5 Ways to Improve Client Retention

Signing new clients ranks at top priority for the majority of agencies. Retaining clients can be a job in and of itself. How do you keep follow ups from taking up all of your time? Start from the beginning and maintain a streamlined strategy.

Qualify your clients and choose them wisely.

One of the greatest benefits of being an independent agent is that you can be selective of the clients you represent. They say 10% of your clients will take up 90% of your time, so try to identify problematic clients early on. Don’t be afraid to tell a potential client that your agency is not a fit for their business. If you don’t have a carrier line-up that fits their specific needs, you will spend too much time in the details of non-standard policies. It’s better to refer prospects to agencies that can help them well instead of draining your valuable time and energy. Your time is best spent on prospects and clients that you can serve exceptionally, not tolerably.

Communication is key.

A misconception that haunts business owners is the belief that price is the only reason clients leave their agents. In reality, most clients leave their agent because of lack of meaningful communication. Of course, you’re considerate and helpful face to face, but there may be easier ways to stay engaged over time. See if there are programs available from your carriers to engage with your clients. For example, the Travelers Renewal Coverage Review Program sends clients a reminder email at time of renewal and proactively offers an insurance review. The Travelers contactPlus program offers several options to co-brand services and messages to your clients. Your carriers may offer similar programs, too. Take advantage of these “done-for-you” resources!

Ask them how they like to be serviced.

Just as you have preferred methods of doing business, so do your clients! When consulting with potential clients, find out how they want to be communicated with and tailor a retention strategy for them from the beginning. You can even create a welcome package for them to reference that provides them with the contact information and resources they need to resolve any issues. Reinforce your availability to help them over time, not just when they’re purchasing policies.

Again, your current clients are just as important as your prospects. Ask your current clients their service preferences and work to accommodate their needs. Follow through on what you said you will do for them and check in annually to see if preferences have changed. Some clients might want to check in once a year while others like a lot more involved communication. Clear communication and follow through of your service is key.

Embrace new technology.

The way agents communicate with their clients has evolved rapidly in the last few years. Video platforms like Bomb Bomb and Loom allow the agent to communicate easily and still give a personal touch. You can even deliver quotes or policy documents via video and add helpful commentary while going through the documents. Tip: put “VIDEO” in the subject line and the client is more likely to open the email and watch.

Create a culture of owning the solution.

When a client calls, make sure that the person who answers the phone can resolve the issue. Don’t send them to voicemail when their service representative is not available. This is extremely frustrating and immediately creates client dissatisfaction. Collaborate with your team to make sure your client is well taken care of rather than dismissed. This enhances the overall rapport they have with not just you, but your agency as a whole.

Creating an agency that has a high client retention should be the goal of every independent agency. It is far less expensive to maintain a client than it is to find a new one. What matters most is that you have developed thoughtful processes and a culture that lets your clients know you appreciate them and don’t take their business for granted.

Category: Agent Success