Learn how to make your insurance business grow to new heights with tips and tools in this guide, and serve your clients using Talage technology.Read More
In the insurance industry, customer retention is necessary for survival – it’s the foundation that will make or break your business in the future. The cost of customer acquisition can be high, which means your profits are in the renewals. As a result, learning how to retain clients in insurance is one of the most effective strategies for building your agency.
What are you doing to keep your customers engaged? Whether you’re looking for solutions to grow your business or your agency is dealing with a high turnover rate, it’s time to make a few changes. It’s important to bring in new clients, but you may be missing out on a valuable opportunity if you aren’t learning how to retain clients.
The truth is that client retention is an important part of your sales strategy. For best results, it’s necessary to implement established systems. But this effort doesn’t have to be complicated. A few simple tweaks can have a notable impact to improve your customer retention. Here are a few client retention strategies every insurance agent needs to consider.
Optimize Customer Onboarding
First impressions set the tone for the ongoing interactions you will have with your customers. A streamlined onboarding process minimizes frustration and irritation in the beginning. The goal is to start the policy in a way that is easy for your customer. When the first interaction is pleasant, the customer will have a good opinion of you and your agency. This positive relationship will continue until you give them a reason to see otherwise.
Identify ways to improve the onboarding process by reviewing the system from start to finish. Are there opportunities to make the process easier or better for your customers? Think about past onboarding experiences and identify any rough patches that need to be corrected.
Focus the onboarding process on the needs of the customers. When you shift your perspective from what you want to what the customer wants, you may be surprised at the gaps or struggles your clients face when coming on board. Review the process step-by-step and if necessary, have an outsider you trust to look at it with fresh eyes. Their opinion can help increase client satisfaction. Also, consider asking for feedback after customers are done with onboarding. This feedback can shed light on areas that were confusing or tedious.
Stand Out in the Industry by Personalizing Service
The insurance you provide is no different than any other agent. You have access to the same carriers with the same rates. To stand out from your competition, you need to show customers why they should choose your agency. Consider ways you can boost offerings. This will help set your agency apart in the sea of insurance agents.
One of the best ways to do this is to personalize your products and services. Helping a customer to see how your products and services fit their needs can make all the difference in whether you are retaining clients and satisfying their needs.
Manage Expectations and Overdeliver
One of the fastest ways to sour a customer relationship is by promising something that you are unable to deliver. When you tell a customer you’ll do something you need to make sure to follow through with your promise.
Even something as simple as emailing a document can be a point of building trust. Manage expectations by not committing to something unless you know you can deliver.
At the same time, look for opportunities to overdeliver and support customers beyond their expectations. Wowing your clients by delivering on your promise ahead of schedule can improve your client’s overall satisfaction. For example, if you tell a customer the document will be emailed within the next 24 hours, aim to send the email within 12 hours, if possible.
Listen to Customer Needs
Being able to solve a problem for your clients painlessly and effortlessly will help keep them happy. And talking to your customers will help you gain valuable insights into what’s causing them pain. Use this information to find ways to implement relevant changes. Furthermore, asking customers for feedback can help you create a better experience. Don’t take the feedback personally, but rather as a challenge on how you can better serve your clients.
Small improvements can show customers that you’re listening to and responding to their needs. For example, when you contact a customer, ask them about their preferred method of contact: email, text, phone call, or in-person visit. Understanding their preferred communication channel gives you the insight to improve future interactions.
Every good relationship is founded in clear communication. Don’t assume that no communication from your customer means they are satisfied with your service. If you wait for customers to call with a question or problem, then you might have already missed an opportunity to retain your customer. Instead, be proactive about staying in touch with your clients regularly.
Why does regular customer contact matter? Here are a few ways ongoing communication can improve retention rates:
Optimize Customer Policies
During phone conversations, you have the opportunity to identify individual needs that might not be addressed in their current policy. Sometimes, a customer’s needs change and they don’t think to adjust their insurance coverage. For example, if a client recently added a second location or invests in business equipment, you can discuss the ways insurance coverage needs to change. Plus, if you’re a Talage client using our Wheelhouse product, you would be able to pull a bindable quote for them while you have them on the phone, instead of getting back to them days later.
Stay at the Top of Mind
To mitigate the chance of your client moving to a different agent, you want to stay top of mind with your clients. Recent conversations mean that you’re at the forefront of the person’s mind. However, conversations aren’t the only way to stay in contact with your clients. Communicating through social media or an email newsletter is a great way to stay connected also. Plus, it will help give your clients a variety of ways to reach out to you with questions or requests, allowing you to stay ahead of any potential problems.
Proactive Client Retention
Ongoing communication gives you insight into which customers might be considering the cancellation of services. Think about offering a survey to your clients about their satisfaction. If you identify any points of dissatisfaction, then you can be proactive in correcting the problems early.
Of course, there is a fine line between regular communication and coming across too strong. Each time you contact a customer, make sure you have a meaningful or valid reason to communicate. Over-connecting can be as much of a turn off as not connecting at all. You have to find the right balance for your clients.
Use Technology and Automation
Technology is a great way to improve client satisfaction and increase your client retention rates. With InsurTech solutions popping up there are a variety of ways you can implement technology and automation into your current business processes.
However, sometimes customers are lost because of simple oversights such as forgetting to pay a bill. Since a missed payment often results in immediate policy cancellation, look for ways to automate the payment process. Offering automatic payments can reduce the likelihood of a lapse in policy. Not only will your customers appreciate the simplicity of auto payments, but they are also often motivated to switch to an automated system if a discount is offered. When you consider how much money is lost with a canceled policy, it’s worth a small discount to maintain consistent payments.
Beyond automatic payments, auditing your processes for other opportunities to streamline tasks, such as automating lead generation, or implementing a self-serve platform for your clients to request a quote for coverage are great ways to improve efficiency and retain clients long term.
Acknowledge Important Milestones
Anniversary dates are important milestones since that’s when renewal decisions need to be addressed. Be proactive in rewarding renewals by gifting small presents or sending a small token of appreciation.
For example, a handwritten thank-you card can add a personal touch when someone renews their contract. Plan a customer appreciation party once a year for people with active policies. Or, you might send a small gift card for a local restaurant. Know your customer’s preferences and interests so you can tailor the acknowledgment or experience for each person.
One important note: Keep in mind that many states have laws that manage gift-giving to insurance clients, such as a limit on the value of a client gift. Familiarize yourself with the local laws so you are maintaining compliance with industry regulations.
Positive Customer Experience = Customer Loyalty
Each interaction shapes the customer’s experience with your agency, which leads to either stronger relationships and customer loyalty or dissatisfaction. When you go above and beyond to provide solid customer service, personalized products or services, and address client feedback promptly, then your clients will keep coming back for more.
As you are learning how to retain clients in insurance, identify the retention strategies that match your personality and business model. You’ll find that improving customer experience right now means building a solid foundation for the future.