This article was previously published in December, 2023. Updated May 2023.
Only 18% of businesses focus on client retention.1 This number is astounding for a few reasons:
- Retaining clients is often less expensive than acquiring new ones.
- Loyal clients tend to become repeat customers, increasing their lifetime value with your agency.
- Cross-sell or upsell opportunities are built on consumer trust and client satisfaction.
- Happy clients can lead to referral clients.
It’s clear that client retention should not only be a core business strategy, but client retention and loyalty isn’t just something that happens because of good service—it happens because of good relationships between agent and client. And those take time and effort to build.
In this article, we will cover why it is essential to build trust and rapport with policyholders:
- Communicate regularly and treat clients with respect to make them feel valued and remain loyal.
- Negative experiences are 61% likely to lead to clients switching to a competitor.2
- Understanding your client's needs by talking to them, asking for feedback and resolving issues, will retain their business.
1. Be available
In today's fast-paced world, clients expect immediate and seamless customer service. As such, it's essential to be available to clients whenever they need you. This means offering multiple channels of communication, including phone, email, and online chat. It also means ensuring that your client service team is adequately staffed and trained to handle client inquiries and concerns promptly. Answer questions via social media, email and phone, live chat, video chat—whatever it takes to make your clients feel heard and cared for!
Your clients need to know you’re going to be there to help. If a policyholder calls with a question or concern, make sure you have the resources to address their question right away. One way to improve your availability is to offer extended hours of operation, including weekends and holidays. This can help you stand out from competitors and provide a higher level of customer service that policyholders will appreciate.
There is no greater way to foster customer loyalty than being there when you’re needed most. It’s important to handle claims quickly and efficiently so that clients don't face unnecessary delays or run into issues when filing claims with their insurance carrier. When policyholders experience a loss or damage to their property, they want to know that their insurance agent will be there to help guide them through the process and get their claim resolved promptly.
2. Offer products you trust
Your reputation is built on the quality of your products and services. To retain clients, it's essential to offer products that provide real value to policyholders. And when it comes to insurance products, transparency is key.
Policyholders want to know exactly what they're paying for and what their coverage includes. So be upfront about the limitations and exclusions of products and help your clients feel confident in their purchase by only offering products you trust.
3. Understand your client’s needs
If you want to keep clients happy, you have to find out what they want and need, and then deliver it to them. Talk to them! Ask how they feel about their coverage and whether or not it meets their needs. If there are any problems with the product or service, take steps to resolve them immediately.
Clients value respect and being treated as individuals—and having their concerns taken seriously. As clients become more and more empowered to voice their opinions, the importance of customer service has never been greater.
4. Check in often
Customer service is about how you treat your clients. Clients expect to be communicated with regularly. It isn't a one-and-done approach and they'll contact you if they need to. Clients expect you to reach out to them in a meaningful way.
Effective client retention strategies require regular communication with clients. This means checking in with them as often as needed to ensure that they're satisfied with their coverage and to address any concerns or issues they may have. Regular communication can also help build trust and rapport with your policyholders, making it more likely that they'll remain loyal to your agency.
5. Listen to feedback
The truth is, most people know that customers with strong feelings are more likely to leave a business review than those who experienced a so-so experience. And as much as we'd all like, those strong feelings aren't always going to be positive.
But there's a bright side. A bad review can offer insight and opportunity, leading to improved services, experiences, and retention rates. So don’t ignore negative reviews—but don’t dwell on them either! Instead, reach out personally and ask how you can help make things right. This will increase your chances of turning the client around and getting them back as a happy client!
6. Bundle products to offer more value
Bundling products is a great way to offer more value and keep policyholders happy. But don’t bundle for the sake of bundling. It's essential to ensure that the coverage provided is still tailored to your policyholders' needs. This means understanding their unique circumstances and offering packages that meet their specific requirements.
When you bundle your services, you can increase engagement, loyalty and, ultimately, grow your business.
The customer experience
If a client feels like they can get better service from someone else, then they will look elsewhere. In fact, 61% of consumers say they would switch to a competitor after one bad experience.3 But there is a silver lining; 96% of consumers say that excellent customer service builds trust with a brand (and trust equates to loyalty).4
Clients stay where they feel valued, understood, and prioritized. Building an agency culture founded on the customer experience, with a strategy centered around providing great service will help you stand out from the crowd.
1 Elizaveta Pavlovskaya. “70 Powerful Customer Retention Statistics You Need to Know in 2021.” Semrush. Published 16 April 2021. Accessed 18 November 2022. https://www.semrush.com/blog/customer-retention-stats/
2,3 Zendesk. “CX Trends 2022.” Published 2022. Accessed November 2022. https://cx-trends-report-2022.zendesk.com/
4 Salesforce. “5th Edition State of the Connected Customer.” 2022. Accessed 10 April 2023. https://www.salesforce.com/content/dam/web/en_us/www/documents/research/salesforce-state-of-the-connected-customer-fifth-ed.pdf