Customer Service is Important.
Agency Consulting Group found that customers have a lack of trust for insurance agents, fearing that they are scheming or cooking the books. They think that the modern insurance agent could care less about them and their needs.
These stats aren’t great, but they do provide insurance agencies and agents the perfect opportunity to start winning back their clients and re-building those agent-client relationships. Achieving a positive agent-client relationship will require time, effort, and communication from the agent, but the challenge isn’t only building it, it’s maintaining it. Let’s get into some excellent ways you can re-build and maintain your agent-client relationships.
6 Pillars of Customer Service Excellence
MarketingProfs produced these six pillars that are extremely beneficial to building and maintaining a stronger agent-client relationship that you could implement with your own clients. Following these six pillars will help boost your client’s happiness and increase their confidence in your agency.
- Commitment. Make your clients feel valuable and special, let them know that you are concerned about their needs. Customer Satisfaction Surveys found that “insurance clients need to know that their agents are protecting their best interests in order to maintain a level of loyalty.” Create that human-to-human connection with your clients, show them the benefits of working with a local agent instead of being part of the queue at a carrier. Having that human element with your clients will make a world of a difference and help make them loyal, dedicated clients.
- Fulfillment. Don’t just sell to your clients, learn what they need and deliver on what matters most to them. Pay attention to the changing circumstances in their lives, for example, if they are new parents, suggest starting a dependent life policy for the children. Keep who they are and what they want at the forefront.
- Seamlessness. Make the whole process easy and enjoyable for your clients. Great customer service is more than the services you provide; it also incorporates the journey the client takes from prospect to client. Giving a positive experience to the client every step of the way will impress them and help to add value and trust to your agency.
- Responsiveness. Make it about them. They are your clients, make sure they always come first—this is a must in a customer-centric business. Be quick and thorough in responding to your clients. Nothing will upset them more than having to wait a long time for a reply; if you have to ask your clients to wait while you get the answer, make sure it’s a timely response and thoroughly answers their question(s). Your clients are busy juggling life, work, and personal health needs, it is essential that your agents are flexible and have a reliable connection to your book-of-business so as to best serve your clients. Going mobile can help your agency in responding quicker and more effectively, check out our blog to learn more about integrating mobile capabilities into your agency.
- Proactivity. Don’t wait for your clients to come to you, be proactive and reach out to them; it will show them that you are thinking about them even when they may not be thinking about their policy. This will help grow the respect and trust your clients have for your agency. Email campaigns are a fantastic resource to boost your proactivity, send happy birthday emails, policy status updates, renewal updates, 65+ changes, and more. Tailored, targeted emails will let your clients know that you are aware of what is important to them and what will be in the future.
- Evolution. Continue working on and improving your client’s experience, keeping them a loyal client takes just as much work as making them one. Always strive to provide a positive experience for them as their lives, needs, attitudes, and circumstances change.
Improve the Digital Experience
Modern consumers find comfort in digital communication. In a survey, Insurance Journal found that nearly half (47%) of consumers want more online interaction with insurers, and only 15% are satisfied with their insurers’ digital experience. You may not be able to control the carrier digital experience, but you certainly can control your client’s digital experience with your agency. Using an agency management system to communicate is fast and efficient, it allows your agents to catalog their complete history with each individual client and can improve response time which will definitely impress your clients (SuperOffice found a 74% increase in customer satisfaction with faster response times). Incorporating digital communication into your agency can dramatically enhance your client’s experience with your agency and can be your agency's differentiator in service.
Communication is starting to become more of a differentiator and seen as an
aspect of service."
Scott Draeger, customer communications strategist for GMC Software.
Talk to your clients digitally and talk with them often. Database Marketing Institute found that 52% of insurance customers describe themselves as “relationship buyers.” They aren’t just buying your services, they’re buying the experience they will have with your agency and how you will cater to their needs. Additionally, Database Marketing Institute found that many clients want an annual review of their policy and the coverage they receive. They want to feel secure, they want to trust you, and they want a relationship with you that doesn’t keep them up at night with worry.
Serving them and making them number one will help to prove your agency’s integrity and make them a loyal client. Making the relationship about them will make your clients feel secure and more apt to trust you. Building that trust with your client will increase your agency’s credibility and boost your client satisfaction ratings.
Not sure where your agency stands on client satisfaction?
You can find out where you stand with your customer satisfaction by sending out a survey asking your clients how they feel about your services and your agency. It will help you identify which clients are your biggest fans (promoters) and which are not too thrilled with you (detractors). Check out this infographic and learn more about the Net Promoter Score (NPS), how to formulate the survey to get the answers you need, the different categories of client responses, and how to utilize the feedback you receive.
Your agency is only as strong as the loyalty of your clients. Take this chance to hone in on your clients, recenter your agency’s focus, and boost your clients’ trust and happiness.
Integrate Automation for Improved Customer Service
Read our whole eBook about integrating automation with your client communication process to improve your overall customer service and boost client retention.