other insurance employees feel like they are micromanaged to death and that RBC Insurance suffers from a tyranny of metrics as there are "stats within stats within stats."

CONCLUSION

RBC Insurance has continued to rise as one of the premier insurance companies in Canada. It has been able to do this with the help of four keys, excellent customer service, unparalleled sales support, an extensive product portfolio, and a respected and trusted brand name. Its strong foundation gives RBC Insurance confidence that it will continue to grow, however, it is worth noting that it is not without its problems as its parent company has run into the law and some RBC Insurance salespeople & advisers have expressed a distaste for the managerial side and its misuse of statistics.
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