July 11, 2013
7 Tips to Improve Insurance Agency Retention
3 min read
We’re in the business of selling insurance, rght? So, who is the easiest person to sell insurance to? An existing customer, of course! But, in the day-to-day running of our insurance agencies we’re so busy selling to new customers that we often forget that we have to resell our existing customers at least once a year, too. How can we increase the chances of keeping current customers?
How to Keep and Increase Business from Existing Customers
Retention. It’s not sexy, but it’s one of the most important things you need to focus on to grow a successful agency.
Here are some proven methods:
Develop a welcome package
This won’t work for current customers, but it will help with retention going forward. The first thing you can do to “lock the door” is to develop a welcome package. This is a great way to orient them to your agency and the products and services you offer. Let customers know how you’ll protect them and their families.
Nurture the heck out of them
If a customer is just a transaction to you this won’t make sense. But if they represent a relationship that you want to last a long time you need to talk to them. A lot.
There are many ways to do this. And it can be largely automated. But you must do it. Communicate eight to 10 times a year with every customer, in at least two-to-three different ways. Tell them about things they care about.
Don't take them for granted
This seems obvious, but I think we do take customers for granted. All the time. And they think so too! To avoid this see #2 above. But perhaps more importantly, let them know how much they mean to you.
Say thank you!
Say it in as many ways as you can think of and as many times as you interact with them. For example, do you thank someone for calling to turn in a claim and giving you the opportunity to be of service? Do you thank them when they complain and give you the opportunity to improve?
Sell them more policies
We all know this one, right? The more policies they have with you, the longer they stay. So, do you have a systematic approach to account rounding? I’ll bet you don’t!
Do you ask for additional business multiple times a year in your non-personal contacts (email, billing, etc.)? Does your staff ask to quote life insurance, umbrella policies, health insurance, auto insurance, every time you talk to a customer? I’ll bet they don’t! But they should.
Do you quote every line of business you sell every time you sell anything? Do you tell every business customer how competitive you are in personal insurance and vice versa?
Be early with renewals
Provide the renewal 60 days to 90 days ahead of time and be sure to give the customer options. Show them you are working overtime to take care of their needs.
Requote them at every renewal
This is closely related to the tip listed above. If you don’t offer multiple quotes every single renewal, you’re making a huge mistake.
Remember: If you’re an independent agent, your strength is in choice.
If you offer no choice you’ve given your strength away! Also, when you give choices they don’t need to talk to other agents right? Look, it’s work. I get it. But if you want to be successful long term in anything you need to earn your money. Comparative raters make it easy. There really is no excuse.
Really. I’m not kidding here. Customers today demand lots of choices. Most insurance carriers demand lots of premium. How does a small agency balance that?
OAA helps because as a group, we satisfy the carriers and the agency can offer lots more choices. If you’re not a member, let’s talk about it. Maybe it’s not right for you. But how do you know unless you check it out?
Tony Caldwell is a modern “renaissance man,” who is not only immensely successful in the field of insurance, but is also a writer, children’s advocate, mentor and even a licensed pilot.
Always keen on helping others make their dreams come true, Tony and his team have helped independent agents grow into more than 250 independent agencies. This has made OAA the number one ranked Strategic Master Agency of SIAA for the last 5 years, and one of Oklahoma's 25 Best Companies to Work for.
Tony loves to share his knowledge, insight and wisdom through his bestselling books as well as in free mediums including podcasts and blogs.
Tony and his family are members of Crossings Community Church, and he is very active in community initiatives: he’s chairman of It’s My Community Initiative, Inc., a nonprofit working with disadvantaged people in Oklahoma City; and chairman of the Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs., and he has served through many other organizations including the Salvation Army, Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Rotary Club.
In his spare time, Tony enjoys time with his family. He’s also an active outdoorsman and instrument-rated commercial pilot.
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