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When you think of branding, what comes to mind? Perhaps you feel your agency has a solid brand, or maybe branding seems like a nebulous, confusing exercise.

No matter where your agency falls, defining and maintaining your brand is an essential part of insurance customer retention and prospect outreach. You need to know who you are and what value you provide before convincing others why you’re the best choice.

If you’re unsure about your agency brand, or if it’s time for a branding update, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who do you serve?

Take a look at your customer base and look for patterns. Pay attention to qualifiers like gender, marital status, age, profession, household size, and other defining factors. You may find there are different groups within your current customers – that’s okay. Parse out these groupings to get a full picture of who you serve.

2. How do you serve your customers?

Think here about specific services and the methods you use to serve. Do you provide auto insurance? Home? Commercial? Each of these are a part of who you are as an agency.

Defining your services is the easy part. Now, think about how you serve customers. Online? Over the phone? In person? What are your core methods for customer communication?

3. What value do you provide?

Insurance customer retention comes down to providing something unique to your customers. This is essentially your mission – why are you doing what you’re doing?

Consider your special position as an independent insurance agency .You can provide one-on-one service to your clients that large agencies can’t. This establishes a high-trust relationship with customers, something everyone values.

Spend most of your time here. The value your agency provides is what makes your brand stand out.

4. What do you want customers to say?

A lot of this will come from what you define as your value. Ideally, you want your customers to identify the same things you did as valuable.

According to a PropertyCasual 360 article, “agents often say that 90 percent of their business comes via word-of-mouth referrals.”  You want your customers to say the right things to prospects, and the best way to do so is to figure out what you want them to say.

Create Your Brand

Once you’ve spent time thinking about the above questions, gather your ideas and get them together in core branding elements such as a mission statement and tagline. Check out other agencies to find out what it is you need: a jingle? Catchphrase? Core values? Decide what is appropriate for your agency’s audience and start crafting.

As you create your brand, get employee buy-in. Engage staff at all levels in its creation and clearly communicate final branding. It’s important that all member of your staff understand and can accurately articulate your agency’s brand, acting as ambassadors for your business.

Monitor Its Impact

After launching your brand, keep track of customer and prospect responses. Search for your agency on social media and monitor comments, tweets, likes, etc. on your agency’s social profiles. Check out reviews, such as on Google+, Yelp, and Angie’s List, to see what people are saying about your agency. If you don’t have any reviews, get the ball rolling by asking loyal customers to write one.

Improve Your Branding

“Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice-versa.” Jay Baer – Convince & Convert

Your agency brand is connected to what your customers think and that is highly influenced by the service they receive. One of the best tools to impact how you serve clients is your agency management system.

A quality system like SIS’s Partner XE provides value to your agency through increased workflow efficiency, allowing you to better serve customers, building your brand image. Features like mobile access and Outlook integration increase customer connection and speed up response time, building your case for great customer service.

Find out how you can upgrade your brand with Partner XE by contacting us today at 800.747.9273 or sales@sisware.com.