Joe's Corner- Baseball and Growth

Joe Sutton -- Sep 13, 2012

Earlier this week I took my youngest son, who is 5 ½, to his first professional baseball game. For those of you who don't know, we're in Baltimore. After 15 years of being the laughingstock of professional baseball the Orioles are a most improbable pennant race.  The most interesting part of the trip though, was watching my son and his reactions to the much bigger environment than he was used to. There were new sights, sounds and smells. It was probably a little too much for him to take in, and by the fifth inning we went home. I suspect it will be one of those experiences that we talked about for the next 20 or 30 years.

In some respects that is pretty similar to our experiences at EducatorProtect over the last few months. We have always been, by insurance standards, a small insurance program that spends a lot of time engaging in personal relationships with our clients. Over the summer however our world happened to get much larger. For a group of reasons, some very expected some very unexpected, we had a very large growth spurt over the summer, this continued into the fall. At its most basic level, the large increase in business that we have seen recently is fantastic. However, like my son that his first game, at times it is been hard to stay on top of all of the activity.

We struggled to return phone calls, respond to e-mails and to keep up with the increased workload. As our systems started to creak, I called one of our partners who is a great deal of experience with larger insurance operations. One of their thoughts was to take our phone number on the front of the website. I cringed a little at that suggestion. I can't remove your ability to have a personal interaction with us if you so desire. Their point was well taken however. We needed to develop systems that understood the primary thoughts and questions our clients had, and give you tools to manage them yourself. Over the next couple of months you will see us roll out most of these tools.

Two postscripts

1) I did begrudgingly agree to change the phone system. It will no longer ring directly to my desk. I know that means we will be able to return calls more quickly and answer them more easily, but I will miss that level of connection.
2) The Orioles won the game.