How would it affect your insurance agency if you had higher customer retention?
How would it feel if you had a team that clearly understood their goals and worked together to build proactive customer relationships?
Would it help to have a strategy on how to implement change with your team effectively, and dare I say, with your team’s enthusiastic buy-in?
How might it change your team’s dynamic if they understood every day how to accomplish their goals and WIN their day?
How would it feel to have one common vision that was the driver for all decisions supported by data?
You are not alone! Many agencies have to deal with these questions over the lifecycle of their agencies:
- It may be because you have been building a great agency on all of your hard work and dedication and it’s time to add more staff.
- Maybe you are acquiring additional agencies and need to make sure everyone is rowing in the same direction and has a common vision.
- Possibly you have built a solid foundation and now need to implement a strategy for growth for your agency to get to the next level
It’s the weekend and you are having one of those moments where your brain is operating at optimum potential and you have a great idea 💡 that you know will increase your customer retention, create profitability for your agency, and get your insurance agency team members aligned with your vision.
This idea, if implemented correctly and you can get your team’s buy-in, could potentially be a game changer! You get that excitement in your belly, you know the one that you can’t wait to share, the one that excites you about the future of what your agency can become and your BIG picture becomes clear!
You spend the weekend working through all the potential obstacles that may prevent you from moving forward with implementing your plan. You may even get some advice from your closest trusted advisors.
They see your vision, are in full support, and are even excited about the execution of your plan encouraging you to “Go for it!”.
You know that this idea will solve a challenge your agency is facing:
💭Increase customer retention by X%
💭Build my insurance agencies pipeline with qualified leads from referrals
💭Contact all my clients each year and create ridiculously amazing customer relationships
💭Rounding out my book of business so every customer has more than one policy line
💭Creating a proactive team environment
💭Fill in your ideas here!
It’s Monday and you jump out of bed. Going through your morning routine with a little extra pep in your step and your great idea ready to burst out of your brain like a bomb.
You hop in your ride and turn on your favorite jams and head to the office, maybe even picking up some treats for the team on the way in. You are looking forward to them sharing your vision and having them share in your excitement.
Have you ever had one of these days? The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you are on a mission for greatness! Nothing is going to get in the way…
You walk in and instantly the mood changes from bursting with game-changing excitement to firefighter mode. We immediately drop the donuts and go to work.
The issues start coming:
🛑 The system is down and our people are in crisis
🛑 Our best producer is sick and is supposed to be at a client meeting today to present proposals that the team has been working on for weeks
🛑 There was some inclement weather over the weekend in your area and you are flooded with claims
🛑 The new employee that started today is allergic to donuts
🛑 A carrier is non-renewing a whole book of business and you need to create a plan
🛑 Your largest client got their audit over the weekend and they are not happy while holding on the phone, ready to talk to you
🛑 Fill in your issues here!
What just happened to that game-changing idea? The balloon that you spent all weekend blowing up to max capacity and excited to share with your team just deflated in an instant.
As frustrating as these scenarios can be, you are not alone. You may be facing a situation like this currently but guess what, you are in the right place!
We have a Plan!
I’m sure we can all agree that customer retention is important in insurance agencies. If you want Agency Performance partners to help execute a plan, Book a Meeting
Your agency has gotten to a fork in your road. Now is the time to execute a plan to arrive at the next destination in your agency’s journey.
You agree that being proactive with your customer retention and making renewal review calls each year is important not only for your insurance agency’s retention but also growth.
If you are already making renewal calls that’s GREAT! Some agencies experience inconsistency in their renewal review process or maybe we have had some changes within our agencies where we just need some realignment of the team.
This is completely normal!
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Now it’s time to tell the team…..dah, dah, dah!
Remember you have gone through a lot of consideration and planning to get to this point. Like a superhero enters your WHY!
The idea 💡 that got you rockin’ in the car with donuts on the way to work on a Monday morning.
More importantly, you know it is what’s required to get your agency where it needs to be financially.
Sometimes leaders shy away from implementing changes, even when it is what’s best because we don’t want to be seen as creating more work for our teams or upsetting already burnt-out staff.
Have you ever heard:
- “We don’t have the time, we are already so busy?”
- “I’m not a salesperson”
- “Clients don’t want to hear from us”
- “This is going to lead to more remarketing”
- “Don’t poke the sleeping bear”
Stick to your decision
You are your agency’s leader and now is the time to fearlessly lead your team because you know what is best for your agency.
You know your WHY because you live and breathe it each day, but has it been clearly communicated to your team?
Communicate the vision clearly and consistently
Many of us believe our team understands our vision, goals, and expectations but if we asked each team member would we get a consistent response?
It’s also good to remember our goals change over time and having everyone on the same page about what we are working towards is important and needs to be communicated regularly.
Now is the time not only to share this vision but to communicate it in a way that your team becomes passionate, takes ownership, and gives enthusiastic effort to reach our destination.
They need to live and breathe the same visions, this is how we become a force to be reckoned with. This is where everyone becomes a true team working towards a common vision and are bonded in the direction we are going.
We aren’t operating out of a fear that mass exodus will happen because we know our team members share and understand our direction and they desire to be part of our journey.
This has to be the first step and is also where many agencies have difficulty getting to the next steps towards the adoption of change because we have not been clear.
Here are a few tips on embedding this vision into your insurance agency culture:
✍️ Write it down
📨 Give it to everyone
🖼️ Hang it on the wall
💍 Have Swag for the team
Whatever you need to do so everyone knows and understands your vision. Everyone should be able to recite it and everyone should be enthusiastically sharing it.
If you need help building or refining your agency’s vision we can help
Set clear expectations and provide metrics
Now our team is on board and excited about increasing our customer retention in our insurance agency. This is a very exciting time and we can’t lose the momentum we have worked so hard to build.
Proceed with caution, because if we aren’t careful we can derail our progress by not managing the next steps. The majority of people really want to do what is right and expected as long as they understand what that is.
- Tell and show your team how you will track their progress
- Communicate your expectations
- Be clear on what success means to you and how to WIN!
Communicate this information clearly and follow up regularly. Employees should be able to know exactly where they stand without having to schedule a meeting to find out, ask others, or wait until a review.
Watch our 3 Minute video on Keeping the love alive and why you must stay on top of your initiatives.
If it’s important to you it’s important to your team!
We will create trust and loyalty with our team when we consistently communicate expectations and goals. Metrics should be provided regularly and teams should be incentivized for a job well done.
We want the team to feel a sense of accomplishment each day. They have invested in a commitment to reaching the agency’s goals. They should also be rewarded when they meet their own personal career goals.
😶🌫️ Imagine if you had a way for your team to clearly see their metrics and monitor their success, would this change the way you communicate with them?
❓Might that solve some of the awkward conversations we may have had in the past when our teams don’t hit goals because they already know what is expected?
❓Have you ever rewarded your team because the reporting metrics were inaccurate?
❓Is there a disparity in team rewards because there are no metrics?
At Agency Performance Partners we believe “clarity is kind” and assist agencies each day to build transparency for their teams. Here is an example of a retention dashboard and an incentive dashboard that have helped to align our agency partners.
Numbers don’t have feelings! You want to operate from facts not feelings. – Kelly Donahue-Piro, Agency Performance Partners
You may be thinking, “This is ridiculously amazing, how can I talk to someone about dashboards for my team?”
Click on the button below to schedule a meeting.
Provide a feedback loop for your team and encourage honest feedback
We are all rowing in the same direction, we have total transparency around goals but our work is not done. This is where it may get a bit itchy but remember if it’s itchy it’s working!
Encourage your team to give you true and honest feedback in a safe space while working through the awkward moments of implementing a new process.
- No one ever gets it right out of the gate. This is a journey!
- Be honest that you are building something together and embrace the suck of change.
- Take feedback seriously
Make sure the team understands that we can only modify a process when it supports our WHY.
When valuable feedback is received from our teams that lead to implemented changes, communicate those enhancements and thank the team for their input. Maybe consider rewarding the employee who recommended a process enhancement.
This encourages others to also provide feedback and gives your team the confidence they need to execute and continue to support the shared vision.
Everyone should know what that means because we established this during our metrics communication and should have clearly communicated the goals:
💸Agency Revenue should be X
💸Customer Retention should be Y
💸Lost business for preventable reasons is trending down
💸Every customer got a renewal review call last month!
💸Insert your goal here!
Many agencies struggle with how to celebrate. We have provided a list here of some things we have seen that work well and that are not all tied to compensation incentives:
- Start by simply recognizing a job well done. Send an email, group chat, or whatever form of communication your office uses. We forget our words are powerful and hold a lot of weight!
- Jeans Day
- Office Lunch
- Group Yoga
- In-office massage therapist
- Quiet Time
We believe in compensation incentives but also understand that each agency is different and we want to build a positive team culture that is motivated by the value we are bringing to their career.
Just like we desire for our insurance customers to see our value and not buy from us only based on price, to drive our agency’s growth and become ridiculously amazing we need a team who is not incentivized by compensation only.
We need to bring more to the table! If you have some incentive ideas you have tried in the past and would like to share we would love to hear from you!
Most importantly HAVE FUN!
I’m not going to say anything here that is breaking news but our industry isn’t known for being the most fun environment. This is the nature of our business dealing with contracts, staying on top of industry changes, loss of livelihood, mortality, and the list goes on.
We can remain professional in an industry that requires it and still have fun!
🤔How do the people you like to spend time with the most in your life make you feel?
Think about going on a first date, although it may be some time since some of us have done that. If you didn’t have fun you certainly would not be going back for a second.
Which environment would encourage you to work at your optimum potential each day:
- A happy team, working together towards a common goal who also cares about one another?
- A team that is stressed, working hard but not sure what they are working towards and every member is just trying to stay afloat?
Be prepared for those that do not support or vision to leave
Let’s deal with the elephant or what we call the Eeyor in the room. Remember: “Most people really want to do what is right and what is expected of them as long as they know what that is”.
Teams may push back at first but if you follow the step above, clearly communicate your why and listen to their feedback they will come around, some may be slower than others but be patient and truly listen to their concerns.
Your fast adopters or Tiggers will get on board easily and be a cheerleader for others. You must protect them from the negativity of your slow adopters or Eeyore’s.
Be prepared for those that do not support our visions and values to have a difficult time with the changes we are implementing. We need to be ready for the fact that they may even decide to leave and we need to have a plan!
CTA: See our Agency Process Pack: Insurance Agency Hiring Guide https://www.agencyperformancepartners.com/shop/agency-process-pack/insurance-agency-hiring-guide/
It’s ok because generally, these are people that are not in alignment with our new direction. We need to remember that neither party is wrong in this situation but we have come to a place where we have different goals.
In many of these situations, we are already past the time when we should have grown in different directions. These breakups can be scary but the sooner we deal with them the better it is for our team because now they are free from the negativity stunting their growth.
Manage these situations respectfully. These individuals likely helped to get the agency where it is today and we want to remain grateful for their contributions to our current state.
We never know when our paths will cross again or when our goals will realign and we never want to burn a bridge or worse make others that stay feel like their contributions won’t be valued and become silent.
Many times we wait to tackle our biggest challenges until we feel fully prepared but is this truly the best decision?
Have you ever been asked any of these questions:
- When is the best time to have children?
- When is the best time to start my diet?
- When is the best time to tackle my biggest challenge?
Most likely your answer is NEVER! Guess what never is not an option when we are operating a business so NOW is always the best time.
We can not wait to implement changes because we are waiting to be in a more comfortable place or we don’t want to upset team members.
Our agency’s future depends on quickly identifying problems and swiftly putting a solution in place to get us all into alignment with our ultimate goal:
Become Ridiculously Amazing
If you have identified an issue within your agency create a plan and tell your team:
- Understand your WHY and stick to your decision – There is no good time to implement a new process so the time is NOW!
- Communicate your vision clearly and consistently – You will be surprised by the support of your team and how your vision quickly becomes their vision!
- Set clear expectations and provide transparent metrics so everyone is accountable for reaching our shared goals. They will appreciate knowing where they stand.
- Provide a feedback loop. Honor and reward honest and helpful feedback. This will empower your team to confidently execute the plan.
- Celebrate WINS! We all want to feel like we have done a great job and that it is being recognized.
- Have FUN!!
- Prepare for those that may not make it through our journey. This can be the most difficult part of implementing change but you will come out the other side of a strong team!
If you, like many agencies, need help implementing these steps our Performance Partners are here to help!