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Boosting The Insurance Client Experience With APP: The Results for FDA Services, Inc. of Florida


FDA Services, Inc., a subsidiary of the Florida Dental Association, was formed in 1989 in response to rising medical malpractice premiums in the 1980’s. Their mission is “to provide quality insurance plans and other membership benefit programs combined with exceptional customer service at competitive prices to Florida’s health care providers and small business owners across the state.”


FDA Services is located on John Knox Road in Tallahassee, Florida.

Names of Responsible Parties:

FDA is directed by a Board of Directors with eleven members.


Scott Ruthstrom, Chief Operating Officer       Carrie Millar, Director of Insurance Operations.

Number of Team Members:

FDA Services has seven agents who participated in the AppX Retention program.

Types of Insurance Sold:

FDA Services is a full service agency that sells professional liability, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation, and other types of insurance exclusively to dental practices in the state of Florida.

Reason Why They Purchased:

FDA Services sells exclusively to Florida dentists. With very little face to face contact with their members, they recognized they needed to figure out how to create a better client experience and build better relationships.

AppX Retention Overview

Employing AppX Retention training for your team has been proven to increase client retention, account rounds and remarketing numbers. This six-month program will encourage everyone to be on the same page with being proactive in calling clients annually to review their accounts. It will also train agents to ensure thorough documentation and work to increase referrals and account coverage, all while boosting retention and decreasing workload. These training workshops and bi-weekly calls will teach your team to be in better control of client communication and reduce the number of re-shops, inbound calls, complaints and questions. Additionally, annual client calls personalize the insurance relationship, fostering trust and loyalty. Let AppX Retention show you the difference a great retention rate makes to your overall business. Learn more about how AppX Retention has improved retention rates, decreased remarketing and increased coverage numbers for its clients here:

AppX Retention will provide you with the following once you’ve signed on to the program:

  • Training
    • Two Onsite Training Days
    • Designed Content
    • Interactive Session
  • Tracking
    • Bi-Weekly Tracking
  • Tools
    • Scripts
    • Role-playing
    • Worksheets
  • Coaching
    • Bi-Weekly Coaching Calls
    • Workbook
    • Plan of Attack


The FDA Services team worked hard to learn and adopt the AppX Retention process, and clearly, all their effort paid off! The team completed the six-month program in September of 2018. To give you an idea of the amazing increase in retention they achieved, here are some comparisons by month of the retention rate in 2017 versus the retention rate in 2018.

  • Second to last month before training ended: 92.82% to 95.32% (2.5 point increase)
  • Last month of training: 92.08% to 93.40% (1.32 point increase)
  • First month after training completed: 89.22% to 92.60% (3.38 point increase)
  • Second month after training completed: 84.76% to 93.64% (8.88 point increase)

That is an average increase of over 4 points per month. That is incredible! The team has stuck with the AppX Retention process and continues to reach impressive retention rates.

  • Retention for January, 2019 was at 94.08% which is up 8.7% from last year!

Team Feedback

Initial Responses:

All three of the agents surveyed were apprehensive upon beginning the program, thinking that they wouldn’t have the time to incorporate the new process into their routine. Since in insurance we all juggle multiple duties and responsibilities, this is a very understandable response.  As you’ll see below, however, two of the agents felt that with practice, it became easier to find the time.

How They Felt a Few Weeks Later:

Overall, the results from the survey on how agents felt about the AppX Retention process were very positive. After the agents at FDA Services had been employing the new AppX Retention process for a few weeks, they could definitely see the benefits of the program. Everyone surveyed felt that even though they thought in the beginning that they would struggle to find time for the new process, by contacting renewals and updating information, they would actually save time in the long run. Two out of three of the agents surveyed thought that finding time for the new process got easier after a few weeks of employing it. They also felt that by using the AppX Retention process, they were providing better service to their clients. Not only was the client experience improved, but they also were finding more opportunities for account rounding and increased coverage.

What Was the Hardest Part?

There will always be difficulties to overcome when starting a whole new way of doing things. One agent stated that she struggled with making the process efficient so it would not interfere with her other duties. Another stated she has not had much success with cross-selling while on review calls. She did note, though, that it didn’t hurt to ask, since people were typically not offended by her bringing it up. Lacking confidence was also a difficulty that someone noted. It does take a while to build up the confidence necessary to put everything you’ve learned to use and shine on every call. The AppX Retention scripts that you can tailor to suit your needs and accumulated experience both go a long way to helping alleviate some of the apprehension that comes with starting the new process.

What Was the Best Part?

The team of agents at FDA Services recognized the great benefits of AppX Retention for themselves as well as their customers. They recognized that it benefited not only the agency with drastically increased retention numbers, but also achieved Scott Ruthstrom’s goal of building better relationships with clients and a better overall client experience. No one thought they should revert back to their old way of doing things.

  • “Huge increase in product knowledge and self confidence. It’s really improved our staff expertise.”
  • “We are looking out for [the clients], even when they aren’t thinking [about] insurance protection.”
  • “[The best part has been] touching base with clients at least once a year and building the relationship.”

Recommendations to Other Agents Starting the Program:

The team at FDA Services offers some great advice to other agents beginning the AppX Retention program. The folks here at APP agree completely that once you build up some experience and confidence, renewal calls to clients become much easier, and if you use the process we lay out, most people will actually appreciate the call!  

  • “Rip the band-aid off and attack it. No one likes change, but it really makes a positive difference.”
  • “Be confident—most clients appreciate your call to update their information.”
  • “The clients are not that scary. It’s ok to call them.”

Working with the AppX Team:

The three agents surveyed found a lot of value in the AppX Retention process and enjoyed working with David Siekman, whom they found to be an effective, supportive, positive and motivational teacher.

  • “Dave S. has been a really positive and motivational trainer. He always knows what to say to overcome staff objections.”
  • “They provided effective interactive training and support throughout the process.”
  • “APP added value to the service that I offer to my clients.”

Thoughts from FDA Services’s Leader, Scott Ruthstrom, at the Completion of AppX Retention

  • “Huge increase in product knowledge and self-confidence. It’s really improved our staff expertise.”
  • “Dave S. has been a really positive and motivational trainer. He always knows what to say to overcome staff objections. I also think the record and reporting is an important part of the process and the buy-in from the employees. They see for themselves the program works and is paying dividends for the agency.”

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