Insurance customer retention is a primary goal for most agencies. Although it’s much easier to retain customers than gain new ones, you need to do both to sustain your agency.
How can you both gain and retain customers?
First, hone your product and services. A strong staff and service you are proud of are the base of your agency. Build on this base with a few essential tools:
- Agency website
- Active social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter)
- Regular agency content (eNews, blog)
- Agency management system
Possessing the rights tools isn’t enough – you need to know how to use them. Each will help you get to build relationships with customers and simultaneously attract new ones. Start by getting to know your customers, finding out what makes them tick and using it to further your relationship.
Know your customers
Find out what your customers are talking about. Follow them on social media, to see what they are saying and sharing. Check your website visits to see where users go and how they spend their time. Use your agency management system to set up recurring reports showing lines of business, premiums, and other pertinent customer information. Aggregate your insights to create a picture of your client base.
Use what you know about your customers to inform how and when to talk to them. Keep in regular contact, using your management system to set up reminders and keep notes on interactions. Reach out via email and social media, increasing your touches. Get to know your clients better by finding out who they know. Social media can provide great insights into your customers’ relationships and gives you ideas on potential referrals.
Improve customer experience
Once you know more about your customers, target their needs and deliver. Perhaps you need to tighten up response time to issues – use your agency website to take requests or provide online chats to resolve problems. Integrate customer preferences into your regular content, hitting elements in your emails and blog posts that your customers want to read. The reward is obvious: the better experience your customers have, the more likely they are to share and refer it.
Everyone likes to get an unexpected reward. One freebie you can give is your content. Give your customers exclusive access to webinars, eGuides, and whitepapers addressing their immediate needs. Another way to sweeten their experience is through special offers right around their renewal dates. Use your agency management system to track X-dates and be ready with little ways to help them save. If possible, work in adding new lines of service. The more business they do with you, the more likely they are to stay. Finally, offer referral discounts. Again, this can be tied to renewal dates but can easily be offered all year round.
Get the word out
Make your desire for referrals public. Have “refer a friend” on your website and in your employees’ email signature. Look through notes and emails attached to a prospect’s profile in your agency management system, finding connections with current customers and asking them to introduce you.
When a referral is made, make it public. Thank the customer for the referral on social media, your website, and in your regular eNews. It’s amazing how far a small “thank you” can go.
Ultimately, insurance customer referral and retention comes down to the number one word in the business: relationships. All our efforts are fruitless without a quality product and excellent service. It’s about finding ways to connect with and support your customers, giving them a great product and a unique experience of care.
And you can only give your customers the best when your agency is operating at its best. At SIS, we strive to provide each of our agency partners with the same unique service they desire for their customers. Whether it’s a quick response to an email or a customized training session, the SIS staff is at the ready to ensure each agency is utilizing our Partner XE agency management system to the fullest.