The insurance agency industry is incredibly competitive. With the meteoritic rise of technology, new competitors have exploded into the market and provide a more satisfying process to consumers. Meanwhile, many insurance agencies have been slow to update their sales and marketing practices. This is why it’s essential to prioritize insurance agency retention marketing to compete in today’s landscape.
With new competition comes new challenges, especially for brokers who have yet to adapt to the evolving market. This can result in losing current customers to competitors. While it’s important to acquire new business, it’s imperative to equally prioritize retention. Research has found that 65% of an average business’s revenue is made from existing customers. On top of that, a study published in Harvard Business School Working Knowledge found that a mere 5% increase in customer retention grew profits from 25% to 95%.
Here are some strategies that will help you keep your retention rate high, and boost revenue in the process.
BE EASY TO FIND
Last week we discussed improving your agency’s digital footprint heading into open enrollment season. However, it’s crucial to be accessible no matter the season. We live in times where consumers can access a plethora of information in a matter of seconds with a few keystrokes. You should be just as easy to find, because customers will quickly switch to an agency that is readily available. 82% of consumers in the United States said they stopped doing business with a company due to a (singular) poor customer service experience. That’s an extremely high percentage that can be easily avoided through a modern approach with your insurance agency retention marketing strategy.
Many brokers make the mistake of thinking they don’t need a website or social media presence. In the process, they limit the ways in which customers can contact them; phone or email, choose. Such limited methods of contact in this day and age can leave customers feeling like you don’t value their business. Bearing that in mind, 68% of customers leave a business due to “perceived indifference”.
Customers seek reliable and flexible service. They want to feel like they will be taken care of wherever they are, and can access resources through a variety of channels. Who doesn’t like options?! Expanding your digital presence across the various channels available online will make you easily accessible to your customers. This provides peace of mind, and alleviates any concerns your clients may have about getting lost in the mix by sending the arbitrary “Contact Us” email. On the other side of the coin, none of this is valuable unless you respond. So make sure to be active on all of your online channels.
EDUCATE YOUR CLIENTS
We’ve already discussed that most Americans don’t understand insurance. This lack of understanding can create a lack of trust for new customers. A study from Ernst & Young found that insurance is one of the least trusted industries in the world. Their research also found that 29% of customers purchasing from brokers are likely to switch insurers or cancel policies. All of this based on a lack of understanding, communication, and trust. Kaenan Hertz, U.S. insurance customer leader at EY says brokers “need to up the level of engagement and communicate more consistently and more clearly and simplify their messages,”. This is where educating your clients comes into play for your insurance agency retention marketing strategy.
Take the time to educate your customers. Provide resources like a digital insurance dictionary that defines industry specific terms that confuses the average consumer. Explain their benefits, their rights, be available or have resources readily available to answer their questions at any time (especially during renewals and open enrollment season). Keep them informed of any industry related changes that may impact them. Your customers want to hear from you. In fact, 57% of global insurance consumers want to hear from their broker at least semi-annually. So don’t think that you’re only relevant to your customers during their times of need/necessity.
Also remember, different demographics prefer to consume content through different types of media. So that insurance dictionary I mentioned for example? Have a designer create an infographic styled version to post on social media and your website. Create a short animated video that defines basic insurance terms and put them in context. Optimize the content for mobile and you’ll be a step ahead of the competition. In order to implement an effective insurance agency retention marketing strategy, you and your staff have to commit to a level of service that goes above and beyond. Service that is transparent, consistently reliable, modern, and informative will create a business relationship your customers will be unwilling to give up.
ANNUAL COVERAGE REVIEWS
Insurance isn’t an everyday good or service, and as they say “out of sight, out of mind”. Clients aren’t particularly great at updating their coverage limits. When it comes time to file a claim, they’ll be in for a rude awakening. This is where you need to take the lead to provide quality service that will boost customer retention. Many brokers spend so much time focusing on new business, they forget the value of their current customers. A Deloitte study found that 60% of insurance customers don’t feel valued by their broker beyond when they were shopping for a policy.
Improving the amount of annual coverage reviews your agency conducts, can make your clients feel more involved in their own financial decision making. Such reviews will show how much you value your insureds. It will validate their choice in working with your agency to provide them quality advice, expertise, and service. Take the time to communicate with your clients on a more consistent basis. All these statistics indicate that clients don’t feel engaged. This means there is a gap in the market for an agency that establishes a more involved business relationship with their clients. Establishing a simple step as this, through your insurance agency retention marketing efforts, will only reap benefits for your customer retention rate (and revenue in the process).
SET-UP CUSTOMER FEEDBACK MECHANISMS
Feedback provides key insights to your clients’ pain points. Leverage this information to improve your customer experience. Whether it’s about accessibility or slow processes, you won’t know what to improve on without customer feedback. Simple discoveries from feedback like reducing customer effort has been found to increase customer loyalty according to Harvard Business Review. There are multiple ways you can approach setting up a customer feedback program.
- Google survey is one example of an easy to use platform to create an online survey to share with your clients for feedback.
- Have your own feedback landing page created for your agency website
- Send out quarterly email campaigns that link to an online survey
- EaseCentral will be creating a tool to help you survey your clients. Stay tuned for further details!
By simply investing time and energy into providing service feedback strengthens the customer’s commitment to your agency. When customers provide suggestions concerning how you can improve your agency’s service, they become invested in the outcome.
When you in turn act on their suggestions in a timely manner, it creates mutual benefits. Whether you simplify how they access information about their benefits or just created a Facebook page so they have another way to contact your agency; in return, they’ll reward you with their loyalty.
INSURANCE AGENCY RETENTION MARKETING COSTS LESS WITH HIGHER REWARDS
It costs 5x more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep a current client. And, the probability of successfully selling to an existing customer is 60-70% in comparison to the 5-20% chance of successfully selling to a new prospect. By all means, continue your marketing efforts to win new business. However, insurance agency retention marketing is equally important to growing your book of business.
The times have changed, and retention marketing is no longer as simple as providing discounts for longstanding clients. As seen from the data we’ve shared with you, consumers seek engagement, education, seamlessness, and accessibility. All of these attributes can be established through utilizing various digital channels and technology solutions.