How to Increase Insurance Client Retention
The average retention rate in the insurance industry is 84%, with the top-performing agencies in the 93%-95% range. Retaining customers is all about the long-term relationship you build.
It's no surprise that acquiring new clients is far more expensive than selling to existing ones. The Independent Insurance Agents of Dallas point out a couple key facts to consider:
- First, the insurance industry has the highest customer acquisition costs of any industry.
- Second, it costs seven to nine times more for an insurance agency to attract a new customer than to keep one.
Think about your customer retention strategies based on what you've already done with your "best" clients. You've taken the time to understand their wants and needs, honed in on your customer service skills, and have learned how to deliver. These clients trust you.
Building a relationship with a new prospect or client can take several months or more. No matter the type of insurance or benefits you sell, you know the importance of strong client relationships. That's why insurance agents focus so much on client retention.
In this blog, we’ll cover three ways you can keep more clients at your insurance agency and how you can put them into practice.
Cross-Sell More Policies
It makes sense that the more products a client has purchased from you, the more likely you are to keep them. Take it from Arthur Middleton Hughes who shows there’s proof of it in the numbers:
Image: Database Marketing Institute
The answer to selling another insurance product to clients is to take a look at cross-selling. If you're maintaining a clean book of business, it won't be difficult to identify your clients' gaps.
Hughes offers this tactic for selling another policy:
- Offer a discount on your client's current policy if he/she buys another. Hughes suggests that you study your clients' purchasing behavior and figure out which types of products they're most likely to buy.
Selling another policy to current clients is likely to increase customer loyalty. But, you have to make sure you're doing it with the best interest of your clients in mind. That's where AgencyBloc can help.
There are a couple of ways to identify cross-selling opportunities using AgencyBloc:
- Set up an email campaign that uses cross-sell triggers to identify cross-selling opportunities within your book of business, but also allows you to create emails right then and there for those clients.
- Look for specific cross-sell opportunities within your book of business. AgencyBloc's Cross Sell Report quickly uncovers cross-selling opportunities for you. Using this report, search your book of business by coverage type and quickly find policy coverage gaps.
Once you identify these opportunities, reach out! If it's a short list, phone calls might make sense. But, if your search brought up a large list, an email campaign works perfectly.
Keep your email concise. Let them know that you noticed their coverage gap. Give them a few quick bullet points on the benefits of said coverage, and ask if they would be interested in chatting about it.
Then, follow up with them promptly and treat them as new prospects.
It doesn't hurt to run these cross-sell reports a few times a year, especially as the products you sell change. Your clients might not know everything you offer, so point it out to them!
Communicate With Clients Often (and Do It Well!)
The second tactic to improve customer retention is to simply communicate often with them. Start this from the onboarding process and continue it throughout their journey with you.
How often is the right amount? It might differ client by client. Only you understand those individual relationships. It’s best to reach out to clients when something affects them, specifically, or when you identify opportunities to add value to your relationship.
For instance, a carrier change on a product they own affects them. You'd always reach out in this situation. Similarly, a policy renewal date approaching affects them—always have a plan in place for this.
As for more times to add value, find areas you can show you care about the relationship. The simplest example of this is Happy Birthday greetings. Beyond this, think about your expertise. What do you know that your clients don't, but should? Offering this advice (and value!) will add another layer to your client/advisor relationship.
Your clients will feel reassured that you haven't forgotten about them and that you're available when they need you. Even better, it shows them you're proactive and care about your relationship with them.
There are several touchpoints throughout each year that you can make. A few examples are:
- New Prospect - Lead Form Submission
- New Client Welcome
- Policy Status Update
- Happy Birthday
- Policy Renewal
- Referral Ask
- Clients turning 65 (or another important age)
These touchpoints could be phone calls or emails, but the main idea is to maintain communication. Provide a customer experience where your clients feel like a priority to you, no matter what time of year it is.
An easy way to ensure this happens is to automate! Set up emails to go out on these dates or a few months before, depending on the situation. Use these email templates to help you out!
AgencyBloc's Automated Workflow helps insurance agencies stay on top of client communication with minimal effort. Once you identify the touchpoints you want to make, create a workflow that will automatically trigger when the event arises.
A simple example of this is to automate policy renewals. Set up emails to be sent 90, 60, and 30 days before the renewal date to begin communication with your clients. You don't have to remember to send the emails; AgencyBloc sends them for you. You can have an activity (to-do) automatically appear on your dashboard at the same time if you prefer.
When you use automation, you're making certain you communicate with your clients when you should and that nothing falls through the cracks.
When you chat with clients, it's also important to remember to take detailed notes. And don't forget the informal stuff! Take notes on how their family is doing, their hobbies, and their vacation plans. That way, the next time you speak with them you can pick up where you left off.
Create an Outstanding Onboarding Experience
If you don’t yet have a formal client onboarding process, now might be the time to put one into place. Starting off your working relationship with a client on the right foot sets both of you up for success. In fact, Forrester and Adobe found that when a business focuses on providing a great experience to clients, they typically see two times higher annual growth when it comes to customer retention.
A great onboarding experience is twofold. First, onboarding should do exactly that—onboard new clients and familiarize them with you and your agency. But, having a great onboarding experience can also be a powerful way to assure clients that they made the right decision choosing your agency, meaning they’ll be more likely to renew when that time comes.
So, what exactly makes a client onboarding experience outstanding?
First, use automation to ensure consistent communication with your clients. By taking advantage of automation, you make sure that nothing is missed. AgencyBloc’s Automated Workflow feature makes accomplishing this simple.
Let’s say you wanted to send a new client welcome email as part of your onboarding experience. This can be automated within AgencyBloc by setting up an Automated Workflow. The workflow can be set to trigger when a client’s status is updated to active, which then results in the following actions:
- A welcome email is sent to the client
- An email is sent to the agent of record to notify them
- A task is created for the agent of record three days later to check in with the client
Next, make sure the experience is personalized to the client. Even if many clients purchase the same coverage, each of those clients still has different needs and should be approached as such. That’s not to say you can’t have a repeatable process in place—just make sure you customize it in places where it makes sense. For example, have a kickoff meeting with your client where you can provide detailed information about their exact policy and what it means for them. This type of personalized touch shows the value you’re providing specifically to them.
Another way to add a personalized touch is by sending handwritten thank you cards to your clients. Some systems can also integrate with services that send handwritten cards on your behalf. See if your AMS and handwriting system can integrate via Zapier, or if they have their own integration with these companies. You can use Zapier to automatically send handwritten cards to clients by connecting AgencyBloc and Handwrytten, a handwritten notes service.
In addition to Zapier integrations, AgencyBloc also offers built-in integrations. One of AgencyBloc's integration partners is Rocket Referrals, an insurance communications platform. Their software can help you collect and analyze NPS scores from clients, send handwritten cards, improve your online reputation, and much more.
These AgencyBloc resources provide more information about onboarding clients and onboarding best practices:
Insurance customers are relationship buyers. Your relationship with your current clients should always come first if you want to increase client retention. And three ways to put your client relationships first is to identify their coverage gaps, keep the lines of communication open, and provide an outstanding onboarding experience.
Start communicating more often with clients right now!
Use these automated email templates to start communicating with your clients more often throughout the year, but without extra effort from you!
Download the Email Templates
This blog was originally published on 4/3/2019 and updated on 6/20/2022.