Retaining clients is the key to true growth of any insurance agency. However, we have to be on top of our game to make sure clients are inspired to stay with us and make our agency their agency for life. We all think clients leave due to price, but there are many reasons that we need to examine to ensure we can minimize client turnover. In this blog we will explore some of the top reasons clients leave, how you can identify them and what to do about it.
Moving, Selling, Buying & Passing Away
Major life transitions cause clients’ insurance needs to change. When there are transitions such as these, many agencies chalk the cancellation up to the change. That is not always the case, and we encourage all agencies to explore how to convert the change into an opportunity.
If the client is moving within your state, remember your agency is licensed to write insurance across the entire state. In the modern insurance world, we don’t need people to be close by to service them. With the ability to conduct business through emails, electronic signatures and e-policies, clients can have you as their agent on the other side of the state. For many team members this may not have ever been explained to them, so make sure you make it clear to the team that you can and want to write someone moving clear across the state.
This applies to selling a business, vehicle or property. Obviously, if the person is selling to purchase something else, you can attempt to retain the client. But there is an opportunity many people miss: What about working to insure the buyer? When you hear about a cancellation, ask for an introduction to the new purchaser. Since you already have much of the information, it’s an easier proposition for your agency to keep being the agent on record for that asset. A simple ask may get you in the door of a pretty awesome opportunity.
We all have to embrace the newer insurance marketplace. When people are buying cars, toys and even businesses, generally there is someone in the transaction looking to make a referral for insurance. During your personal lines renewal reviews (which we know you are all working to embrace!), it’s critical you ask about toys. All it takes is one recommendation to another agent to invite your client to leave. Nowadays, dealerships, realtors and other businesses often have insurance agencies within them. When your client is in the market, make sure they know to call you first.
Unfortunately, clients can pass away. For your older clients it’s important to conduct renewal reviews and find out who another point of contact may be. This is an opportunity to help guide the new contact, not only on their parent’s insurance but on their own as well. Take one client and turn it into a referral.
There are two types of people in the world: those who CAN’T afford their insurance and those who DON’T WANT TO. Take a guess which category most people fall into. If you review one of our recent blogs on scripts for avoiding a cancellation, you can get some tips for resuscitating a client over the phone.
Your best bet to stop a cancellation is to be PROACTIVE. Our AppX Retention program helps your agency do just that — call every client at renewal time for a review. We discourage agencies from just calling clients whose rates are increasing. That is a way to make it all about price! With a standard renewal review you can talk about increasing coverage, cross selling and fixing any issues, plus you control the price conversation!
When a client calls you and they have already shopped, you don’t have a price problem; you have a relationship problem. When a client never calls you about their concerns around pricing, you know you have no relationship! We avoid decisions based on price by showing our value.
This is the one none of us want to admit to because we give good service. However, good is not good enough, and in my experience most agencies don’t give good service. How can we give good service if we are always behind? Take a look at your overdue activities and tell me – being behind, how can you honor your commitments to your customers? Our AppX Time Management program helps agencies tackle this challenge!
We have seen reshops sit for 2+ weeks. That is simply unacceptable. Reshops need to have a 24 hour turnaround time to keep a client. In addition, your best clients don’t need must service work. We must embrace a proactive mentality so people feel and see our service. People don’t know what to tell their agent, so if we don’t go to them, they can be missing key discounts or missing coverages.
Agencies need to have service standards that are monitored and for which there is proper training to ensure they are giving consistent, outstanding service.
The best things we can do to keep retention high are to be proactive and to work with our clients on a “call us first” mentality!