What makes a good client experience?
Last week, we talked about the #1 reason clients leave your insurance agency: bad customer service. So this week, let’s tackle how to create a good client experience. I say client experience instead of customer service because as an agent, you have two jobs: to sell and to service. Creating a positive experience in both of these areas is key to client loyalty.
We know you’re extremely busy, so we hope we can leave you with a few actionable tips that will help increase your client retention but won’t take a ton of time and effort from you.
The best advice we can give when selling is to listen. It’ll be easier for you to identify the right policies for your potential clients if you listen carefully to their needs.
InsightSquared offers some advice on improving your listening skills for sales:
- Slow the conversation down. Show your client that you’re not in a rush to close the deal by having a meaningful conversation with them about their insurance needs.
- Don’t interrupt. This seems simple, but we as humans interrupt without even realizing it. Consciously listen to your potential client and gather all of the details so you can make the best decision on coverage for them.
- Clarify & paraphrase. Show them you’re listening by occasionally double-checking that you heard them correctly and fully understand their needs.
- Listen to emotions. Insurance can absolutely be emotional—life and health insurance, especially. Listen for areas in your potential client’s life that insurance coverage would bring peace of mind to.
- Ask questions. Whether it’s to clarify something they said or to dig deeper into something they said, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It won’t make you look incompetent; it’ll show them you genuinely care about meeting their needs.
- Remember anecdotes. Beyond notes on their insurance needs, make notes about them personally that you can refer to later. You remembering their kids’ names at your next meeting, for example, will further show them you paid attention and care about more than selling a policy.
We have a few tips for selling, as well:
- Offer educational material. This could be information sheets on the coverage you’re suggesting for them that you print out and give to them or send to them within a follow-up email. Or, it could be
- Respond quickly. Be available as much as you can. We understand you can’t check your email or phone every minute of the day, but be sure to answer questions as quickly as possible. This will show your potential client that you’ll likely be quick to service them once they’re a client.
- Never miss a follow-up. Using automated email campaigns in conjunction with activities/tasks with an agency management system (AMS), you can be sure you’ll never miss a follow-up during the sales and policy application process.
All of the above tips apply to cross-selling when that person becomes a client, as well. When you identify a cross-selling opportunity, treat your client as a brand new prospect and start the selling process over again. This time, you’ll have personal information gathered on them to start the conversation. Call or email them and ask them to meet for coffee to review their current coverage and additional options they may be interested in.
Once you’ve started a positive relationship with this new client, keep it going with exceptional customer service.
Hubspot identified three key parts to delivering good customer service:
Seems straightforward, but actually practicing these three things can be difficult. Let’s start with empathy. When responding to client questions, concerns or claims, be sure to show empathy. Respond to your client saying, “I’m sorry you’re going through that” or “I’m sorry that’s happened”—and genuinely mean it. Then, you can get to the logistics of next steps to solve the issue.
Show appreciation for your clients by keeping in touch with them. Wish them happy birthday and send them relevant reminders, like policy renewals or open enrollment dates. You can automate these touchpoints with email campaigns.
To be genuinely helpful, be available, share relevant updates, and provide additional educational materials. Many insurance agencies have a client newsletter they email out each month. This is a good idea if you have regular agency news that would matter to them and if you include additional content like healthy lifestyle tips for your health and life clients. Reminder: your clients have to opt-in to receive these communications, and you have to provide them an easy-to-find link within each email to unsubscribe. Another way to provide helpful information is to maintain social media profiles, encourage your clients to follow you, and share relevant information there.
Bottom line: providing an exceptional customer experience is all about maintaining meaningful communication. Find out what’s important to your prospects and clients, and reach out via email or phone to share updates or check in.