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The quality of your client communication can be the difference between winning and losing customers. From the early stages of marketing to the onboarding process to contract renewals, great client communication can help customers:
- Understand your offerings
- Resolve concerns they may have
- Feel valued
What does great client communication look like? The answer can differ from client to client, as not everyone likes to communicate in the same style, frequency and method. However, there are some best practices that often apply across clients.
This guide will help insurance agents learn how to communicate with clients more effectively. The fact that you’re reading this guide to learn more about client communication is already a good start! A key part of effective client communication is making a genuine effort to connect with your clients.
Great client communication requires being proactive, prompt, clear, and consistent. Enabling clients to receive instant, bindable quotes 24/7 through Wheelhouse can help you kickstart effective client communication. Learn how.
Communicating With Clients Across Channels
Effective client communication can occur across different channels, which continue to grow in this digital age.
“Today’s clients have more than a few channels they can use to contact you, and you need to be available on all of them.”Salesforce
Examples of client communication channels include:
From e-newsletters to one-on-one messages from clients, this channel can be great for communicating with clients in an efficient, cost-effective, and organized way.
Some clients still want to pick up the phone and talk to a real human. Insurance agents should make themselves available for phone calls, whether you use an office line or provide a mobile number to clients.
The rise of Zoom and other video conferencing platforms has made it easy to communicate with clients in a way that bridges in-person and telephone meetings. Let clients know this is an option for your communication together.
From mobile phone text messages to instant messages through apps like WhatsApp, clients may want to directly chat with insurance agents without having to call. Let clients know what messaging services you use and see if there are ones they want you to be on.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms could be places where your clients want to communicate with you. Depending on your clients’ lines of work, some platforms may be more appropriate than others. So consider which ones your customers use. Communication on social media channels can include direct conversations and/or the agent sharing information that all clients can see.
It may seem old-fashioned, but many clients still want to talk in person. Let clients know how and when they can set up in-person meetings if they wish.
For times when clients want to ask you a question but don’t know how else to contact you, they may want to submit a form through your website. Your site might also have a chatbot or other technology features that allow for some level of communication.
For example, with Wheelhouse, the InsurTech software platform powered by Talage technology, clients can access bindable quotes from your site. This type of client communication might not initially include a conversation, but it’s still a way to communicate important information that jumpstarts the client-agent relationship.
Some of these channels may be more prominent for your business than others. Still, you likely need to be accessible across multiple channels, depending on client preferences.
Proactive Client Communication
Client communication channels often allow clients to connect with you directly, such as if they have questions about their policies. Yet you don’t want to just sit back and wait for questions to roll in. Great client communication requires being proactive and staying in touch with clients on an ongoing basis.
“When there is a lack of communication, it’s easy for clients to feel like you don’t care about their needs.”Hubspot
As the marketing software firm explains, instead of clients having to ask and wait for information, businesses should be proactive with client communication. “Essentially, you become so good at keeping your clients ‘in the loop’ that they don’t have to ask for updates or information because you’ve already provided it.”
To be more proactive with client communication, insurance agents can:
Ask for Client Communication Preferences
Until you get to know your clients, it can be difficult to anticipate their needs. So consider asking clients during the onboarding process or proactively sending out a survey to get a sense of what they’re looking for.
You can find out, for example, if they want to be contacted on an ongoing basis with news about insurance, your firm, risk management, etc. Or you might find that clients prefer to only hear from you when their policy is approaching renewal.
Analyze Communication Data
You can also get a sense of what clients want by analyzing communication data. For example, if you send out an email newsletter through an email marketing platform, you can track what types of links get clicked on. That can give you a sense of what clients want to hear from you.
Identify Your Strengths
If you’re unsure what clients want to be contacted about and how, you can at least focus on what you excel at. For example, if you’re a great writer, try sending out email newsletters. If you’re more of a social person, consider offering clients an in-person or video chat meeting when their renewal date approaches.
Efficient Client Communication
While you want to be proactive with client communication, you can’t anticipate every interaction. Still, you can be efficient when communicating with clients. If you can communicate information in a way that clients quickly understand, regardless of who contacts the other first, you’ll be less likely to frustrate clients or make them feel unimportant. As such, insurance agents should aim to:
Don’t keep clients waiting for days to hear from you. Promptness can be in the eye of the beholder, so it’s good to get a sense of what your clients want. For example, a client sending an instant message likely wants a reply within a few minutes. A client sending an email likely wants a reply in a few hours.
Since not everyone has the same definition of promptness, it helps to clarify your position. You might, for instance, establish a policy where all emails will be responded to within one full business day. Let clients know, such as with an auto-reply, that when questions are sent to a customer support email address or by putting that information on your website.
In addition to being clear with your timing, be clear in your actual communication. The easier you can make it on clients to understand you and your offerings, the better.
Across channels, aim for consistency in your client communications. Don’t be super casual online if you’re going to be overly formal in person.
Keep your communication frequency consistent too. If your client communication involves being active on social media, for example, do so regularly. You don’t want to post 20 times in one day and then go silent for two weeks. Otherwise, it can be hard to stay atop clients’ minds and they might forget what you said earlier or not be tuned into what you have to say going forward.
Stay Engaged With Client Communication
Figuring out how to communicate with clients more effectively can be something you’re always learning. Following these best practices for client communication, however, can put you on a solid path to improving client relationships.
When selling policies, there’s only so much you can do in terms of price to win over clients. But you can adapt how you communicate with clients so that they understand how policies help them and why you’re the right agent for them.
Since you can’t always be available to talk with clients, it also helps to use technology. Platforms like Wheelhouse can enable you to continually engage with clients, even when you’re not online. Clients can receive instant, bindable quotes, 24/7. You can then use these quotes as a jumping-off point for communicating with clients on an ongoing basis.