As the digital world increasingly plays a central role in people’s personal and professional lives, insurance agents need to find ways to adapt. While face-to-face communication can still have its place, it likely isn’t the only way that clients want to connect. If insurance agents do not find ways to also engage customers through digital channels, then they could risk losing clients over time.
That’s because if clients have to jump through too many hoops to connect with their insurance agents, such as having to rely only on in-person meetings and phone calls, some may opt to go with a competitor who makes it easier and more efficient to communicate online. Again, that’s not to say that insurance agents need to disregard in-person communication entirely, but they need to open themselves up to digital connections too so they can appeal to a wider client base.
In this guide to staying connected to clients in a digital world, we’ll explore how insurance agents can engage customers through:
- Social media
- Virtual meetings
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Engage on Social Media
One of the more popular places to connect nowadays is through social media. But that doesn’t just mean adding your clients as connections on a platform like LinkedIn or getting them to like your Facebook page. Ideally, you can actually engage your clients in discussions on social media to build rapport, much as you would do offline.
Some of the ways to engage on social media include:
Participating in Conversations
When clients post something on social media, insurance agents can do more than just “liking” what they share. Aim to have a conversation by commenting on posts where you have something relevant to add. Some content, such as personal posts about what a client did over the weekend, likely wouldn’t be a good fit for insurance agents to comment on. But if a client shares something career-wise or which in some way relates to insurance, see if you can weigh in.
For example, a client might ask for software recommendations, tips for advancing their career, balancing work/life, etc. Sharing your thoughts in a conversational manner can help you then start to develop relationships with clients digitally.
Joining social media groups and live social events like Twitter Chats that clients are a part of can also be a good way to keep in touch and form connections online. The format may not be quite the same as offline interactions, but the principles of having genuine conversations, getting to know clients, and understanding their challenges still apply.
Sharing Non-Promotional Content
In addition to joining conversations by commenting on clients’ content, insurance agents can also stay connected with clients digitally by jumpstarting the conversations through their own content. That means instead of sharing promotional content, which may not generate much of a response, insurance agents could share more conversational material, such as asking for feedback on a business challenge you’re facing, soliciting opinions on an economic issue, sharing professional book recommendations, etc.
Connect via Email
In addition to engaging with clients on social media, insurance agents can also connect with clients via email. These connections can include both direct, one-on-one conversations, as well as one-to-many email newsletters.
In some cases, insurance agents may find opportunities to deeply connect with clients digitally through individualized emails. Doing so could start with something simple, like checking in with a client a few weeks after their initial onboarding. While not every client will then want to have a back-and-forth conversation, you may find that some have follow-up questions or want to simply chat more. Email can provide more of a personal, private place to hold these conversations compared to, say, social media.
While sending out email marketing newsletters may not be as personal as emailing a client directly, these periodic updates can still make an impact. Whether you send out email newsletters once per week, once per month, or whatever frequency feels right for you, doing so can provide opportunities to stay top of mind for clients who’ve subscribed to your email list.
Let Clients Come to You Through Blog Content
In addition to doing your own outreach, you can also stay connected with clients more passively by creating content like blog posts. That way, clients can learn more about your viewpoints and grow to trust your expertise in their own time, without feeling pressured.
Some of the ways clients might connect with you through content include:
- Reading your blog posts after visiting your website, such as when considering whether to renew. As they read your articles, they may be reminded of the value they get from working with you.
- Coming to your blog via search engines. Prospects aren’t the only ones who might find you through SEO-friendly content. Existing customers may also be researching, say, business advice and happen to come across your blog, which can potentially help elevate your standing in their minds.
- Following through from other channels. Having a blog can also complement other channels like social media and email. Even if you don’t promote certain articles, a client may come to them on their own after, say, clicking through to your website from your social media profile. From there, reading your content can help them feel like they understand your business more, and perhaps they will be more inclined to work with you going forward after learning more about your business views.
Offer Clients Choices on Communication
Lastly, staying connected to clients in a digital world can involve replacing some of the old forms of communication, such as in-person meetings and phone calls, with digital ones like video calls. For example, you may want to offer to conduct meetings about renewals over Zoom or another video conferencing app.
Some clients will still prefer to meet in person or over the phone though, so it’s important to provide options. But many people are happy to meet virtually, which can be more convenient than having a face-to-face meeting while perhaps being a bit more personal than some other forms of digital communication.
One way to facilitate these meetings and see what clients want is to offer multiple options through appointment scheduling software, such as Calendly. On your website, you could include a link to book a meeting with you, and that link could lead to a platform where clients can choose their preferred format. So, if they’d like to connect digitally over video chat, they can have that option, or they can choose other options you provide, like in-person meetings.
Overall, staying connected with clients digitally typically isn’t just about doing one particular thing online. Clients can have different needs and preferences for communication, so it’s important to offer multiple ways to stay connected, whether that’s through social, email, blog posts, or virtual meetings.
As the world becomes more digital, the need for online communication will likely increase, and insurance agents need to be there for their clients across multiple channels. Yet in-person meetings, phone calls, and even channels like traditional mail can still have their roles, so it’s important to provide a variety of choices and learn what works for your clients and your business.