In a perfect world, everyone would show up for their scheduled appointments.
While there are some things you can do to reduce the no-show rate (you can learn more about those things here), no-shows still happen.
Ideally, you'd like to meet with your clients to build relationships, cross-sell, and get referrals.
However, a no-show is not the worst thing that can happen.
This isn't to say that you don't need customers to show up to their appointments - but for you to know that even when they don't show, your efforts aren't wasted!
The initial call to schedule the appointment does a lot more than getting someone in front of you for a review - let's go over the additional benefits of regular customer outreach!
Stay Top of Mind
Regular customer outreach keeps you top of mind, which is just as crucial in retention as it is in marketing.
Whether they schedule an appointment and don't show up or decline the meeting from the beginning, you're still checking in. That keeps your agency at the forefront of your client's mind.
When you're top of mind, you'll be the first person they go to when they have an insurance-related question or, better yet, a referral!
Kelly Donahue-Piro, President of Agency Performance Partners, said:
"It's really easy to cancel when you can't remember your agency's name." (Agency Nation)
By reaching out to your customers, you're actively keeping your agency at the forefront of their minds, thus, increasing their loyalty to you.
CYA - Cover Your [Agency]
When you've done your due diligence to invite all your clients in for an annual review, you're in a better position to protect your agency from frustrating E&O claims.
Theresa, an office manager of one of the insurance agencies we work with, told me about an experience they had with a client:
"We haven't had appointments with all of our clients, but we've had contact. There have been some instances where there was a loss. A lady had a loss of jewelry, and it was not covered. She swore up and down that she had never been contacted by our office. Well, we were able to go, not only into our notes where we had contact with her, but we were able to also go back into Engagex reports and we were able to tell her that we reached out to her [to invite her in for a policy review]. We gave her the dates so she was not able to come back on us. She's still a client today, because I think she realized that it wasn't on us, it was on her."
You're protecting your agency by reaching out to your clients and inviting them in to review their coverage.
You might be surprised at how much a quick phone call opens the lines of communication between you and your clients!
Even if they don't schedule or show up, you're encouraging them to reach out to you whenever they need to.
We learn from a Gallup study we've mentioned before that engaging your customers leads to more business.
In the study, we also learned that customers contacted by their agent in the past 12 months are twice as likely to be fully engaged than those their agent hadn't contacted. (Gallup)
A quick phone call won't get you an appointment 100% of the time, but it will show your client that you're looking out for them.
"Consistent communication reassures your clients that you haven't forgotten about them and that you're available when they need you. Even better, it shows them you're proactive and care about your relationship with them." (AgencyBloc)
Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition
Even though the most successful agents grow their business by meeting with current clients, many agents still don't put in that effort.
You're already differentiating yourself from the competition by simply reaching out to your clients regularly.
Research conducted by Nationwide uncovered an intriguing perception gap regarding an insurance agent's view of their service and their customer's view of their service.
95% of agents said they're always there when their clients need them, while only 79% of insurance customers agreed that their agent is always there when they need them.
An even more significant perception gap comes into play about regular check-ins.
94% of agents said they regularly check in with customers to ensure their policies still fit their needs, while just 69% of customers reported sufficient check-ins from their agents.
From these statistics, it's clear that agents need to do more than they think they do when it comes to customer outreach - even if only to compensate for that perception gap.
By doing more than other insurance agents to reach out to your clients, you separate yourself from competitors, and your clients will stick with you longer.
Increased Retention Rates
Ultimately, the sum of all these benefits leads to increased retention at your agency.
Property Casualty 360 surveyed and analyzed feedback from over 2 million US insurance customers about what they value most in their relationship with their insurance agent.
42% - almost half of them identified communication as the most important factor.
"One of the biggest mistakes an agent can make in regard to communication is to sign on new customers without having an explicit process in place for contacting them. When this happens, you have no idea whether that customer is happy, dissatisfied, or on the verge of churning. It also gives other agents an opportunity to get in front of your customers, and you risk losing their business." (EverQuote)
Consistent outreach presents opportunities to stop a concern or issue in its tracks and the time to fix it before your client gets fed up enough to cancel and go with a different agency.
Ideally, all your scheduled appointments would go according to plan, but remember that even when they don't, your outreach efforts are still paying off.
What did we miss? Any other benefits you've seen from regular customer outreach? Let us know in the comments below!