When you became an insurance agent, did you know you were getting more than a sales job? It’s true! Your role is equal parts sales and customer service.
Keeping in touch with your clients provides real results – and we’ve got the stats to prove it! We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started.
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Be an Agent Who Cares
When you deliver a positive customer experience, clients are more likely to keep coming back and tell their friends. You never want them to think you’re just trying to make a sale and forget about them.
This isn’t just about you, though. It’s about the client.
Although most people can shop for insurance online, a recent survey found that 77 percent of consumers still prefer to receive advice from a human being. Hey, that’s what you do! Perfect.
Nobody expects you to memorize everything about every client. However, a simple spreadsheet can help you keep track of important details, like birthdays. Adding notes to their contact information in your phone is another way to make sure you always have that info on hand.
Try learning these things about your client:
- Personal details:
- Spouse’s name
- Kids’ names and ages
- Birthdays and anniversaries
- Their job/industry
- Sports/clubs clients or their kids are in
- Upcoming vacations
- Favorite sports teams
- Preferred method of contact: text, call, email
While this might sound like a lot of work on your part, it’s worth the effort to avoid losing customers. Remember, it’s harder to “fire” a friend than an agent!
Put Your Clients First
The more you communicate with your clients, the better your chances of retaining them. When your clients know you respond quickly and care about helping them, they’ll come to you first with their concerns.
But making your customers happy isn’t just about retaining one sale. Excellent customer service also earns you easier cross-sell opportunities, more referrals, and higher overall revenue.
Excellent customer service earns you easier cross-sell opportunities, more referrals, and higher overall revenue.
About 72 percent of customers surveyed by Clickfox said customer service keeps them loyal to a brand, beating out price at 50 percent. Of those surveyed, 78 percent show their loyalty by telling others about the brand.
How to Stay in Touch
To build a strong, lasting relationship, you’ll occasionally have to let sales take a backseat to customer service. The more you stay in touch and know about your clients, the easier it is to check in.
- When a plan renewal date approaches, offer to review their coverage to make sure they’re still happy with it.
- Check in before the enrollment period to offer plan reviews and guidance on what will be available. For example, is a provider expanding their service area or exiting a local market?
- Write an annual New Year’s letter with what’s going on in your life. Think friendship, not business! Simply include a handwritten note at the end that says “P.S. Remember I’m always here if you or anyone you know has any questions about insurance!”
This is a great way to show clients you’re more than just an agent, you’re their friend. This is also where your spreadsheet will come in handy!
Here are a few creative reasons to get in touch with clients:
- Offer positive encouragement before a golf tournament or a big business presentation
- Wish them a good vacation – and make sure they know whether their plan has travel benefits!
- Celebrate your “Planniversary” – the day the client signed their first policy with you
- Set up internet alerts for news related to your clients, their company, or other personal interests
Ways to Stay in Touch
The elements may vary, but here’s what one agent said works well for him:
- Articles about health-related topics, such as skin-cancer prevention in July
- Insurance Q&A or FAQ
- Client of the month testimonials
- A medical or insurance joke
- Discount coupons for contact lenses, etc. Check RetailMeNot.com!
Feel free to include pictures to build emotional connections when appropriate. For example, you might include a picture of a client’s family with the caption “With a new granddaughter on the way, Bob and Suzy are happy they just reviewed their life insurance policy!”
Create standard content that you can easily automate and send to a range of customers when a specific event occurs. Here are a few reasons to send an email:
- Client turns 65
- A lead becomes a client
- Client enrolls in a new plan
- Approaching plan renewal date
Surveys offer a number of benefits, including: increasing customer loyalty, generating repeat sales, and collecting valuable feedback. More specifically, research shows that survey participants are half as likely to defect to a competitor, and they’re more profitable than non-surveyed customers.
Surveys are also a great way to find new sales opportunities. For example, you could ask your clients to rank their satisfaction with their coverage. Then, depending on their answers, you can plan your next move. If they’re not satisfied with the strength or amount of coverage they have, you can offer them a supplementary policy or a more comprehensive plan.
Depending on the size of your client list, writing a holiday card for everyone could be a big undertaking. To save yourself from having to crank out dozens of cards at once, pre-write a holiday card for each client when they first become a customer and file it away.
To make your notes more personal, use old-fashioned pen and ink instead of a computer. Many agents say that personalized letters are more well-received than standard store-bought cards. If you opt to type a letter, be sure to add a wet signature and a P.S. about questions and referrals at the end (see our suggestion above for a New Year’s letter).
Make sure you only call clients who actually like talking on the phone or you’ll end up feeling awkward. Scripting the whole call will make you sound unnatural, so just make a simple list of conversation starters to keep you on track. Remember, you’re not giving a sales pitch; you’re just checking in to see how they’re doing and what’s new in their life.
When you keep in consistent contact with your clients, your relationships will become more mutually beneficial. While you develop a steady, reliable source for referrals and generate easier cross-sell opportunities, your client will get increasingly better protection and more peace of mind from following your expert advice.