3 Ways Your Life & Health Agency Can Improve Client Retention

In this article, you'll learn the 3 processes you can implement in your agency to improve your client retention rate.

The Benefits of Retention for Life & Health Insurance Agencies

It’s no secret that client retention is the name of the game for insurance agencies. The higher the retention rate you have, the better chance your book of business has to grow. 

One of the biggest benefits of retention is the expense you save. In all cases, retention is less time-consuming, cheaper, and easier than new acquisition. To learn more about the statistics behind retention vs. acquisition, check out our blog: Integrating Automation & Communication for a Killer Retention Process.

Today, we’re going to cover 3 significant and easy processes you can adopt to help boost your retention rate and how an industry-specific agency management system (AMS) can help. The 3 areas we’ll cover are:

Increasing Retention with:

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Organization 

If you’re unsure what your retention rate is, a fast way to calculate it is:

Retention rate= ((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

This period can be monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. It’s beneficial to understand your retention for all of those to better compare year-over-year and know if you’re progressing, declining, or maintaining. With this information, you can put together a solid plan on where and how you can improve.

Section 2: Building Retention with Communication

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

Happy Birthday Workflow Email in AgencyBloc

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.

Pro Tip: To manage your team’s productivity on a macro-level, run an Activities Completed report with AgencyBloc’s Custom Report Builder to ensure your team is staying productive even when they’re working remotely or you’re out of the office.

Section 3: Building Retention with Education

How Education Helps with Retention

Another way to create loyal, dedicated clients is to be their go-to source for information and education. Share relevant industry updates, tips and tricks, and need-to-know information that will matter to your clients and prospects. 

Providing Education Via Social Media

Social media is a great place to interact with clients and share educational content. If you’re new to social media, make sure you check out our free guide: Social Media for Insurance Agencies.

Share articles from trusted industry experts along with articles you create yourself to make sure your clients and prospects are well-informed. For this, follow the 4-1-1 rule:

The 4-1-1 Social Media Rule

The 4-1-1 rule is defined as: “For every 4 pieces of new content (either your own educational content or sharing others’), you should re-share (retweet, etc.) 1 piece of others’ content, and 1 self-serving post (your “selling” post).”

This way, when prospects search for you online (for vetting purposes), they can see you’re dedicated to providing relevant and current information for your audience. Then, as clients, they can follow you on social media to stay up-to-date on changes that could affect them. To learn more about what to share and how to better use your social media profile, check out our blog: Social Selling vs. Social Branding: What Agents Need To Know.

Pro Tip: Social media profiles should not be your only source of online real estate. Instead, they should be a platform to share your mission statement, updates, office culture-related pieces, and other pertinent information. Make sure you also have a website to be the home for all of your content to direct back to for lead capturing and other necessary go-to details for your business.

Providing Education Via Email Marketing

Another way to build yourself as an educational provider for your clients and prospects is to use email marketing. Keep them up-to-date on industry changes that directly affect them, and make sure they’re ready for enrollment season. You can also use this for your group clients to alert their employees to the different perks within their coverage to make sure they’re getting the most bang for their buck.

An easy way to go about this is to use an AMS with built-in Email Marketing. This saves you time from having to download a list of your current prospects and clients then uploading them into an email marketing platform. It can also make filtering easy if you have a specific audience in mind.

For example, you can send a mass email to all of your clients who participate in the Open Enrollment Period or all of those who participate in the Annual Election Period. Especially if you’re a full-service agency that partakes in both major enrollment seasons, you want to ensure your message is getting to the right audience and not creating extra confusion. 

With the Email Campaign builder in AgencyBloc, you can be as specific as you desire to make sure the right client gets the right message at the right moment.

Email Marketing Filtering in AgencyBloc

Additionally, you can further tailor the email to them if they’re a client, a prospect, an ex-client, a lead, etc. That way, you can create a message that directly targets them and their needs.

Section 4: Building Retention with Organization

How Organization Helps with Retention

We’ve discussed how to build your client retention with concentrated communication and shareable education, but a big part of client retention starts at the basics of your agency—the organization. 

How an Organized AMS Helps You Be Productive

How organized your agency is greatly affects the services you can provide, like customer service, retention-building services, education-providing services, etc. If your core day-to-day business operations are not organized and streamlined, the level of service you provide can lack.

One easy example is in customer service. The scenario: You have a client call into your office with a question about their policy. If your book of business isn’t organized in an easy-to-access AMS, then it can take a while for that question to be answered. 

SaraMarie B.

"Before AgencyBloc, our office used a separate spreadsheet for every activity. One question from a client could take 5 minutes to answer simply because we had to locate in WHICH spreadsheet the info was hidden. Now, everything is in one place. We would be lost without this product!"
—SaraMarie B., Insurance Advocates

Productivity is only one of the benefits an organized book of business in an AMS can give. Another is proactivity.

How an Organized AMS Helps You Be Proactive

Being proactive means you are working to avoid problems before they crop up. Practicing proactivity is a sure-fire way to build client retention in your agency and ensure overall client happiness is elevated. 

One of the most popular ways to be proactive with your book of business is to alert clients when changes to their plan are coming. The scenario: United HealthCare is ending coverage for certain plans in certain zip codes, these are plans you have sold with clients who reside in one of the affected zip codes.

You will almost always know about coming changes before your clients do, so use this to your advantage to set up a game plan now, instead of waiting until they could possibly lose coverage. With an organized AMS like AgencyBloc, you can go about this in a few different ways. 

One way is to run an Advanced Search. Identify how many clients have one of the affected plans in the affected area. If the list is short, pin it to your Dashboard to work your way through and alert your clients to the upcoming changes and their options.

If the list isn’t short, recreate the filters you ran for the Advanced Search in Email Marketing. Then, craft a mass email for only those affected individuals with the information, their options, and how you will proceed together.

The benefit of being proactive is that you’re showing your clients that you have their needs top of mind and that you care. These traits will only help boost your client retention rate. 

An Agency Management System Can Help!

Bottom line: to provide higher levels of service to your clients, you need to be communicative, they should view you as their go-to information resource, and you must be organized. Using an industry-specific agency management system can help you do all three to build your retention rate and ultimately help you reach your goals.

AgencyBloc is an AMS that helps life and health insurance agencies grow their business by organizing and automating their operations using a combination of an industry-specific CRM, commissions processing, and integrated business and marketing automation.

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