1. Communicate with your clients – Communicate, communicate, communicate! Yes, your clients want and need communication on many levels. With the continued move to mobility, our clients can receive emails, texts and phone calls on their mobile devices, allowing communication access on their terms. Today, many people feel they are just another number in the system, so regular communication builds trust and shows you care. Also, remember that when you communicate with your client, you should always document all correspondence.
2. Client policy reviews – As policies come up for renewal, you should discuss with your client any changes that may have occurred over the past term that would affect their coverage. In the case of a homeowners’ renewal, you might find they have added on to their property, thus increasing the value. Or you might find they have purchased jewelry and exceeded the limit for jewelry on their current policy.
3. Offer online services – Providing the ability to communicate and locate information on the customer’s time is becoming increasingly more important. Today, many customers are looking for an agent that can provide this information at their own convenience and not the agent’s.
4. Engage clients via social media & promote your community service – As independent agents, many of us already work and volunteer in our communities. Let your customer base know of your community service involvement! You can post your efforts on Facebook or Google+ or send out a Tweet to your customers letting them know how they can help in your efforts. This helps to build a better reputation within your community and will show your customers that you care.
5. Set the right expectations – Don’t you hate it when someone tells you they will get back with you within the hour and then they don’t call back for two days? Or you are waiting on a service person to arrive at your house and they are two hours late? Make sure you set the right expectations when speaking with your client and follow-up before the expected deadline.
6. Be the “Trusted Choice” advisor – As we all know, insurance policies are not for the faint of heart. Understanding policy terms and conditions are important to properly informing your clients on the risk options they have available. Training your staff on policy changes is an important part of gaining the trust of your clients. Obviously, clients are more likely to stay with your agency if they trust your advice! Remember, becoming a trusted advisor takes time and dedication; you must gain a better understanding of their personal and business needs so you can advise them properly.
7. Implement a client feedback survey – What better way to measure your client’s thoughts on your service than to ask them yourself! Agencies should take the time to survey a portion of their clients on a quarterly or annual basis to measure how the agency is performing relating to client satisfaction. Today, this is easier to accomplish than it has been in the past with the creation of cost-effective automation tools. Don’t rely on your thoughts or the staff’s – ask the client.