How Communication Helps with Retention
To achieve a higher retention rate in your book of business, you have to communicate with your contacts. This is true whether they’re a client, prospect, or lead.
For the best chance at a higher retention rate, build a communication plan that starts as soon as they enter your business. The better you take care of them in their buying process, the more likely they are to become a client. The better you take care of them as a client, the more likely they are to stay for the long haul.
We know that to convert 80% of sales, it takes at least 5+ touches or follow-ups. But why should that end when they become a client?
If you build a communication strategy that pushes them to become a client, then you should at least try to maintain that strategy once they are a client. Rocket Referrals found that 81% of insurance clients leave their provider due to a lack of communication. This means many agencies are only working for the sale, not the retention.
Ask yourself: What are you doing to make yourself stand out and keep your clients?
How to Schedule Client Follow-Ups
Instead of only reaching out to your clients when it’s time for a policy renewal, try adding in other touches throughout the year. This helps you build a stronger relationship post-sale.
It can be difficult, though, to remember to follow-up with clients when you’re busy with prospects, continuing education training, juggling your life, etc. Schedule apps and to-do lists can definitely help, but only if you look at them every day and keep them handy. If you’re working in multiple locations throughout the day, you can easily leave your list behind.
To achieve peak productivity, it’s best to have your to-do list integrated with your agency management system. For example, AgencyBloc’s Activities help you stay on task and ensure nothing falls between the cracks. You can assign tasks to yourself or be assigned tasks by your team—like when you’re out of the office and your client calls in with a question. They’re right there in your AgencyBloc account the moment you log in so they’re always top-of-mind.
Since AgencyBloc is cloud-based and responsive to any device, you can have your to-do list with you regardless if you’re on the go or in the office to help you stay productive. The other benefit is that you’ll have direct access to your notes.
Whatever notes, documents, and emails you store in relation to your client within AgencyBloc are accessible to help you re-educate yourself on who your client is, what their needs are, and how you can help. This helps you show your clients that their needs are top-of-mind for you and you can have an educated, informed discussion with them as soon as you make contact.
If you’re interested in what types of follow-ups to perform, check in with your carrier. A few years ago Humana launched a 3, 30, 60, 90-day conversation guide. This is geared towards new clients or clients who have changed coverage recently. The guide gives you pointers as to what you can talk about at each of the follow-ups and gives you goals to reach for each one individually.
The benefits of following a conversation guide like the example from Humana is that it gets you in regular contact with your client and improves your chances of keeping that client. The more help and assistance you provide, the more comfortable a client can feel. That feeling can directly translate into retention and possible growth opportunities (i.e. cross-sells, positive reviews, and referrals).
However, it can be a lot to manage and remember to follow up on those exact dates. In the next bit, we’ll discuss more about using automation to help you make these touchpoints happen.
How to Schedule Non-Follow Up Client Interactions
Sometimes you don’t have follow-ups to do with your clients, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still try to interact with them. Some non-follow up client interactions can include:
- Welcome emails
- Wishing them a happy birthday
- Congratulating them on their anniversary of becoming a client
- Alerting them to an upcoming policy renewal
Instead of attempting to remember every client’s birthday, anniversary, and policy renewal date, try using automation. Implementing automation, like Automated Workflows from AgencyBloc, can help you work smarter, not harder to accomplish everything on your task list plus all of the extras—like non-follow up client interactions!
Think of an Automated Workflow like an if/then scenario. Let’s go over a few examples.
A Workflow to send clients a happy birthday email:
- If: It’s the client’s birthday
- Then: Send an email to them wishing them happy birthday
Another example for their anniversary:
- If: It’s been X year(s) since they became a client
- Then: Send an email to them thanking them for entrusting you with their coverage
A third example, a welcome workflow when they become a client:
- If: Their individual status updates to Client
- Then: Send an email welcoming and thanking them
- Then (2): Send a task to the agent of record telling them to reach out personally
As you can see, the automation gives you full-reign of what kind of message to send and when to send it. You can either send an email to the client, send an email to the agent of record, or assign a task to the agent of record—or all three!
In AgencyBloc, we have a Workflow that is set up just for birthdays, but others might require you to decide a time table for alert and action. An example of this would be a policy renewal reminder workflow.
Every agency will differ on how and when they want to know about upcoming policy renewals. However, we’ve seen many agencies setting up a formula similar to the one below:
3 Months Until Renewal Date:
- Send an email to the client alerting them to the upcoming renewal
- Assign a low priority task to the agent of record to reach out to the client
2 Months Until Renewal Date:
- Send an email reminding the client of the upcoming renewal
- Assign a medium priority task to the agent of record to follow-up with the client
1 Month Until Renewal Date:
- Send an email alerting the client that the renewal date is fast-approaching
- Assign a high priority task to the agent of record to check in with the client
2 Weeks Until Renewal Date:
- Send an email to the client urging them to reach out about their upcoming renewal
- Assign an urgent task to the agent of record to call the client ASAP
As you can see, with Workflows, you can set up a variety of triggers (ifs) and actions (thens) all corresponding together to help you work smarter, not harder. For more ideas on policy-related email recipes, check out our free Policy-Related Email templates.