Using Automation to Improve Your Insurance Agency's Retention Rate

One of the best ways to ensure your agency’s longevity is by improving your overall client retention rate. It’s far cheaper (and easier!) to sell to an existing client than to acquire a new one. The probability of selling to a new client peaks at about 20%, whereas the probability of selling to an existing client peaks at nearly 70%!

Probability of selling to a new client over an existing client

Source | Small Biz Trends

The average retention rate for the insurance industry is 84%, but the top-performing agencies fall in the 93% — 95% range. This proves that high retention rates are possible, and active and purposeful communication can help make this a reality.

The main reason clients will leave their insurance agency is a lack of meaningful communication. Avoid this downfall and put communication at the center of your retention process to improve your chances of a higher retention rate.

How to Calculate Retention

The first step to understanding your agency’s retention rate is knowing how to calculate it:

Retention = [(E-N)÷S)] x 100

  • E = number of customers at the end of the period
  • N = number of new customers acquired during the period
  • S = number of customers at the start of the period

You can also break this down to monthly, quarterly, and bi-annual numbers to see how your retention and churn change throughout the year. There may be parts of the year when your numbers are higher than others.

With this information, you can create a solid plan on where and how to improve.

Workflow Automation + Retention

In addition to creating a process around your organization’s retention goals, you should consider implementing communication automation. Workflow automation helps you stay in contact with your clients throughout the year, creating touch points independently of your team’s reachouts.

The benefit of automation is that you set it up once, and it’ll work automatically from there on out. It saves your team time from spending their day completing repetitive (but essential!) manual tasks and allows them to focus their time and resources elsewhere.

With Automated Workflow in AgencyBloc’s AMS+ solution, you can choose three actions once the trigger’s criteria is met. These actions are:

  • Email sent to the client/policyholder
  • Email sent to the servicing agent (or other specified person in your agency)
  • Task created and populated on the servicing agent’s (or other specified person in your agency) dashboard

Screenshot showing AMS+ dashboard

AMS+ Dashboard

The dashboard is the welcoming screen each time you log in to AMS+. It helps ensure that the tasks you’re responsible for never slip through the cracks. Once your workflows are set up and active, any activities you include in those workflows will appear in the Activity List on the AMS+ dashboard.

Client Retention Workflows to Set Up

To get you started on the right foot, these six workflows will help you maintain meaningful communication with your clients:

  • New Client Welcome
  • Policy Renewal
  • Happy Birthday
  • Turning 26
  • Turning 65
  • Policy Application Status

New Client Welcome Workflow

Welcoming new clients to your organization is an easy yet effective way to start the relationship on the right foot. For this workflow, set up an email to trigger when a new group or individual is created in the system.

This email can be as simple as including a welcome greeting, links they may need to save for future use, and any other important information for them as your client. Even though this workflow will only run once during your clients’ time with your agency, it’s crucial to make a great first impression.

Policy Renewal Workflow

A policy renewal workflow is designed to add one contact touch each year and ensure your team renews all upcoming opportunities each year. You can set this up in any way you like or in a way that matches your agency’s business process management.

A common way we see this workflow set up is as follows:

Set Policy Expiration Date

3 Months Prior

  • Email sent to client alerting them their policy is soon due for renewal and urging them to contact their agent at their earliest convenience
  • Task assigned to servicing agent to reach out to the client and discuss renewal

2 Months Prior

  • Email sent to client reminding them their policy is soon due for renewal and urging them to reach out to their agent soon
  • Task assigned to servicing agent to alert them this policy is still out for renewal

1 Month Prior

  • Email sent to client with more urgency asking them to act now
  • Task assigned to servicing agent with HIGH priority to call them and discuss renewal

You can count on this touch point with your health clients each year, as most policies expire or are up for renewal annually. It’s a simple workflow but an impactful one, as it helps ensure that a client’s policy doesn’t lapse and gives you the opportunity to build your retention.

Happy Birthday Workflow

Everyone wants to be celebrated, especially on their birthday. Send some love and remind them that you care by wishing them well on their special day. It’s small but can speak volumes about who your agency is and what your clients can expect.

Happy Birthday Workflow in AgencyBloc

This initiative is easy with a workflow. This workflow will email your clients on their special day. You can even attach fun birthday images to make the email extra memorable.

Turning __ Workflow

The 26th and 65th birthdays are significant for your clients as they bring insurance changes for them to navigate. Help them feel more comfortable with the upcoming change by getting a plan together ahead of time. Again, like the Policy Renewal Workflow, you can set this up in any timetable that fits your agency’s style. Here’s an example:

Set Individual’s Birthday

Set Their Status as: Not Contacted Yet

6 Months Prior

  • Email sent to the individual offering your assistance in helping them navigate the upcoming changes in their insurance
  • Task assigned to the agent to reach out and set up a time to meet

5 Months Prior

  • Email sent to the individual re-engaging them in the discussion on their upcoming changes
  • Task assigned to the agent to reach out and reconnect

4 Months Prior

  • Email sent to the individual reconnecting on your previous emails and how you can help them
  • Task assigned to the agent to reach out, reconnect, and offer assistance

3 Months Prior

  • Email sent to the individual with more urgency about the coming deadline
  • Task assigned to the agent to reach out and make contact

2 Months Prior

  • Email sent to the individual with more urgency about the coming deadline and the changes that will take place
  • Task assigned to the agent to reach out and make contact

1 Month Prior

  • Last email to the individual about the coming deadline and the changes that will take place
  • Task assigned to the agent to reach out last time to try and make contact before birthdate passes

It may seem like contact overload, but statistics show that 80% of sales take 5+ touch points before they become clients. So, it’s really not too many, especially considering the monumental changes that are about to happen.

The other benefit of this workflow and pinpointing only those with the status Not Contacted Yet is if you change their status, they’re effectively taken off the workflow. They would no longer qualify for the criteria you set and thus wouldn’t receive your subsequent emails.

This gives you peace of mind that your team is not badgering prospects or accidentally sending follow-ups to one who’s already converted or solidly told them no.

Policy Application Status Workflow

This workflow is great to set up, whether it’s for a returning client or a brand new client. It helps to start your relationship off on the right foot by putting communication at the forefront.

If they’re returning, they’ll still appreciate the updates on their status, what that means, and the next steps they should be prepared for.

This workflow is a culmination of multiple different workflows triggering for different alerts like:

  • Policy App is Submitted
  • Policy App is Pending
  • Policy App is Declined (We’d recommend this only triggering a task for the agent to call rather than an email to the client as it may cause a bit of panic)
  • Policy App is Active

These are a few options of what is available. As usual, you can set the notifications and alerts to go out on the timetable that works for your organization. The benefit is that you can show your clients the whole process and keep them in the loop without the reminder sticky note each time to give them a call.

You can also have it trigger reminders to you, the agent, to contact the carrier to follow up on the status of that specific policy. You can then pass that information on to your client.

There are many bonuses with Automated Workflow, but the two significant benefits are:

  • They save your team time
  • They put communication at the center of your agency’s relationships

In the end, clients often stay where they feel safe and connected to their agent. Communication is a building block that helps boost that sense of security and happiness to improve overall client retention.

Use these workflows in tandem with your other fantastic customer service initiatives, such as customer support, email marketing, and more.

Although it’s a big building block, communication alone cannot build retention. However, it can help ensure communication, connection, and purposeful contact are all at the heart of your agency’s retention strategy.

3 Ways You Can Improve Your Agency's Client Retention

Learn about the three tools you can use to boost your retention strategy and improve your agency’s overall retention rate.

Get the Guide

Posted by Sarah Rosonke on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Insurance Automation

  1. client retention
  2. data management
  3. insurance automation

About The Author

Sarah Rosonke

Sarah is the Design and Content Specialist at AgencyBloc. She creates and designs helpful resources to support life and health insurance agencies in growing and automating their business. Favorite quote: "You'll never do a whole lot unless you're brave enough to try." —Dol ... read more