26 August 2021
After more than 32 years in insurance, Mark Usher, agent at Elders Insurance Kingaroy in Queensland, knows the importance of doing right by his clients.
Based in the ‘peanut capital’ of Australia, more than 200km north-west of Brisbane, Mark relies on the strength of relationships with his customers and their word of mouth – and it’s reaped its rewards.
“We have a very loyal customer base, but you can never take that for granted – we always need to do right by them; if we do they’ll usually stay with us,” he says.
“The longer you work with people, the more you understand the business and the better the relationship gets. Sometimes a new account supervisor may come in and want to shop around, but the fact that we know their business really well stands us in good stead.
“People put a lot of faith in you – and with all of the changes in the insurance world, it’s important we take the time to explain things to them and ensure they understand what they need to.”
While Mark – who joined Elders Insurance Kingaroy in 2004 after a number of years with Suncorp – prides himself on doing right by his clients, he was still taken aback when he was told he was the 2020 winner of Elders Insurance’s Black Jacket Award, which recognises outstanding contribution to Elders Insurance.
“We do a quarterly review of our business plan, and before we got together to do it, Kevin Crawford, my Agency Development Manager, presented me with the award, and I was absolutely shocked and proud – I wasn’t expecting it at all!”
Mark is obviously doing a lot of things right – but he’s at pains to acknowledge the importance of the team around him.
“My team are an integral part of the businesses success and are highly regarded by our clients”
Surrounding himself with good people who bring a range of complementary skills has been a successful strategy over the years that followed – and Kim Cross, Vanessa Schick, Col Perkins, Greg Murphy and Tom Johnstone are all important members of his Elders Insurance operation.
“The better the team you’ve got, and the better you understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, the better the agency runs – and we’ve got a phenomenal team.”
And, for Mark, winning the award in 2020 is perfectly well-timed. While some other recipients may have bemoaned losing their day in the spotlight, the lack of public celebration due to the pandemic was, in Mark’s eyes, something of a bonus.
“I’m not one for the spotlight – I’m not an extrovert – so the fact I’ve won the award and escaped having to be dragged up on stage is a double win!”
If you live or work in the Kingaroy area and would like to discuss your insurance needs, email Mark at Mark.Usher@elders.com.au.