Business centre heads of indian insurers need to understand customers’ body language
Whenever a Customer approaches you – These ten commandants as stated below is to be observed as the basic ground rule:
1. Allow him / her to have a seat.
2. Allow him / her to open up.
3. Allow him / her to steam off.
4. Give him / her a careful listening.
5. Interact to show your interest.
6. Understand the issue / problem.
7. Assure that you will take action.
8. Direct him / her appropriately.
9. Don’t give any bluff / limit within the rules.
10. Take action befitting to the requirement.
Basic requirements of understanding of the body language of the customer:
The postures and language of the body of the customer speak a lot about his / her attitude, mental status and character. We use gestures in communication in order to convey a message and express ourselves. Body language is a powerful expressive technique in non-verbal communication. Some of the important & different types of gestures we normally use for communication with people present around us.
There are different gestures that give out different signs of what a person is feeling. We are now to discuss about a few body language tips that will help you know a bit more on signs of attraction. If someone touches their elbow against you, it is a fire sign under the gestures and it indicates the feeling of affinity. The person loves you and likes to have your attention, if his or her elbow brushes off against yours. When you observe the feet, see the direction in which their foot is pointing.
The foot will always be pointing towards person, the concerned person finds most attractive. Even the direction of the knee points towards the most attractive person they find in the room. If the person wants some intimacy with the person, they will form a closed positioning. This means that the person faces the most attractive person that he finds directly and if you are faced by the opposite sex at a ‘0’ angle, try stepping into the intimate zone carefully. Many times one body language gesture may indicate two things at the same time for two different people. If a woman gives a tight-lipped smile and looks up sideways, it means she likes someone.
This gesture awakens the parental feeling in men meaning that he would like to take care of the woman who gave him that look. Positive body language like dilated pupils indicates interest and attraction. But the same body language and gesture may also prove that the person maybe on alcohol, drugs, etc. A man tilting his head and smiling indicates a flirting body language gesture and asking favour of you. But the same gesture may also mean that the person is trying to convince you that he is honest.
There are many such body language and gestures that mean many things. Just remember a few of the gestures that may prove helpful to you in your daily life. If you observe steady eyes, it means a positive body language gesture which means a calm and confident self. An angry feeling is indicated by staring eyes; while anxiety and deceit can be understood through shifty eyes. People who cross their arms, close themselves to social influence. They tend to be slightly reserved and maybe uncomfortable with their weight.
When someone rests his arms behind his or her own neck, it means they are open for a discussion and waiting to give their opinion. A boy with his hands in his pockets indicates that he is relaxed and attracted towards you. Understanding various body languages is definitely fascinating. The more you study human behavior and gestures, the better you understand yourself, individual persons & your customers at large. You can also improve your communication skills by learning body language and using the movements and signs correctly in different situations.
When the customer is approaching – the way he/ she walks, sits and talks are indicative of his / her mood. He / she may jump, run and frolic around to express his / her happiness. While walking slowly, or by drooping the head indicates a gloomy mood. He /she fidget in nervousness, stretches the body to relax and sit idle when lazy. Body movements are accompanied by facial expressions which further distinctly reflect his / her mood. When he / she move his / her legs constantly while sitting, it shows that you are restless. Impatience reflects when you sway, kick or bounce your leg in the air. Keeping your legs crossed while conversing is a sign of etiquette while sitting with slightly open and stretched legs depicts that you are in a relaxed mood.
Standing with feet crossed could be an expression of coyness and unstable posture. You will understand these subtle gestures if you carefully observe your own body movements and also of people present around you. When you move your legs constantly while sitting, it shows that you are restless. Impatience reflects when you sway, kick or bounce your leg in the air.
Keeping your legs crossed while conversing is a sign of etiquette while sitting with slightly open and stretched legs depicts that you are in a relaxed mood. Standing with feet crossed could be an expression of coyness and unstable posture. You will understand these subtle gestures if you carefully observe your own body movements and also of people present around you. Hand gestures are also emblematic of religious beliefs. The gestures of Buddha are well-recognized throughout the world as ‘mudras’.
Indian classical dance forms give utmost importance to hand gestures as they are used extensively for self-expression and making the dance exquisitely graceful. Touch is factor essential for making a non-verbal communication effective. When your boss pats on your back in order to appreciate you, don’t you feel more confident and successful – more than his words, it’s the patting that makes you feel better.
Understanding the gestures as the non-verbal communication:
Use of gestures in non-verbal communication is extensive while in verbal communication they are just an addition to words in order to make the communication more effective and appealing. Study of gestures and body language is not only given utmost importance in psychology but also in neurology because the brain plays a key role in controlling our body movements. Let’s try to understand how gestures are significant in our everyday life. Similarly, a warm hug is much more comforting and assuring than a thousand good words spoken to console a person. We shake our hands while greeting and congratulating, hold hands to express concern and grip the arms with the hands to make a statement or to make him/her understand the right thing.
We begin with facial expressions – something that immediately gives a picture of our mind and innermost thoughts. Everyone is familiar with facial expressions of happiness, anger, worries, distress, surprise, etc. Emotions get so well portrayed on the face that words are not needed to express them.
Simply put, you laugh when you are happy, cry when utterly sad and frown at something weird. The kid and his dad are engrossed and astonished while watching the movie. There are over fifty different types of smiles. Body language experts can read whether a smile is genuine or a fake one.
The old saying “action speaks louder than words” holds true. In a given situation, even if you do not communicate verbally, your body speaks volumes by revealing your feelings and emotions. Body language and non-verbal communication go hand in hand.
The term ‘body language’ refers to all the signals given by a person either by voluntary or involuntary body movement. It includes all gestures, postures and expressions through which an individual displays his physical and mental state in order to communicate non verbally with others.
For instance, an eye to eye contact, whilst talking, displays the confidence in a person, whereas looking down or avoiding eye contact displays his timid attitude. Today, understanding the body language is an integral part of arriving at the win-win situation criteria at many underwriting discussions with the clients or claims settlement Meetings.
A client may not be aware that you are expert in adjudging his body language. Body language is read by observing the body posture, the eye movements and the rhythm of breathing. One of the skills, a human being should possess dealing his boss, is the ability to read body language.
When it comes to human behavior, ‘body language’ is considered to be of great importance, as it helps in judging a person and/or presenting yourself in a positive manner in front of him / her. Body language has off late become one of the most important life skills for us. It’s normal tendency to use various parts of our body, even when we are verbally communicating with someone.
Studies reveal that body language and tone of our voice play a prominent role in our communication. In fact, both of these make up 93 percent of our communication, leaving only 7 percent value to what we speak.
Further, breakup reveals that body language alone accounts for 55 percent of human communication skills. At times, body language is also referred to as non-verbal communication, which is technically incorrect. Non-verbal communication includes body movement as well as the tone of the person, whereas body language only stresses on the movement of various parts of the body. At times, body language is also referred to as non-verbal communication, which is technically incorrect.
Non-verbal communication includes body movement as well as the tone of the person, whereas body language only stresses on the movement of various parts of the body. Counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists are good at interpreting body language of their clients. By reading the body language, a counselor or a psychologist is able to understand the problem of his client and prescribe the right kind of therapy the army and police force also use body language interpretation techniques for crime investigation.
The investigative officers look for telltale signs in the body language of the criminal or accused to determine whether or not he is speaking the truth. We need to remember, in a pie chart for communication, 70% is occupied by non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication includes gestures, tone and modulation of voice.
Facial expressions – the most important aspects of body language:
One of the most important aspects of body language is the facial expressions that speak in volumes for an individual. It’s impossible to talk to someone in person, without displaying your emotions through your facial expressions. Although some people have mastered it, it’s difficult to fake emotions, especially if the person with whom you are communicating can observe and interpret your body language.
Smiles – If you are sharp enough you can easily catch any individual who is faking emotions. You can’t have a smiling face when you are talking with someone you don’t like at all. The smile will be a fake one and fake smiles can be easily inferred.
The parts of the body considered while reading body language are:
1. Head – face, forehead, eyes, eyebrows, cheek, chin, mouth
2. Arms – elbow, hands, fingers.
3. Legs – knees, foot.
4. Torso – shoulder, back, hips.
5. Eyes downcast – Guilty, Boredom.
3. Rubbing the eyes – Disbelief, Doubt.
4. Rubbing the bridge of the nose – Uncertain, Rejection.
5. Resting the head on the palms – Boredom, Despair.
6. Head tilted to one side – Shows interest, Listening.
7. Patting/fondling hair -This body language means lack of self-confidence and insecurity.
8. Tilting head quickly -This body language indicates interest in some person or thing.
9. Person walking with hands in pockets, shoulders hunched – This body language shows a person in dejection.
10. Person brings hand to cheek – The person is evaluating and thinking.
11. Touching, slightly rubbing nose – The person is rejected, in doubt and maybe lying.
12. Rubbing the eye – The person is in doubt or disbelief.
13. Hands clasped behind back – The person is angry, frustrated and apprehensive.
14. Person sitting with legs crossed, or his foot kicking slightly – This body language means boredom.
15. Person sitting with legs apart – This body language means an open and relaxed person.
16. Person tapping or drumming with his fingers -This body language means that the person is impatient.
Body languages to be observed for the internal customers (applicable for the Employees of Insurance Companies) :
As an individual employee each one must feel it important to exhibit a positive body language at the office to enhance a healthy work environment and also to maintain a good working relationship with your immediate superiors and colleagues. One-to-one meetings or team meetings are a part of our office; these meetings help the manager to understand the problems faced by his team and also establish a good working relationship.
Team meetings and team building exercises help to motivate the team and invoke an overall spirit of the team. To create conducive work atmosphere, it is necessary for the manager to display approachable and empathetic body language.
Body Posture – Whether or not your manager is agreeing or interested in your conversation can be understood from his body language. If he is standing with his foot and body turned towards you, i.e. mirroring your body pose, then it is a sure sign he is agreeing with you. When his body posture is not mirroring that of yours it means he is not in agreement with you. A manager and an employee who want to establish a good rapport with one another should mirror their body postures.
This is a non-verbal sign that two people are thinking along the similar lines. Whether or not your manager is agreeing or interested in your conversation can be understood from his body language. If he is standing with his foot and body turned towards you, i.e. mirroring your body pose, then it is a sure sign he is agreeing with you.
When his body posture is not mirroring that of yours it means he is not in agreement with you. A manager and an employee who want to establish a good rapport with one another should mirror their body postures. This is a non-verbal sign that two people are thinking along the similar lines.
Facial expressions – it is something that immediately gives a picture of your mind and innermost thoughts. Everyone is familiar with facial expressions of happiness, anger, worries, distress, surprise, etc. Emotions get so well portrayed on the face that words are not needed to express them. Simply put, you laugh when you are happy, cry when utterly sad and frown at something weird. Look at the left hand side image and observe the expression.
How engrossed and astonished the kid and his dad are while watching the movie, while the image on the right side depicts a tension-stuck girl waiting anxiously for her interview results to be declared. Thus, from facial expressions you can easily make your way into one’s mind. One’s disagreement or agreement is reflected on one’s face. Our face is the mirror of our inner emotions such as anger, fear or sadness. Facial expressions reveal one’s feelings in a given situation.
Another important body language tool is eye contact. If a person makes eye contact with you, it is a definite sign of interest. However, if his eyes are downcast, he is likely to be hiding something or it could be guilt. Eyes are the most expressive elements of the face. Even if you possess a little intuitive skills, you can judge a person from the expression in his/her eyes.
Lack of proper eye contact reduces your credibility while giving an interview or while delivering a public speech. Looking down or looking elsewhere while communicating reflects low self-confidence and uncertainty. Therefore, the way you look and stare can reveal your state of mind.
Psychologists believe that your pupils tend to dilate while lying to someone and constrict while looking at with jealousy. On the contrary, there’s always a sparkle and composure in the eyes when you are happy, optimistic and of course in love. Therefore, visual sense is also a gesture that reflects a plethora of human expressions and desires, and aids in analysis of diverse range of personalities.
Reading and interpretation of body language is done by many business organizations as a part of their manpower staffing procedures. Body language is a very vast, but interesting, subject. Body language plays a vital role in team building and also in establishing mutual understanding between two or more people.
As already said that by studying gestures and body language, we can perceive the mental state of an individual; the statement is true for hand gestures as well. You can easily make out that a person is terribly angry when he raises his hand to hit someone. Embracing, patting and shaking hands are extensively used in communication as they signify love, appreciation, assurance, friendliness, etc. Gestures of hands have been studied in-depth and the interpretations are undoubtedly very interesting.
They have versatile meanings which vary according to country and cultural settings. The expression of your face also changes when you use hands for the purpose of communication. Let’s begin with symbolism of fingers. Raising the index and the middle finger to form the letter ‘V’ is the symbol of victory and peace. The symbol of ‘perfect’ and ‘okay’ is made by curling the index finger to touch the tip of the thumb, while raising rest of the fingers.
Similarly pointing fingers has several symbolisms. It could be meant for summoning someone, pointing at something or it could also be an interpretation of sexual disgrace. Thumbs-up is acknowledged as ‘well done’ and ‘very good’ while crossing fingers is a symbol of hope and anticipation. Thus, knowing the meanings of hand gestures helps in communicating in the correct manner.
It’s also a fact that movements of the head and expression of the face and eyes are correlated. How? Imagine this situation – your parents have asked you to take care of the pet in their absence. How do you respond? If you are willing to do so, then you node your head with a smile on your face and your eyes brighten up.
Your reaction is a positive affirmation. Nodding the head, patting gently on the head, holding the head while hugging, scratching the forehead, cupping the hands on the head, etc. are gestures that convey a wide range of meanings While hugging, you embrace the person with both hands, hold his head close to you or hide your head in his/her chest.
Such kind of body movements are nothing but expressions of love, care and compassion. In this case, the gestures of self-expression arising from the connection you have with the other person diminish the proximal space shared by both of you
Reflexes are gestures arising impromptu, but become prominent and repetitive along with the primary body movements. Despite doing unconsciously, they help in interpreting the character and state of mind of an individual. It goes this way. Reflexes are gestures arising impromptu, but become prominent and repetitive along with the primary body movements. Despite doing unconsciously, they help in interpreting the character and state of mind of an individual. It goes this way.
Remember your childhood days when your teacher is taking a class and you are not at all paying attention to him/her. All of a sudden he/she asks you a question. You don’t know the answer; look blankly here and there to get some clue. Finally you speak up; fumbling and scratching your forehead. These two actions are reflexes that pop up while speaking with uncertainty and lack of proper knowledge and confidence you have resorted to that.
Adjusting the tie, playing with buttons, looking at self again and again are reflexes that can either be a natural response or a medium to seek attention. Biting lips and nails, and moving legs are very common expressions of anxiety and tension.
Now you are fully grown up – perhaps at the verge of retirement – if you are selected as officer-in-charge of any operating offices / as the business center head the first step you need to take to know, understand and get the confidence of your customer / proposed client, you definitely need to focus your attention to increase you power of observation, under the body languages and his gesture & posture for finding the specific need of the person and to deal with the person in a such a way that their first impression is absolutely being built in your favour.
It simply indicates a long trust to be built up for your thriving venture of insurance marketing, market capturing to achieve the desired satisfaction & delight of his / her customer.
The insurance market has expanded into the online, mobile, and retail / social worlds. But the key to success hasn’t changed since the days of traditional, brick-and-mortar business. It’s still about service – we must be able to deliver quality service that meets customer expectations.
IT / Web commerce applications helped us to achieve success, allowing us to market, interact, and transact across multiple channels in a predictable, consistent, and personalized manner. Today –
1. The future is insurance business becoming basically based on on-line insurance business;
2. Thriving mantra (as appeared) in this de-tariff regime of non-life market is about price;
3. Good claims experience builds loyalty;
4. Customers really respond to cross-selling;
5. Insurers can’t influence on customer retention – must resort to customer satisfaction understanding the customer behaviour.
With the liberalization and internationalization in insurance, service quality has become an important means of differentiation and path to achieve business success. Such differentiation based on service quality can be a key source of competitiveness for insurance companies and hence have implication for leadership in such organizations.
With the increasing demands of customer, insurance sector has become competitive. The one for all or all for one syndrome is being given a go- by. Customers are becoming increasingly aware of their expectations, and demand higher standards of services, as technology is enabling them to make comparisons quickly and accurately. Their perceptions and expectations are continually evolving, making it difficult for service providers to measure and manage services effectively.
The trend of insurance companies shifting from a product-focused view to a customer-focused one has been developing recently as insurance products become increasingly hard to differentiate in fiercely competitive markets.
Insurance companies in India are consequently directing their strategies towards increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty through improved service quality. It is becoming desirable for insurance companies to develop a customer centric approach for future survival and growth.
The awareness has already dawned that prompt, efficient and speedy service alone will tempt the existing customers to continue and induce new customers to try the services of the company.
Faced with the unprecedented challenges of troubled financial markets, changing regulatory oversight and economic uncertainty, there is a risk that some insurers may not be listening and responding to the most important voice of all – that of their customers.
For any insurer hoping to navigate through this difficult time, understanding how customer behaviors and attitudes are changing is critical. Previous assumptions and received wisdom about customers may no longer be reliable, and those insurers who are able to respond best to what customers want now are most likely to succeed.
Customers want products, and the purchasing process, to be simple and transparent so that they can understand what they are buying. They want to build long-term relationships with insurance providers based on trust, and to have confidence that the products they are buying are right for them and meet their needs.
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