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Good customer service should never be discounted. It is a great way to increase revenue and drive new business if done well. Many agents, brokers, and other insurance professionals have a tendency to believe that the best and only way of growing means hours spent bringing in new leads and converting them. But that just isn’t true.
Growing your insurance business can be as simple as delivering excellent customer service. When you deliver a positive client experience, you’re not just being a friendly insurance agent. You’re also building stronger relationships and improving customer satisfaction in ways that lead to additional benefits. From getting more referrals and increasing your renewal rates to gaining a deeper understanding of what prospective customers want, good customer service unlocks many ways to increase revenue. Doing so is arguably more important than ever.
“Eighty-eight percent of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services — the highest it’s ever been,” notes 2022 global Salesforce research.
In this article, we’ll explore these types of benefits in more detail, and we’ll also touch on some tips to help you create a great customer experience.
Good Service is Expected
People are quick to spread the word when something negative happens but are less likely to do the same with a positive experience. In fact, a positive experience is exactly what they expect from you. And meeting expectations hardly warrants your client to spread the word. So, if you’re ever in a situation where helping customers seems like a hassle, remember that providing fantastic customer service could be what leads to closing your next deal.
In a time when people are quick to complain, be the agent that communicates with their clients on a regular and consistent basis, returns calls, and finds the answer they are looking for. Be patient with their questions, and be willing to go the extra mile to help.
Keep in mind positive experiences don’t mean people are going to naturally spread the word. Often times they need a little prompt from you to do so. If you’re confident you’re providing good customer service, you can include a referral request during an onboarding or renewal meeting or even as a link in your email signature.
Earn Positive Reviews
Similar to asking for referrals, excellent customer service can lead to an increase in positive reviews online, which can lead to more traffic on your website, more calls, more meetings booked, and more clients – all of which increase your revenue.
However, you will almost always need to request a review from your happy and satisfied customers. It can be challenging and uncomfortable asking for reviews but getting someone else’s opinion in writing online can go a long way to helping you drive more business.
When prospects consider your insurance agency, they will look at your reviews via a site like Yelp or Google, in addition to others. If they see lots of great customer feedback, they could be inclined to make a purchase with you or even tell others about you.
In fact, 92% of B2B buyers say they’re more likely to buy a product or service after reading a trusted review, according to a study by OnTarget Consulting & Research, reviews site G2 and Heinz Marketing.
Conversely, negative reviews can detract from all your other hard work. Suppose you’ve invested in social media advertising and gained lots of high-quality leads. But before they finalize coverage with you, they compare your reviews to those for another agency. If the competitor has more positive reviews, then your good leads could choose that other agency instead.
Improve Policy Renewal Rates
In addition to helping you find new customers, good customer service will not only help to solidify your renewals but could lead to upselling or crossing opportunities.
If you were helpful with onboarding and walked them through the renewal process in a speedy and easy way, then customers will be more inclined to stick with you for another year. But if you haven’t provided good customer service, or even if they haven’t heard from you all year, then they could be motivated to compare rates with another agent.
In fact, 80% of customers have switched brands due to poor customer experience, according to a study by Qualtrics and ServiceNow.
If you can improve your renewal rates, that can help you increase revenue, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first glance. For starters, maintaining a higher baseline of revenue via customer retention means that any new customers you find simply add to your total. A low retention rate means you need to find more leads just to get back to where you were in revenue.
Plus, higher retention rates mean you can spend less time and money continually finding new customers. Instead, you can invest in longer-lasting initiatives that can lead to more revenue. For example, if you don’t have to spend as much on social media ads to get new leads, you might invest in a new website or new software that powers your insurance business.
Grow Existing Policies
Related to higher retention rates, improving customer service can help you grow existing policies. When customers renew, they won’t necessarily stick with the same exact policy. Maybe a business owner has hired more employees and needs workers’ comp coverage to complement a professional liability policy. Or maybe the business has grown its digital footprint and needs cyber coverage.
If you’ve provided a great customer experience based on the existing policy the customer has, then they could be more likely to make these types of additions with you. Getting there could mean taking the time to have renewal meetings with clients and explore changes in their businesses.
Even if that doesn’t lead to larger policies right away, clients can appreciate that you’re paying attention to what’s happening with their companies. When they’re ready, they could be more likely to think of you for additional coverage, rather than turning to competitors who don’t understand what’s happening in their businesses.
Learn From Your Customers
Lastly, focusing on customer service can increase revenue as you learn from your customers. By diving into areas like your customers’ growth plans, you’re not just helping them figure out policy changes they need to make. You’re also learning about different industries and getting a sense of what your new prospects might need. That way, you can be more effective with your sales pitches.
Also, you can learn what your customers like and don’t like about your offerings so you can continually improve the customer experience. As you focus on delivering a great onboarding experience, for example, you might find that customers are confused about areas like how to manage policy payments or check policy documents. So, that might lead you to create new explainer materials or add technology that makes it easier for clients to access these areas.
Whatever the case may be, your initial focus on customer experience can pay dividends as you learn what to improve on in the future. You can also dive deeper into why they chose to work with you in the first place. That way, you can focus on that value proposition more and close more deals.
Overall, focusing on these areas can lead to deeper customer relationships. In turn, that can create more revenue and a healthier bottom line for your insurance business.