You’ve set up processes to ensure that you’re setting reasonable expectations with each client, and you have a simple program in place to follow-up with your clients throughout the year. Now, what kind of resources should you put into your retention plans? Here are three that will help:
Aside from basic customer service, much of what we have discussed deals with “customer experience.” We will have an article on this later, but the simple truth is this: Customer service is reactive – customer experience is proactive.
Agents generally hire employees to help with the reactive stuff. For your retention program, either you or someone else will need to monitor it and make sure that bad boy is running smoothly. Even when programs can automate a lot of the grunt work, you have to check on them to make sure everything is working properly.
In the end, if you can have an employee manage the program, even if it’s just online software (we’ll get to that in a minute), it will allow you to prospect, sell, or do whatever creates a profit for your agency. However, be certain that someone is sending out letters, texts, e-mails, etc., to your clients at those specific touch points.
If you’re not using some serious technology in your agency, you’re behind the curve. Here are some services that we’ve seen help agencies to automate or improve their operations:
As of the date of this post, MailChimp is free to use until you have too many contacts. Constant Contact has a 60-day free introduction.
Every agency needs to get one of these sooner rather than later. They help you track your renewals, issue insurance certificates, track all communication with clients (a HUGE E&O benefit!), and in some cases can do specific marketing campaigns, including texts and e-mails. A good CRM program can be a one-stop shop for the insurance agent if it’s set up correctly.
I would waste a LOT of time without Hootsuite. It’s free, and it lets me plan out my posts on LinkedIn weeks in advance. I spend an hour or two setting up my posts, and then I can pretty much forget it. I just set a note in my calendar to look at it in 2 weeks, and set up more posts.
If your business is on social media and you’re not using a service like this, I HIGHLY recommend it.
If you’re too busy to post on social media, there are companies that will let you outsource it. One company I’ve seen is 99 Dollar Social. If anyone has tried that one, please leave a comment below letting us know how it worked for you.
Most of your time is probably spent acquiring new customers. In fact, there are various articles that cover the ratio of marketing for new business vs retention. But YFS magazine says business should spend up to 75 percent of their marketing budget on retention!
I’m not saying you need to go that far, but the least you can do is spend time with a client when they walk into your office. When you do so, you solidify the sale, and perhaps that person will be impressed enough to sing your praises after they leave. Spending time with clients is almost always time well spent.
Do you have any software, or retention resources you couldn’t do without? Let us know in the comments below!
IHT is a multi-state insurance agency with dozens of branches across the eastern and central United States.