If you have been monitoring us here at Agency Performance Partners, you are probably aware that we specialize in consulting, coaching, and training independent insurance agencies. We have 3 core products here at APP, Agency Assessments, APPX Training Modules, and one or two day Training Programs or Workshops.
One of the most common questions that I receive is “What is an APPX Program?”. This article will fully explain this question at a high level and also address the three specific modules that we have right now.
APPX (pronounced Ap-eks) is short for APP Experience, with APP being our company name’s acronym. In short, the program is a full experience of a specific focus for your agency. It is a six or twelve month program where we bring the staff from understanding the value of the program (obtaining buy-in), through the first steps of adjusting their process, into improving the process through specific skill training, and finally graduating them off of the program in a manner in which the skills are sustainable.
Many times, agency owners are reluctant to invest in training because they don’t believe it will work, or it has failed in the past. However, most research indicates that skills training is vital to improving customer satisfaction as well as employee performance and satisfaction.
Most training programs fail for two major reasons. They solely focus on skills or are simply not long enough. Our APPX programs address both of these by focusing as much on the “why” of program as the “how”.
Simply handing people a new procedure or a set of scripts is not enough to get them to change. When they get busy or frustrated, they will always revert back to their default (pre-training) process. While some one-day programs can hold value, making a major change in the direction of your agency cannot occur in one day regardless of the content. There is a slow build from understanding the reasons for the program, seeing some early results, and then finally realizing the value in the new methodology.
We have two 6-month APPX programs. The first is our Sales APPX Program. We cover the actual process of the sale, including:
- Initial phone call
- Building rapport
- The right way to gather data and present a quote
- The presentation of the quote and asking for the business.
We also cover lead generation activities such as:
- Asking for referrals and testimonials
- How to monetize leads you currently have in your system:
- Cross-selling existing clients
- Re-selling lost clients
- Trying again on quality quoted leads that were not sold.
Our second APPX program is our Retention APPX Program. In this we cover how to implement a strong proactive renewal call program into the agency. We work with them in four main areas:
- Make sure they understand the importance of retention and how they can contribute.
- Help them understand how a proactive program actually reduces effort by eliminating inbound renewal calls and creating a more positive experience for the customer resulting in easier renewal calls. This also reduces stress by eliminating angry inbound renewal calls where the customer is calling after simply receiving a new “dec” page.
- Show them how to reduce remarketing requests, cross-sell new policies, and upsell existing coverage.
- Work with them on creating referrals and testimonials to help drive new business.
Our third APPX program is a full Customer Experience APPX Program. Because of all of the topics that we need to cover, this is a 12-month program.
- We start with first impressions that occur even before you speak with a prospect. We want to make sure that your marketing lines up with your vision as well as how you will interact with them during the sales process and expectations for service.
- We then move into the sales process and make sure that we are engaging and interacting with them in a manner consistent with our marketing and utilizing our strengths in service as part of the sales process.
- Next, we work through the onboarding process and introduction to the agency as a client.
- The next section works through how we are interacting with our clients in every aspect. We go over the different ways we interact (walk-ins, inbound/outbound calls, emails, fax, chat, social media, etc.) as well as the different reasons we are interacting (renewals, changes, claims, billing, etc.).
- Finally, we address how to handle cancellation requests; both to try to save the clients initially as well as how we are going to remarket them to try to win them back.
I hope this high-level overview of our APPX programs is helpful.