Times like these can be overwhelming, both personally and professionally. COVID-19 has created economic uncertainty that none of us were expecting to face this year. It is easy as insurance agents to become singularly focused on ourselves. However, it’s important to remember that this is an issue affecting everyone, and your client base is facing the same uncertainty you are. You need to be able to ask them, “How can I help?”
Communication is your secret weapon. Communicating with sympathy and empathy is vital to strengthening relationships, building customer loyalty, and creating a sense of community at a time when your clients need something to feel connected to. There’s a lot going on with your clients, and you need to stay on top of their business.
Your existing customers need to hear from you, and they need to understand that you are ready to serve them, that you are thinking about them, and that their business and concerns are important to you. They are under stress, and lack of communication can cost you the relationship. Customers stay if they feel valued, cared for, and listened to - retain customers through personal relations and high touch.
It’s more cost-effective to invest money in a customer you’ve already got and focus on customer retention than dealing with customer acquisition costs. It’s a well-documented fact that it costs at least five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to retain existing ones. Even so, it can be difficult to take the leap and divert resources from the channels that deliver new customers. Taking the extra time to make a phone call is a chance to remind clients that they are valued, and you are still here to help them. You will reinforce the relationship, retain business, and in turn, your efforts will often be rewarded with referrals and long term profit. To quote our CEO, Tony Caldwell,
“Retention is achieved through creating a client’s lifetime experience.”
Tools to Help Retention
We have developed a tool to help you plan and strategize your customer experience to increase your average retention rate and grow your bottom line. The Amazing Agency Growth Accelerator Thinking Tool was designed so that you can plug in numbers and it will show you where the opportunities are to grow your agency. There are many ways to boost growth, but you want to pull the biggest lever. This tool will help you see what the biggest levers are for your particular agency’s situation. What our experience and data have told us is that of all the levers you can pull, retention has made the biggest 10-year difference. OAA’s Agency Growth Coaches are here to help and ready to assist you with this tool. Let them show you what a few easy-to-implement tactics can do to create growth in your agency.
Our businesses are currently being tested in new ways, but we are learning lessons that we will carry forward when we return to “normal” ways of working. While this period will certainly continue to challenge us, I believe that OAA will come out a stronger company that can better serve our members and carrier partners. I hope the same is true for you and your clients.
OAA is standing by to help wherever we can. If you need to work on retention strategies or discuss how to adapt your agency for COVID-19, contact us today.