Using Automation to Improve Your Retention

One of the best ways to ensure your agency’s longevity is by improving your overall client retention. In fact, it’s far cheaper (and easier!) to sell to an existing client than it is 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. Active and purposeful communication can help make this a reality.

Rocket Referrals found that of the clients who leave their insurance agency, 81% cited “lack of communication” as the reason why. 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 retention rate is knowing how to calculate it:

Retention= ((CE-CN)/CS)) X 100

  • CE = number of customers at end of period
  • CN = number of new customers acquired during period
  • CS = number of customers at start of period

You can break this down further to monthly, quarterly, bi-annual numbers, too, to see how your retention and churn change throughout the year. Maybe there’s a part of the year where your numbers are higher than others.

With this information, you can put together a solid plan on where and how you can improve.

Automated Workflow + Retention

In addition to putting together a process around your retention goals, you should seriously consider implementing communication automation. Automated Workflow helps you stay in contact with your clients throughout the year creating touchpoints independently of your personal reach outs.

The benefit of automation is that you set it up once and it’ll work on its own from there on out. It saves you time from spending your day completing repetitive (but important!) manual tasks and allows you the luxury of focusing your time and resources elsewhere.

With Automated Workflow, 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

The dashboard is the welcoming screen each and every time you log in to AgencyBloc. This helps ensure that the tasks you’re responsible for never fall between the cracks.

Client Retention Workflows to Set Up

To get you started off on the right foot, these 5 workflows will help you maintain meaningful communication with your clients:

  • Policy Renewal
  • Happy Birthday
  • Turning 26
  • Turning 65
  • Policy Application Status

Policy Renewal Workflow

A policy renewal workflow is designed to add one contact touch each and every year. You can set this up any way you like or however matches your 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 touchpoint each and every year with your health clients as most policies expire or are up for renewal yearly. It’s a simple workflow, but an impactful one as it helps to ensure that 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 a small thing, but it can speak volumes to who you are and what clients can expect from you.

Happy Birthday Workflow in AgencyBloc

With a workflow, this initiative is easy. This workflow will email your clients on their special day. There are even fun birthday images for you to attach to the email to make it extra fun.

Turning __ Workflow

The 26th and 65th birthdays are big birthdays for your clients as they bring insurance changes for them to navigate. Help them feel more comfortable with the upcoming change by getting together a plan ahead of time. Again, like the Policy Renewal Workflow, you can set this up on any time table 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 80% of sales take 5+ touchpoints before they become a client. So, it’s really not too many, especially considering the monumental changes that are happening.

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, thus wouldn’t receive your subsequent emails.

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

Policy Application Status Workflow

This workflow is a great one to set up whether it’s 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 next steps they should be prepared for.

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

  • Policy App is Submitted
  • Policy App is Pending
  • Policy App is Declined (I’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 and, as usual, you can set the notifications and alerts to go out on the timetable that works for you. The benefit is that you can show your client 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 reach out to the carrier to follow up with them on the status of that specific policy. You can then use that information to pass on to your client.

Really, there are many bonuses with Automated Workflow, but the two major benefits are:

  • They save you time
  • They put communication at the center of your agent-client relationships

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

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

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

3 Ways You Can Improve Your Agency's Client Retention

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

Get the Guide

Posted by Allison Babberl on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in Insurance Automation

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

About The Author

Allison Babberl

Allison is the Content Lead at AgencyBloc. She manages the creation and schedule of all educational content for our BlocTalk and Member communities. Favorite quote: “Conversation is the bedrock of relationships. Without it, our relationships are devoid of substance.” -Maribeth Ku ... read more