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 your agency has, the better chance your book of business will grow.
One of the biggest benefits of client retention is the money you save. In all cases, retention is less time-consuming, cheaper, and easier than selling to a new customer. 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 your agency can adopt to help boost your retention rate and how an industry-specific agency management platform can help. The 3 areas we’ll cover that can help you increase your client retention rates are:
If you’re unsure what your current client retention rate is, the easiest way to calculate it is with this formula:
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
Here is a basic example to help you understand what this formula looks like in practice.
((50 customers at the end of the month - 10 new customers acquired during the month) / 42 customers at the start of the month) X 100 = 95.24% retention rate
This period can be monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. It’s beneficial for your team to understand your retention rate for all those periods to better compare year-over-year trends. With this information, you can put together a solid plan for where and how you can improve.
Section 2: Building Retention with Communication
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 of a higher retention rate, build a communication plan that starts as soon as they become a lead. 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 clients, the more likely they are to stay for the long haul. After all, the number one reason clients leave their agencies is due to a lack of meaningful communication. So, how can you and your team be sure to provide the best communication possible?
Personalization is an excellent way to make sure you’re reaching your clients where they are. It extends beyond just addressing them by their first name in email marketing (although that helps!).
- Are you providing content to clients that addresses their specific needs and challenges?
- Are you giving them quotes that are tailored to them and what their needs in a life or health insurance policy are?
Personalization can be made easier with the help of an industry-specific platform that has capabilities like email marketing, quoting and proposal generating tools, workflow automation, and more.
We know that to convert 80% of sales, it takes at least 5 or more touches or follow-ups to do so. But why should that end when they become a client?
If you build a communication strategy that encourages a lead or prospect to become a client, then you should try to maintain that strategy once they are a client. The number one reason clients leave their agencies is due to a lack of meaningful communication. This means many agencies are only working on the sale, not retention.
What are you doing to make yourself stand out and keep your clients? How is your agency focusing on both the sale and the retention?
How to Schedule Client Follow-Ups
Instead of only reaching out to your clients when it’s time for a policy renewal, try adding 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, managing your teams, continuing education, juggling your life, etc. Task management 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 many locations throughout the day, it’s easy to leave your list behind.
To achieve peak productivity, it’s advisable to have your to-do list integrated with your agency management platform. For example, AgencyBloc’s Activities help your team 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 from 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 of whether 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 the most up-to-date notes.
Client notes, documents, and emails (or even call recordings!) stored within AgencyBloc are easily accessible to help you maintain a personalized relationship with each and every client. 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 with your carrier. Some carriers might have guides or information to help your teams’ conversations with new clients or clients who have recently changed their plans.
By keeping in regular contact with your client, it improves your chances of keeping them. The more help and assistance your agency provides, 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).
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 interactions with clients include:
- Welcome emails
- Wishing them a happy birthday
- Recognizing 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 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 is 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, automation gives you complete control over what kind of message to send and when to send it. You can either send an email to the client, send an email to someone internally, or assign a task to the agent/someone on your team—or all three!
In AgencyBloc, you can also access a library of saved content for common touchpoints like birthday workflows, policy renewals, turning-65, etc.
Every agency will differ on how and when they want to know about upcoming policy renewals. However, many agencies set up a formula like 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
You can set up a variety of triggers (ifs) and actions (thens) all corresponding together to help you work smarter, not harder. For more policy-related email ideas, check out our free Policy-Related Email templates.
Section 3: Building Retention with Education
Another way to create loyal, dedicated clients is to be their go-to source for information and education. After all, your clients look to you as an expert when it comes to navigating the often confusing health and life insurance industry. Share stuff like:
- Relevant industry updates
- Tips and tricks for their coverage, drug plans, etc.
- Need-to-know information that will matter to your clients and prospects
- Dictionaries to explain confusing ideas and coverage
- How to prepare for changing coverage (like aging in Medicare!)
Providing Education Via Social Media
Social media is a great place to interact with clients and share educational content. Articles from trusted industry experts and articles you create yourself are both helpful things to post to make sure your clients and prospects are well-informed.
The 4-1-1 rule is an excellent rule-of-thumb to follow when it comes to the mix of content you should be sharing across social media:
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 your agency online (for vetting purposes), they can see that you’re dedicated to providing relevant and current information to your audience. Then, as clients, they can follow you on social media to stay up-to-date on changes that could affect them.
If you’re new to social media, here are some resources that could help:
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, educational content, team and culture-related pieces, and other pertinent information. You should also have a website that is the home for all 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. Share details about 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.
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 and then upload them to a third-party email marketing platform. It can also make filtering easier if you have a specific audience in mind.
For example, you can send a mass email to all your clients who take part in the Open Enrollment Period or all those who take part in the Annual Election Period. Especially if you’re a full-service agency that participates in both major enrollment seasons, you want to ensure your message is getting to the right audience at the right time.
With the Email Campaign builder in AgencyBloc, you can be as specific as you need to make sure this happens.
Additionally, you can further tailor the email if they’re a client, a prospect, an ex-client, a lead, etc. That way, you can create a message that is specific to their needs.
Section 4: Building Retention with Organization
We’ve discussed how to build your client retention strategy with concentrated communication and shareable education, but a big part of client retention starts with the basics of your agency—the technology you use to stay organized and efficient.
It Helps You Be Productive
How organized your agency is greatly affects the services you can offer, 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 your team provides may be lacking. And, as your agency grows, it can be more difficult to find the time to ensure you’re staying on top of client communication and being accessible to them when they need help.
One easy example is 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 CRM, then it can take a while for that question to be answered.
"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
With an industry-specific agency management platform, your team can set up Automated Workflows to automatically send emails and create tasks, use quoting tools to quickly and easily create proposals, and find information at the moment you need it.
Productivity is only one of the benefits an organized book of business provides. Another is proactivity.
It Helps You to Be Proactive
Being proactive means you are working to avoid problems before they arise. Practicing proactivity is a surefire way to build client retention in your agency and ensure 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 plans are coming.
Let’s consider a possible scenario:
United HealthCare is ending coverage for certain plans in certain zip codes that you have sold.
You will almost always know about coming changes before your clients do. Therefore, use this to your advantage to set up a game plan now instead of waiting until they hear about the change elsewhere. With an organized AMS like AgencyBloc, you can approach this in a few different ways.
Your Solution: Run an Advanced Search in AgencyBloc to 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 build trust and boost your client retention rate.
An Agency Management System Can Help!
AgencyBloc is an agency management platform 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.
Learn More About AgencyBloc
by Allison Babberl on Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Account & Client Management