Stop trying to fill a cup with holes in it…

on Mar 23, 2016

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…start “wowing” your clients

Times are changing, fast, and brokerages across Canada are trying to catch up to the digital standards of today.  Most brokerages are focusing on new client acquisition through website re-designs and an overhaul of internal structures such as phone systems and quote response times. The focus on new client business is absolutely necessary, but are you sacrificing customer loyalty and retention by narrowing your brokerage’s focus on these areas only? The insurance market is more competitive than ever, so what are you going to do to keep your current clients happy and loyal?

 

Create the right conditions for loyalty

According to a study by Bain & Company, a major factor for determining customer loyalty is to supply outstanding “wow” customer service through omni-channels such as phone, email, online and mobile tools. Our clients have become accustomed to digital and immediate service through their experiences with other industries, and now expect the same from their insurance providers.

Bain & Company examined the top performers in customer loyalty in the P&C market and found that: “Loyalty leaders tend to outperform on many dimensions: price, product and customers’ experience of their services. They tend to interact with customers through multiple channels, including those that are higher-touch.” (Whelan, D. & O’Neill, S., 2014).

Promoters are worth three times more in their lifetime than passive clients, and over seven times more than clients who are detractors!

Here, we are not only seeing how retention through customer loyalty will help you maintain your book of business, but these clients, when turned into promoters, will actually feed your new business growth.

 

Are you investing too much into client acquisition?

There is a lot more competition out there, and the online world of quick price comparisons, and the never ending Google rankings war make it more and more difficult to be seen. It’s understandable that most brokerages are using their budget to optimize and develop their websites in order to gain new leads. But what are they doing to keep their current clients happy?

Think about it: your clients are being inundated with content produced by your competitors that promise lower prices, better service, and faster response times. What is stopping them from leaving you for better rates?

By focusing solely on client acquisition, you’re basically punching holes into your book of business, bleeding out clients faster than you can acquire them.

 

Enter in the holy matrimony of Loyalty and Acquisition

The best way to really grow your book of business is to build relationships with your existing clients while also optimizing your acquisition channels. The two principles should be so intertwined in your operations mandate that they actually become one. As cheesy as it sounds, it will work, and you will start seeing results, fast. “Wow moments in acquisition typically involve convenience, like responding on the same day to a request for a price quote or providing proof of insurance through a smartphone.” (Whelan, D. & O’Neill, S., 2014).


What are you doing to “wow” your clients?

Let’s talk about digital tools. Let’s be honest, are you always available for your clients’ needs? Do they have access to you 24-7? How long does it take for you to get back to them? How long are they on hold? What if your clients had access to you no matter what time of day it is, or no matter how busy you may be on any given day? What would that mean to the client?

Let’s demonstrate in example of a “wow” moment through a scenario I am sure most of us see daily in the brokerage world.

“Joe is trying to renew his vehicle registration over his lunch break, he works 6-days a week, and has little time to do errands such as this, which he usually has to squeeze in over his breaks. He pulls up in front of the registry, digs in his glove compartment for his pink card, finds it, and walks into the registry, takes a number. Joe waits 10 minutes for his turn.  He goes to the counter, gives the clerk his pink card. Long pregnant pause. Clerk says “this card is expired, do you have valid insurance?” Joe mumbles an expletive under his breath. “No” he mutters, silently recalling that envelope he received from his insurance company that he filed away somewhere. He steps aside, calls his broker…waits on hold. He is on hold for 3 minutes…4 minutes…5 minutes…Joe is getting really annoyed. He has 12 minutes left on his lunch break, times are hard; he doesn’t want to be reprimanded by his boss for being late, again. Frustrated, Joe leaves the registries, drives back to work, and leaves a scathing review about the long hold times for that insurance company, and the next day, shops around for a different insurance provider.”

Now let’s walk through a scenario using digital tools:

“Joe drives to the registries, parks his truck, and walks into the building. He selects a number, waits ten minutes until his number is called. The clerk asks Joe for his pink card, Joe pulls out his phone, and retrieves his pink card within seconds. Joe registers his vehicle, and has enough time to stop at Tim’s for a coffee and a doughnut before returning to work. At work, while sipping on his double double, grateful for having enough time to make this much needed coffee stop, he writes a glowing review about the insurance company that made his otherwise hectic life, a little bit better that day.”

 

Which scenario would you want for your client? What outcome do you want for your brokerage?

 

 

 

 Tanya Hage Coburn

Communications Coordinator

Sharp Insurance

[email protected]