When it comes to your agency, the customers you bring in play a vital role in your success. Of course, bringing in new customers is always the goal, but retaining current customers should be just as important to your business. Returning customers are the ones who'll leave you glowing reviews, bring in referrals, and on average it costs 5x less to keep an existing customer rather than find a new one to replace that business.
What it really comes down to is your customer's experience with you. Here're a few simple ways to ensure that experience is the best it can be and that your customers will keep coming back year after year.
1. Get Your Onboarding Process Rock Solid
When you take on a new customer the onboarding process is the first real experience they’ll have with you. The interaction they have with you and your agency during this time can set the initial and lasting impression that your customer has of you overall.
If you haven’t systematized your onboarding process, It’s imperative that you work on getting it rock solid.
Your customer should feel like it was a smooth and easy process. When everything is easy for them and clearly taken care of they can feel confident that they made the right decision in choosing your agency.
2. Keep in Regular Contact
The more you keep in contact with your clients the more often they’ll see your name and think of your business. This doesn’t mean monthly calls, boring weekly newsletters, or harassing your customer, but there are a lot of creative ways to keep your face in your client’s mind and continue to build the customer connection.
Some things you can do include:
Sending quarterly emails with something that will educate or provide value to your customers. This can be a blog post, an article, information about your services, etc.
Sending out birthday and/or holiday cards to build a personal relationship without selling.
Sending out a customer survey
Hosting a customer appreciation day and giving out a small gift, or giving a small “anniversary” gift for every year they’ve been with you
Clear communication like pre-renewal phone calls or calling before a premium goes up
Or, Calling for an annual coverage review
3. Provide Quality Annual Coverage Reviews
Each year check in for an annual coverage review. Ask questions and make sure your client still has adequate coverage. Has anything changed that would require an update in coverage? Is there a new way to cross sell them on additional coverage?
Checking in to make sure your client is properly covered will ensure that you haven’t missed anything and that they can feel confident in their coverage. If the time does come for a claim, they’ll know that they’re taken care of.
4. Make Sure Automatic Payments Are Available
This seems simple - but a number of businesses still don’t have automatic payments available or easily accessible to clients.
Statistically customers set up with automatic payments are much more likely to renew. Not only do people prefer something that’s made easier for them, but when the payment process is already set up it becomes more of an effort for them to make the switch to someone new.
5. Be Diligent About Following Up On Claims
Customers with recent claims are amongst the most likely to not renew. Primarily because claims can be frustrating, but, it often has to do with the way they felt the claim was handled.
As an agent, you can play a huge role in your clients experience with claims. To do this it’s important to make sure you have a process in place to contact customers with claims and more importantly follow up consistently until everything is complete.
Make sure that your client isn’t frustrated or isn’t having a bad experience that they aren’t telling you about which could lead to them cancelling their policy with you.
Ultimately customer retention comes down to your clients overall feeling towards you. Make customer service your top priority and find creative ways to connect and you’ll see an automatic increase in customer longevity.