Your clients have huge influential power. If you’re not tapping into it, you’re missing out.
Are you tired of throwing money around guessing at ways to market your agency without seeing a significant return on investment? While your prospects are overlooking your latest ad, you could be overlooking your true marketing purpose and making things more complex than they need to be. As an insurance agent, your job isn’t to get clients. It’s to get clients who get more clients for you.
You’re busy, and that’s fine, because happy clients will gladly become your best advertisers. Your influencers. When it comes to marketing your business, it’s important to understand—without any doubt—that the very best kind of marketing doesn’t cost money. The most motivating, influencing kind of marketing starts and ends with your clients.
You can’t buy true agency fans. They have to be authentically made. And YES—even though you’re an insurance agency—people are still ready to be fans of your business. Creating agency fans might be easier than you think. 85% of people consider themselves to be brand fans, and 97% of people ages 18-24 do, too.
The rationale is simple. When people are happy with their experience with a company, they tell other people. As consumers, we love to talk about experiences that either exceed or sorely miss our expectations. If you doubt this, just take a moment to think about your own habits. The last time you had either really amazing or really horrible customer service, did you tell someone about it? Chances are your answer is a resounding ‘yes!’ Have a peek at these eye-opening stats from Inc.
- Unhappy clients are 91% likely to avoid doing business with you again.
- Unhappy clients usually share their negative experience with 9-15 other people.
- 42% of clients who’ve had good experiences with you will make another purchase with you.
- 88% of customers read online reviews to influence their purchasing decisions.
- 42% of consumers said that a family or friend recommendation would influence their purchase even more than a sale or promotion.
Yes, even good service has great power. But imagine if you provided great service instead. What if you exceeded your clients’ expectations regularly? That would create a real buzz. And you don’t have to channel your inner Oprah and start giving away cars to accomplish this. You can do it in simple, manageable ways.
Step #1 – Don’t meet your clients’ expectations, exceed them.
Exceed expectations by offering your clients service that they won’t get from your competitors. If most insurance agencies only contact clients during renewal periods, strive to check in with your clients several times throughout the year. This will help you to establish real relationships with them, and learn about their families and their likes/dislikes. Learning about your clients will allow you to better tune into opportunities for small ways to wow them. If you find out that they love chocolate and peanut butter, for example, and they live nearby, drop a few peanut butter cups and a little note in their mailbox the next time you find yourself in the area. For clients from out of town, don’t underestimate the power of a hand-written birthday card, or the power of remembering and recognizing a special milestone or anniversary.
- 96% of consumers say that customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
- Consumers rated customer service as the number one way to impact their level of trust.
- After having a positive experience with a company, 77% of consumers reported that they would recommend it to a friend.
Step #2 – Answer your clients’ questions. ALL of them.
Insurance can be confusing to people who aren’t agents or brokers. Most applications and product information involves a whole lot of jargon that can be overwhelming and frustrating. Maybe even more so for clients who are looking to insure their businesses. Potential new clients (and current clients) are sure to have lots of questions. If you’re tight on time and unable to answer them individually, consider adding an FAQ page to your website, or developing an email or video that addresses common concerns.
Thinking about your clients’ needs and questions ahead of time and answering them before they have to ask is even better. With each answer you provide and each coverage you break down, you’re creating a happy customer rather than a frustrated one. Avoiding frustration and negative experiences is even more important than providing positive ones. By working hard to answer questions and simplifying your products and coverages, you’ll be boosting retention and generating satisfaction, too.
Step #3 – Back up good service with good products, and be consistent to sustain trust and retain clients.
Insurance clients don’t get to “experience” the products they’ve purchased until they file a claim. They’re often reaching out to you during the most difficult moments of their lives. During these moments, it’s critical to provide the quality service that you know will back up the promises you’ve made. That’s why it’s so important to work with a managing general agent who understands the value of quality service and serves as a true partner.
If your products don’t bring the value you’ve said they will when a claim is filed, trust will be broken and your clients will look elsewhere for it. If you think losing clients is no big deal, it’s time to think again. Clients who leave can significantly impact your bottom line. Consider this:
- The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, but the probability of selling to a prospective customer is only 5-20%.
- A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing business expenses by 10%.
- It costs 6-7 times more to gain a new client than it does to retain an existing one.
Client retention is incredibly important to your agency’s overall success. The best way to keep your existing clients is to establish and maintain trust, and to make sure that they are happy. Yes, it’s likely impossible to make the outcome of every claim pleasing to every client, but that’s where exceptional service comes back in. It’s cyclical. A client who is loyal to you and trusting of you will understand that you’re doing the best you can with the situation and working to provide them with the best outcome possible.
Step #4 – Ask and you shall receive.
Another simple but oh-so-important task. If you want good reviews from happy customers, ask for them. Send your clients an email letting them know how important their opinions of your agency are, and asking them to take a moment to leave you a review. Pop the link to your Google business page or your company Facebook page into the email. They’re short on time, too—so make it as easy as possible for them to do you this favor. Then, show your gratitude.
Clients who are treated fairly, have their questions answered up-front, trust you and believe that you exceed their expectations will become ambassadors for your agency. When their friends or family members need insurance for their own businesses, they’ll recommend you. And that recommendation will likely have more return on investment than any ad you could ever dream up. Word-of-mouth agency advertising is more powerful than anything you could purchase, because it’s free, unsolicited and authentic. Tap into its power by focusing on the 4 simple steps discussed above, and watch as your success continues to grow.
What do you do to create lasting, quality relationships with your clients? Let us know below!
Lindsey Elias, Marketing
As our Marketing Content Manager, Lindsey is passionate about producing quality content. When not at the office or planning her next Disney getaway, she loves hanging with her husband, family and fur babies and indulging in the two c's: carbs & coffee.
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