Client retention is and always has been a moving target, but with the face of the industry changing, mostly thanks to technology, there are new ways to create and foster long-term relationships in your agency.
As agents, we do a lot to bring new customers into our agencies and so, when we do, there's a great deal of gratification that comes with it. But when you think about it, KEEPING those customers LOYAL to your agency year after year needs to be just as, if not, more important. This is because it's much cheaper to keep a client than it is to continually have to go out and find new ones.
Here are a few basic strategies that you can use in your agency that should help keep your clients coming back to you to renew their policies year after year.
SAY IT WITH US - CUSTOMER SERVICE IS KING (OR QUEEN...WHICHEVER)
This is Business 101. Actually, this is Humanity 101. If your client has a pleasant experience doing business with you, there's a chance they'll come back to you again. But if your client has an outstanding experience doing business with you, they'll be back again and again, and there's even a chance you're going to get new business referrals through them.
Be genuine. Be easy to reach. Be receptive and be responsive. This means you're going to want to want to bulk up your agency with whatever you can to make the customer experience as seamless and positive as possible. Obviously you're always going to want to personalize your interactions with your customers, but when you aren't available to offer those things to your clients in person, chatbots and automation software are excellent ways to give your clients 24 hour attention. They allow customers to get in touch with you and they allow you to reach out to your customers while you're already busy at work, creating an overall service experience that clients are drawn to and that makes them feel that at ease.
REWARD YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS
From your local smoothie place to the largest chain department store, every time you check out at a cash register these days, there's a cashier asking you if you're part of their company's rewards program. This is because it's a tried and true, proven way to keep customers coming back. Incentivize your clients to stay with you by offering forgiveness benefits by keeping rates the same for minor claims. Offering special bundles for clients to mark anniversaries with your agency at renewal time. You can also team up with other local businesses and arrange for special collaborative discounts between your shared clients. There are tons of creative ways to reward clients in your area if you're dedicated to keeping them and you're willing to think outside the box.
HAVE MORE TO OFFER
A great way to create customer loyalty is to give your clients everything they want in one agency. By offering a variety of products and policies to your client base, you're giving them more than one reason to stay with you. Holding multiple policies with your agency gives your clients a number of different benefits. They're able to renew all of the policies at one time. They're also able to make changes to policies, like address or name changes all at once instead of having to contact multiple carriers. This also gives your clients one point of contact for questions and concerns about their policies if need be.
There are certainly a lot of different things you can do in your agency to retain your customers but we think if you're starting out, these are 3 areas to focus on right out of the gate. If you find yourself trying to do too much to keep clients around, you may spread yourself too thin and jeopardize customer loyalty. In short, make sure your customer service is on point, you're rewarding them in meaningful ways and that you always have a variety of things to offer, and you're sure to have a long list of loyal customers in the future.