Marketing's tricky. Lots of times a marketing strategy will sound like an absolute home run while you're brainstorming, and then, once the strategy has been put to action, you realize you've struck out. This isn't because you suck at marketing. It's because not even the most well thought-out plans are going to work on everyone.
While you're trying to navigate what marketing strategies will work online, in person and in your community, there are a few very important land mines that you should avoid, no matter how good they look on paper. Take a look at these tried and true marketing DONT's.
1. DON'T ADD PEOPLE TO LISTS WITHOUT PERMISSION
Just because you had a great networking conversation or prospect chat and someone hands you a business card, that doesn't mean you're allowed to start spamming the ever-loving crap out of them. People need to be able to opt-in to receiving marketing calls and emails from you. Once you start spamming people, you're going to get reported and THAT is never a good look.
2. DON'T MAKE PEOPLE FILL OUT LONG QUOTE FORMS ONLINE
Ain't nobody got time for that. And also, you've got to operate on the assumption that people aren't tech-savvy enough to be able to complete a quote form online. We know, but still. Make sure that whatever forms you're asking people to fill out online are quick and easy. You need to make sure they hit DONE on that form before they hit the back or exit button.
3. DON'T USE A PERSONAL FACEBOOK PAGE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Just no. Facebook has gone to great lengths to create a massive business platform for small business owners and it works. There are a ton of backend benefits to using a business page like insights and an ad platform (if you choose to run ads). Also, a business page is set up to look professional and to make your business as accessible as possible for your followers.
4. DON'T BUY FOLLOWERS AND ENGAGEMENT
We know that a post with low likes makes you feel like your content stinks, but it's better than paying for fake engagement on your posts. Not only can most platforms spot fake engagement from a mile away, so can your followers AND IT'S A BAD LOOK. You want to always be striving for as much genuine engagement from real followers as possible.
5. DON'T HAVE MORE THAN ONE OFFICIAL WEBPAGE
Lots of agents want to have a personal web page, as well as a page that lives on their carrier's site. This creates confusion from the jump for any prospect who Googles you. When a prospect finds two pages for the same agent, they're more apt to continue their search and find someone with just one page.
When it comes to what's GOING TO WORK for you and your agency in terms of marketing, it's a bit of a crap shoot. The good news is that those who've gone before you have a pretty clear picture of what ISN'T GOING TO WORK. Listen to agents when they tell you what tactics to avoid when it comes to reaching out to new customers. It'll save you a lot of embarrassment.
This piece by Julie Bawden-Davis originally ran on AmericanExpress.com.
Want to keep employees motivated? Here are four ways that have nothing to do with money.
Ronna Coe knows the best workforce is one that's the most established, so the small-business owner does what she can to retain quality employees. She’s also aware that to keep her workers content, she must provide motivation in the workplace.
“Our business involves a real team effort, and it’s important that all employees know their value to the finished product and to customer satisfaction,” says Coe, chairman of Coastal Component Industries (CCI), which employs 18 people, more than half of whom have been with her for more than 10 years. The company was founded in 1990 and manufactures a wide variety of electronic components for the military, defense and aerospace markets.
Given the tight economy, Coe does her best to keep spirits up and employees inspired. While she does offer a variety of generous benefits, including 10o-percent company-paid employee health insurance and substantial year-end bonuses, she knows that she can’t solely rely on such monetary motivations, so she also focuses on intrinsic motivators like those highlighted in the well-known book on management, Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know, by Jill Geisler.
1. Focus on Employees' Strengths
Effective managers know that focusing on employee strengths leads to satisfied workers. Giving employees the opportunity to concentrate on work that allows them to excel leads to high-quality workmanship.
“We expect a lot from our employees and we rely on their best effort every day,” Coe says, noting that an important part of encouraging competence is giving feedback. “We strive to always thank employees for a job well done when the work meets deadlines and our expectations.”
2. Be Flexible with Schedules
Giving employees control of their work environment whenever possible often motivates. Though the manufacturing nature of her business precludes her from allowing most of her employees an autonomous work schedule, Coe was able to offer flextime to her vice president, Diana Romero.
“My flexible schedule, which constitutes four days a week, allows me to take care of my granddaughter and gives me personal time,” Romero says. “This autonomy also really motivates me to do my best work, because it gives me the message that I’m valued and that makes me loyal to the company and its mission.”
State Farm insurance agent Rhonda Shader’s company provides insurance and financial services to small businesses, individuals and families. She also believes in motivating employees by providing autonomy and flexibility when possible.
“We have operating hours, but I always try to accommodate personal needs and wants,” says Shader, who employs six people. “Recently, my top salesperson asked to have one personal day a month off just to catch up. I readily agreed, and we worked out a plan we were both happy with to accommodate her request. I am always open to ideas, as long as we can continue to serve our customers well.”
3. Give Employees a Sense of Purpose
When it comes to what motivates employees, though a paycheck may seem like the obvious answer, it’s not always the prime motivator, says Shader, who notes that a person’s sense of purpose is often tied to job satisfaction, and the only way to understand that purpose is to get to know each employee.
“People respond to a variety of motivators,” Shader says. “It takes some work to figure out what each person needs, but once you determine what turns employees on and fuels their sense of purpose, they feel appreciated and valued, and you get their very best.”
4. Broadcast the Company's Progress
Every employee wants to know that progress is being made and that they and the company are meeting goals. Good managers keep the workforce apprised of company targets and when they are met, as well as take special interest in the personal goals of employees.
At least once a year, Coe meets with every employee about their individual profit sharing plans. “We go over their account together, and they really appreciate the attention to this aspect of their personal financial goals,” she says. “They acknowledge how valuable this company benefit is and walk away feeling good about their progress.”
Keeping employees happy and productive in a tough economy may not be an easy task, but your business is sure to benefit when you incorporate these tactics for creating motivation in the workplace.
In Insurance Soup, you're always hearing us boast about one of our partners, Tacobot. Tacobot is a chatbot. And if you're unfamiliar with chatbot technology, it's an autoresponder that can be attached to posts and ads on social media that open up conversations in Facebook Messenger and lead a sequential and conversational dialogue with a prospect that guides them through a sales conversation.
Some agents may feel a little turned off by the idea of letting a chatbot converse with clients and prospects on their own. Maybe they feel like customers will be able to tell that they're speaking to a machine and not to a real customer service representative. These are normal concerns for agents who've yet to see how having a chatbot really bulks up the customer experience, while at the same time, creating valuable time for agents to focus on other, more ROI heavy aspects of their jobs.
Here are 5 ways that using a chatbot can improve the online experience for your customers.
#1 - NO DAYS OFF, MAN.
If you consider what it would cost your business for you to keep someone on the other end of customer inquiries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, it'd be an obvious mind-blower. No small business outside that doesn't cater to medical emergencies wants to have to carry that financial load. But with a chatbot, your patrons and potential patrons have "someone" to greet them, direct them and cater to all of their insurance-related needs ALL. THE. TIME.
#2 - EFFICIENCY IS KEY
A chatbot can easily help eliminate costs of staffing, onboarding and training for certain roles in your agency. When a bot takes over much of the busy work that gets done on a daily basis in an office, such as jobs requiring employees to answer the same questions over and over again, you can see where having that time freed up for more important aspects of the business, such as dealing with customers face to face, is a huge win.
#3 - BE IN SEVERAL PLACES AT ONE TIME
Where you may have one or two staffers designated to be at a desk to handle customer and prospect inquiries, a chatbot can be in many places at once, answering multiple inquiries at a time. You can hook a chatbot up to your website, your What'sApp app, you can hook it up to respond via text message and you can easily get it up and running on Facebook Messenger. This means all of your bases are covered and your client questions are being answered at the same time.
#4 - OPERATIONS CAN BE TURN KEY
Chatbot technology allows for your business to integrate with your internal systems so that you can bring it into your daily workflow as opposed to having to go outside of your daily work flow to make work. They can be coupled with your internal CRMs and/or databases, as well as other marketplaces where you source quotes.
#5 - THE DATA IS THERE WAITING FOR YOU
A big advantage of using AI in your sales efforts means that the data is there for you to monitor via chatbot analytics. The owner can get a deep look into insights about what in the chat is working and what is not. The owner can see what prospects are responding to and what they are not. Since the owner creates the conversation for the bot to have, it's always there to be changed when the need arises.
At the end of the day, your number one goal should be serving your clients and giving as many prospects access to your product as possible. Chatbots make that a reality for small businesses and large corporations alike. If you think your agency might be ready for a bot, take a look at Tacobot and take it out for a spin!
This piece, by Dhirendra Mahyavanshi, originally ran on Entrepreneur.com.
Insurance, as a sector and a hedge against unexpected eventualities, has gained increased prominence in 2020. This can primarily be attributed to the global pandemic which plagued individuals, businesses and communities, and led to a marked decline in market growth and realignment of consumer needs and behaviour. With the world relegated to working from home and global lockdowns necessitating digital services, insurtech—the optimal combination of insurance and technology—has evolved as a sector unlocking tremendous value and potential in the insurance ecosystem.
India has the largest smartphone user base in the world according to a PwC and ASSOCHAM report ‘Video on Demand: Entertainment Reimagined’, which predicts that the country will have 820 million smartphone users by 2022, pushing the demand for digital services. The increasing use of smartphones coupled with the availability of cheap data is drawing consumers to the digital realm. Consequently, the next surge of growth for several industry is going to be enabled by technology and digital solutions. The country’s insurance sector, aided by insurtech, is expected to reach a market size of $280 billion by the end of the year, according to MEDICI’s new ‘India InsurTech Report 2020’. The ‘World InsurTech Report 2020 (WITR)’ recently published by Capgemini and Efma states that 67 per cent of the surveyed insurance companies are keen on collaborating with insurtech enterprises to boost penetration and efficiency. Indeed, the future looks promising for the insurtech sector and 2021 is likely to see a proliferation of emerging technologies which will help deliver on this prospect.
Traditionally a contact-driven industry, insurance has largely been dependent on physical channels comprising of advisors, resellers, offices and call centres. However, with the pandemic, insurance has also climbed on to the digital bandwagon, with insurance advisors actively leveraging digital tools to interact and transact with their clients. Additionally, the self-service digital channel is expanding with booming customer demand for online policies. With offline processes seamlessly transitioning into the digital ecosystem, with the help of innovative technology, digital insurance is set to flourish in 2021.
SMART DEVICES, IoT, AND DIGITAL IMAGING
With the increasing number of smartphone users, technology is at the forefront of the service industry. A trend which is likely to accelerate in 2021 is that of Internet-of-Things, or IoT, which minimizes the gaps between connected smart devices. Gadgets such as wearables which monitor health aspects are expected to boost personalization of insurance coverage for individuals while also reducing health risks. A pillar of Industry 4.0, IoT is poised to transform the insurtech ecosystem in 2021.
With everything from work, education and entertainment moving to the hybrid realm, organizations are increasingly adopting hybrid cloud technology to leverage the advantages of both cloud and public clouds. Offering enhanced speed and flexibility to insurtech enterprises, hybrid clouds are seen enabling service providers to deliver personalized customer solutions and strengthen customer relationships in 2021.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) and MACHINE LEARNING (ML)
Data is the foundation of the digital era and AI and ML can enable insurtech companies to swiftly sort through massive quantities of data and access actionable insights. These can be further leveraged to boost customer service and efficiency while promoting automation. Insurtech providers can enhance claims turnaround cycles and transform the process of underwriting with AI. These revolutionary technologies can support fraud prevention, anti-money laundering and pricing processes for improved and more efficient experiences.
With digital technologies boosting personalization, a new sphere of insurance is gaining ground, namely micro-insurance or insurance catering to micro-targets or specific individual requirements. Every company aims to address individuals, establishing a one-to-one, interactive and dynamic equation boosting loyalty and lowering the churn rate. Digital transformation and big data enable this vision of personalisation by permitting insurtech companies to access insights that can help them create tailor-made solutions for individual needs.
The pandemic has taught every industry that adaptability, flexibility and agility are the prerequisites for futuristic models and insurance is no different. A recent Deloitte survey on how insurance companies responded to the COVID-19 pandemic depicted that most companies transitioned fairly well to a virtual process and this transition is seen accelerating further in the new year. Undoubtedly, companies that refuse to transform with the times fail to progress and remain at the starting lines. Insurtech, being an innovative, digital, and customer-driven industry, is expected to engender tremendous transformation in the insurance industry ecosystem in 2021, driven by the trends described here.
A lot of agents and agencies think it's enough just to BE on social media, but there are ways to maximize all parts of your Facebook profile to help you and your business. It's important to take some time to see which platform will work best for you and your agency and once you've chosen, Facebook in this case, there are 3 important elements for you to focus on.
WHAT'S YOUR MESSAGE?
When setting up your profile on Facebook, you have to first consider your brand or your business's message. You're going to be posting creative content to your profile and you want that content to attract the right follower for your brand so that you can spark their interest in it. This means that your message needs to continually be pointing to what your followers needs, wants and like are. For example, if your business focuses on local customers and prospects, your message should include content about your community.
WHAT ARE YOUR VISUALS?
The scroll of social media is never ending and it can move fast so you want to be sure that what you're posting is aesthetically pleasing to the people whose feeds you're reaching. This means you're going to want all of your images to be high-quality and high-resolution for a professional look. Profile pictures, cover photos and any content that goes up in your feed will speak to the quality of your brand.
WHAT'S YOUR VOICE?
When you've determined your brand's voice, it's important to make sure that that voice carries through in all of your content. This means everything from emails to social media posts to company letterhead. The voice of your brand needs to be consistent to create a unified experience when dealing with your business.
NOW WHAT? Well, once you've settled on your brand's message, the types of content you want to post and the voice of your business, it's time to head to Facebook to get started.
Facebook, as you probably know, is a daily part of most people's lives these days, and whether we like it or not, it's essential for your brand to be there since that's likely where your customers are. With Facebook, you can have personal and business profiles. Most people prefer to keep their personal page private and to create a business page for their brand, so the two don't become too intertwined.
The process of setting up your business page is pretty straight forward. Facebook makes it very easy for brands to get started. If your brand plans to run ads, that's where things get more involved, but for now, you just want to be searchable by clients who have an interest in you so that you can grow an audience.
When setting up your business page, think of what you look for when searching for a business. You want to be sure to include your location, your phone number, a description of what your business is and what it does. Including your website link is a definite MUST as well.
Once your page is set up, you're going to want to let your customers and potential prospects know that you're there by asking them to follow you! Be sure to have links on your website and in your email correspondence so it's quick and easy for people to click through and follow.
Optimizing Facebook for your business is a powerful way for agents to find new leads and engage existing customers. Remember, after you create your profile, you need to post to it continually. Consistency is the key!
This post, written by Justin Goodman, originally ran on IAMagazine.com.
Brand awareness is a critical component for insurance agencies' success and for the success of the agents who work in them. Access to the right marketing can be the difference between reaching your target audience and missing the mark altogether.
For the marketing to be effective, agencies need to dedicate time, money and effort. However, a marketing plan that lacks design and planning will fall flat with little generation of sales, which is a big waste of your resources.
Here are three questions to ask when developing a marketing plan:
1) What is the ideal audience and where do they hang out?
Selecting and understanding an audience is vital to the mission. Without this information, the only option is to start throwing different marketing at the wall and seeing what sticks.
One of the problems you'll quickly discover is that it's impossible to track what is working and why and replicating the most effective parts becomes nearly impossible. This approach is ineffective and expenses can start to add up very quickly with no direction or clarity gained from the outcome.
Instead, choose a focus. Decide on your target client. If it's personal lines, start narrowing prospects down to a specific demographic. If you're working on business accounts, start looking at specific classes or types of businesses, an ideal premium size and other characteristics that help create a meaningful marketing plan for that type of client's specific needs.
2) What cost is involved and what is the desired return?
Marketing can be costly. Even items that seem minor can come with a hefty price tag. Without parameters, it can quickly start to eat into the agency budget.
Agencies must be focused and intentional with marketing spending. Understanding who you want to reach and where to find them will help reduce waste in marketing efforts, be it time or money.
During the client research phase, it is essential to figure out the best way to reach them. If most of your audience is located outside of your community, taking out billboard ads will not generate much activity. It would be much better to invest in a digital strategy. Knowing how and where you can get your audience's attention is critical to ensuring you get the most bang for your buck.
A marketing plan also needs to include the expected return to understand its level of success. The expected return could be an estimated number of leads and the percentage of closed sales desired. But failing to define these parameters will leave an agency guessing what is useful and what is not.
Taking time to specify anticipated outcome means agencies have a marker for measuring results. It also means agencies can identify what methods are working, where adjustments are needed, and any marketing efforts generating little to no return. Once this happens, future campaigns can be more focused, further reducing wasted time and money invested.
3) How much is the agency willing to invest and how should expenses be handled?
Knowing how expensive marketing can be, there must be budgetary guidelines set by the agency. Unmonitored marketing will start to eat at company resources very quickly.
Agencies can allocate budgets in several different ways, but anyone relying on marketing to grow the business must know the structure, including producers.
Providing support for a marketing campaign is essential, but there should be controls. Producers do not necessarily know what will or will not be effective. Guidance from an individual with marketing expertise paired with a spending limit is necessary. Whether an agent is joining associations, attending meetings, taking out digital or paper ads—all of this is part of marketing. Setting a budget will help keep the producer in check and protect the agency's bottom line.
If a producer feels the budget is too low to fit their needs, consider negotiating this with a reduced commission, or allow them to invest their own money. When producers add their own money to the pot, they have an increased interest in seeing their investment pay off. It provides flexibility in the budget and allows the agency to maintain necessary control, which protects the interest of the agency and the agent.
Marketing is an essential element of agency growth. Developing a marketing plan with appropriate guidelines can help agencies and their agents work together to identify and achieve common goals.
With the holidays behind us, many states in the U.S. are preparing for a long, cold, snowy and potentially dangerous winter season. Whether you have clients who celebrate the drop in temps and take advantage of the snow or you have clients who retreat from the snow, only to emerge in spring when the thaw starts to melt, there are hidden dangers for homeowners that should be prepared for when living in colder climates. Here are a few helpful suggestions to pass along to any of your homeowner clients if you live in a winter wonderland state!
MAKE SURE YOU'RE COVERED
Most people don't think about checking their policies regularly to make sure they're still covered but this is a prime time of year to do so. Encourage your clients to examine their insurance policies so they know what’s covered and what isn’t. Also suggest that they review their limits to make sure they have ENOUGH coverage.
It's also helpful to be mindful of the new year. Changes that happened over the past year might not be reflected on your client's insurance policies. Suggest that your clients make an annual review of their policies to make sure everything is correct and up-to-date will be helpful in the case of a claim.
We know that when it's cold enough for the water outside to freeze, there can also be problems with the water freezing inside our homes. Burst pipes are no joke for a homeowner. The results of a frozen and burst pipe can go from bad to worse FAST. Let your clients know that keeping their house at a minimum of 65˚ helps prevent pipes freezing. If you have clients who leave their residence for warmer weather in the winter, suggest that they leave a faucet dripping. This also helps to prevent pipes from freezing when the temps drop drastically.
For most clients, cars are a major asset and there are a few preventative measures they can easily take to try to protect that asset. If your clients live in a very cold and snowy region, suggest keeping their cars in a garage when available. In addition, clients should always let their cars warm up when it's been in freezing temps for a long period of time. And keeping the gas tank full will help prevent lines inside the car from freezing and causing damage.
Same as cars, boats are a huge expense that your clients are likely very willing to keep protected. Many people choose to store their boats in the off-season for various reasons, but even still, it's wise to peek in on them every few weeks to be sure nothing weather-related has taken place. Most boat owners take great pains to winterize their boats properly, but some damage from freezing may not be covered. It's wise to check this time of year!
As with anything, you'll want to be sure to encourage clients to keep their policy and claims info handy in case of any type of emergency, but as they say, the best defense is a good offense. Remind your clients that being proactive with winter prep can save them a lot of money and potential heartache.
This post originally ran on InsuranceHub.com.
If you are the manager or leader of a business, it’s important to have a great team of people to work with. But it’s also essential to provide them with a positive, happy work environment. That means being on the lookout for employee burnout. If your employees get overwhelmed or start feeling burned out, that can lead to lowered productivity and more tension in the workplace. Your employees should feel engaged and energized as they work. Here are a few tips for preventing employee burnout at your business.
1. Be alert for signs of burnout
You need to be aware of some of the signs of burnout as you interact with your employees. Some of these things can be fatigue and not being engaged or interested in the work. If someone who’s normally very communicative all of a sudden becomes very quiet, something could be up. Likewise if one of your team members isn’t completing the work they normally would. Getting to know your employees is important so that you can tell if they’re happy and satisfied with their jobs.
2. Let your employees know that they can always talk to you
It’s essential that you keep communication open. Let your team know that they can always drop by and talk to you. Your employees need to know they can talk to you if something’s wrong. So, if you have a meeting, be sure to let the team know that they can stop by and see you if they need anything afterwards. And then when people do come by to talk to you, be sure that you take a break from whatever you’re doing and give your full attention to your employee. You need to help them work through whatever issue is happening. It’s also important to communicate that you truly value and care about them, so give them your attention. Come up with a plan that suits both of you and talk through the situation. And then afterwards be sure to follow up afterwards to see how things are going.
3. Make sure employees have the resources they need
Your employees need to have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs. Make sure they know they can tell you if there’s a software, for example, that would be helpful to them. Or maybe there’s a training that would be beneficial for them, a good opportunity to learn something new and something that could help them with their job. Or perhaps you need to hire a new team member to help your current employees feel less overwhelmed. The team members you have need to have the equipment they need in order to succeed at their jobs. That can help them avoid a lot of frustration.
4. Designate job responsibilities
It’s really important to have clear job responsibilities at your business. Your expectations have to be made clear to your team. That way no one gets blamed for something not getting done. Everyone should know what they need to do and get done – and that they can talk to you if they feel their responsibilities need to change. Anyways, just remember that it can be really frustrating to chase a target that you don’t know or haven’t had defined for you.
5. Give plenty of feedback
There also has to be plenty of opportunity for feedback. If you’re making decisions about a project someone has been working on, be sure to let them know why you’re making the choices you’re making. Having feedback lets people know how they’re doing and if they’re meeting your expectations. Besides, giving positive feedback lets people know that they’re doing well and that their hard work has been noticed and appreciated. Feedback is important so that your employees know how things are going – and it can also give them an opportunity to talk about how they’re doing so they can avoid burnout.
6. Listen to your team
It’s also important to listen to your team. They’re the ones who are doing their jobs and fulfilling those roles, after all, and so they’ll probably have some suggestions. They may have some really great insights and ideas to bring into the conversation. All of that means that you need to invite your employees into the conversation. If your employees know that their voices are being heard, maybe that can help them avoid feeling burned out and gloomy. There could be a huge store of ideas hiding in your employees’ heads if you give them the opportunity to share them.
There are a lot of reasons why people might feel a bit burned out. As the manager of the business, you need to be aware of how your employees are feeling and how you can help people avoid gloom and burnout. Let them know that they can talk to you and communicate with you about how they’re feeling or if they need something. Your team is crucial to your business, so it’s important to look after them and take care of them. That’s what can make a big difference.
Selling 101 tells us that the key to a successful business is a happy client base because happy customers become loyal customers who stay committed to doing business with your business. Of the several factors that play into how a business makes and keeps their customers happy, customer service is at the top of the list.
Providing customers with a comprehensive, personalized experience will help them to boost their familiarity with their insurance policies and reduce the frequency of claims, and satisfied customers are more likely to continue to make use of your business, even as coverage needs change.
Paying close attention to the following should keep your agency's customer service experience on point.
LESS IS MORE
When you think of your own interactions with ANY kind of business, SIMPLICITY is something that ALWAYS adds value to the customer experience. Ease of finding a business, accessing information and/or the ability to get in touch with the right employees is key. Be sure that your agency has a finely tuned website that quickly and easily points customers and prospective customers to the information that they need. Consider your audience and make sure your site caters to them as best as possible.
DON'T LEAVE CLIENTS HANGING
Your clients are like you - BUSY. They don't want to spend time searching the internet for answers to questions that an agent could easily answer for them. This becomes an issue for agents because we're often on the road or in meetings. This means that support staff is key, and not just for taking messages. Be sure that other team members are educated on frequently asked questions and processes so that they can answer questions for clients in your absence, even if that "someone" is a chatbot on your website or Facebook business page.
If your client knows you've done everything you can to save them money WHILE ensuring that they have the most thorough and appropriate coverage, you establish an invaluable level of trust. If your client knows that you're keeping an eye on their coverage in terms of changes that may negatively or positively affect them, you're likely to keep them for life. The client results that come from a highly attentive level of service is immeasurable.
ABC - ALWAYS BE CUSTOMIZING YOUR SERVICE
Insurance isn't a one-size-fits-all business. Not every client is going to need the exact same elements of customer service. Some clients will require at home visits while others may need more of your time via phone or zoom. Keep in mind that the policies you offer should be just as customizable as your service. Offer policies that allow customers to only pay for insurance as they need it. It’s a popular solution for many individuals. If a service can always be easily updated, that shows that specialization and finding unique solutions for certain groups of customers is a priority.
Staying on top of each client's specific needs is a game changer when it comes to customer service. At the end of every transaction whether it be online, in person or on social media, your clients should be made to feel like they are your number one priority and you're committed to making every aspect of doing business with them an excellent experience.
This post originally ran on MediaAlpha.com.
Auto insurance consumers are shopping online more than ever before, and it’s important for agents to meet them there. According to recent reports from J.D. Power and William Blair, 90% of auto insurance shoppers are open to purchasing policies online, and consumers across the board are spending 56% of their media consumption time online.
This makes digital marketing an important tool for auto insurance agents to acquire new customers. If you’re not working to reach this growing pool of online shoppers, your competitors will beat you to them.
Of course, digital marketing is a broad field, with a wide variety of tools and tactics to choose from. If you’re new to it, it’s helpful to start by considering the options you have available and thinking about what might make sense for you to prioritize.
Here are six popular digital marketing tactics you might want to employ, and some things to keep in mind about each of them:
1. Build a helpful, mobile-optimized website to help shoppers learn about your business
Building a website is less of an option to consider and more of a crucial first step for any agent hoping to do online marketing. Websites are fairly inexpensive to build, and it’s important to tell the people who seek out your agency what products you offer and how they can request a quote. Now that consumers spend nearly four hours with their smartphones daily, a mobile-friendly site design is key.
2. Invest in search engine marketing to reach consumers while they’re researching auto insurance
Purchasing search ads for keywords like “auto insurance near me” is a great way to get your agency in front of insurance shoppers when they search for relevant topics on Google or Bing. The downside is that these ads can be expensive if you’re trying to buy a search term that other advertisers value highly, and not everyone who searches “auto insurance” is ready to buy a policy.
3. Expand your reach with digital display ads
Digital display ads are a cost-effective way to get your agency in front of a lot of people, but these ads can be easy to ignore and the audience can be a mixed bag. Still, there’s something to be said for volume in digital marketing—that is, the number of people you’re able to reach—and display ads are an inexpensive way to add additional scale to your operation.
4. Start an email marketing program to reach people in a high-attention setting
Checking email is a daily routine for most of your potential customers, presenting a great opportunity for you to meet consumers where they’re at. You can get started by purchasing an email list from a trusted vendor—just make sure you’re providing useful information and contacting people who are actually interested in buying a policy.
5. Activate social media to build relationships with your customers and find new ones
By posting regular, engaging content on social media, you can improve your agency’s public perception and stay top-of-mind with customers and prospects. You can further grow your audience by buying social media ads using Facebook and LinkedIn’s small business tools, but the users you reach might not be in-market.
6. Acquire new customers by using online leads to connect with high-intent shoppers
Online leads are a great way to reach the most valuable consumers of all: those who are actively seeking an auto insurance policy and getting ready to make a purchase.
When you buy a lead, you receive contact info for an insurance shopper who has already requested a quote on a comparison shopping website. In addition to giving you valuable information about the consumer’s household and driver profile, this act proves that the shopper is invested enough in purchasing a policy that they’re willing to fill out a potentially lengthy form to get a quote.
Once you have the lead, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to call or email them. Either way, it’s important to contact them as quickly as possible, while they’re still shopping for a policy.