2022 is flying by, and it’s almost Fall!
How are things looking at your agency?
Have you been able to make headway on the goals you set at the beginning of the year?
There’s still time to get down to business to keep your agency on top this year.
As I research and come up with different topics that will help you out at your agency, I’ve realized that most agencies face some of the same obstacles.
While there’s not usually a one-size-fits-all solution to every challenge you face, there are tried and true methods to overcome them!
Today, we will cover 7 common challenges that insurance agents and agencies face, along with ways to overcome them.
We’ll send you to some different articles to help you figure out what it is your agency needs to do.
If you’ve got a specific challenge in mind that isn’t covered here, please shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment at the bottom of this post - we’ll be sure to research and cover the topics you need guidance on!
The challenges we’ll cover today (in our first installment):
Feel free to click on the one you're most interested in, or read the whole thing!
Without further adieu, let’s dive in!
1 - Losing Customers - Low Retention Rates
Among the many factors influencing customer churn (negative claims/customer service experiences, price, significant life changes, etc.), one factor drives more than 50% of insurance customers away. (Agent Pipeline)
Fortunately, this factor is almost totally within your control!
The biggest reason your clients leave and go with another agency or company is a perception of indifference.
From their perspective, you don’t genuinely care about them.
This isn’t an accusation that you don’t care about your clients - it’s their perception that you don’t care that drives them away - even passively.
TechSee found that while 50% of customers who left their agent actively searched for an alternative insurer, an equal amount churned passively, either because they were disengaged with their current insurer or were offered a better deal from a competitor (or both!).
Read The Biggest Reason Your Insurance Clients Cancel (3 min.) to learn why and how proactive communication can keep your customers from slipping through the cracks.
Another helpful article: Step-Up Your Insurance Client Retention Strategy with Consistent, Proactive Communication (4 min. read)
2 - Customers’ Main Focus is Price
In the current economic climate, many people are evaluating their bills and cutting back as much as possible.
If there’s nothing that differentiates you from your lower-priced competitors, what would be the point of continuing to pay more?
The way to keep your clients from price shopping in the first place (and eventually canceling their policies with you) is to differentiate your agency from others by adding value to the customer experience.
We compiled a list of ways you can differentiate your agency from others to keep your clients from price shopping:
9 Ways to Add Value to the Customer Experience & Keep Your Insurance Clients from Price Shopping (5 min. read)
3 - Burnout & Staffing Issues
With the talent shortage and capacity issues, it’s more than likely that you and your team have experienced burnout to some degree.
Yes, the term “burnout” has been a bit of a buzzword recently - but for good reason.
According to Gallup, employees experiencing burnout at work are:
63% more likely to take a sick day
Half as likely to discuss how to approach performance goals with their manager
2.6x as likely to be actively seeking a different job
23% more likely to visit the emergency room
13% less confident in their performance
If these scary statistics don’t motivate you to prevent burnout, consider the very real risks to your business - companies without systems in place to support the well-being of employees have higher turnover, lower productivity, and higher healthcare costs. (APA)
Unfortunately, your most valuable employees are most likely to experience burnout!
Read Why You Need to Prevent Burnout at Your Agency (and how to do it) (7 min.) to learn how you can make sure you don’t lose even more capacity at your agency to burnout.
4 - Large Number of Mono-Line Customers
A bunch of mono-lined customers is better than no customers at all; however, mono-lined customers are more likely to defect than multi-line customers.
And as you know, bundling can often lead to discounts for your customers.
There’s a straightforward step-by-step process for you to multi-line your mono-lined customers that you can see in this infographic, but to get the whole idea, check out this blog post:
5 - Low Sales Success with Current Customers
We’ve repeatedly heard from insurance agents that they don’t regularly meet with their current customers for annual reviews because they don’t get many sales from the appointments.
Your current customers should be your easiest cross/up-sells as long as you have a process in place to make it that way.
Check out these 9 Reasons You’re Not Closing Sales from Your Annual Insurance Review Appointments to see what part of your process might need some tweaking in order to start closing on these opportunities right in your book!
6 - Being Too “Salesy”
When I started working as an appointment scheduler at Engagex in 2017, a response that I got daily (if not more than that) was,
“I don’t need any more insurance.”,
“I don’t want to come in so he/she can just try to sell me more insurance.”,
“I’ll only come in if it’s a review - I don’t want to buy any more insurance.”
And other responses along those same lines.
Generally speaking, people don’t like to be sold to.
As an agent, this can be incredibly frustrating because customer insurance review meetings are one of the BEST ways to identify opportunities to sell new policies to your existing customers.
And by selling new policies to your existing customers, you’re able to minimize their risks and give them peace of mind, all while increasing the likelihood that they’ll stay with you longer.
There’s a delicate balance of investigating your customers’ needs, educating them on their options, giving them time to decide what’s best, and then following up to close the sale or figure out another solution.
You shouldn’t be trying to close sales during the review meeting.
And this guide: How to Sell w/ out Selling - A Guide to Closing Sales w/ out Looking Like an Insurance Salesperson will give you all you need to close those sales in a way that feels good for you AND your customers.
7 - Not Getting Enough Positive Online Reviews
With the commoditization of insurance and the rise of the digital age, an online presence for your agency is now more critical than ever.
85% of consumers said they trust online reviews just as much as a recommendation from a friend or family member. (BrightLocal)
To be even more specific to the insurance industry, 61.2% of consumers say that reviews are influential when it comes to finding an insurance agent. (Review Trackers)
Getting online reviews might seem daunting if you haven’t been successful in getting many before, but this article breaks down some simple, actionable steps to tack onto what you’re already doing at your agency to get those reviews and get them consistently.
Even if you don’t hold regular appointments with your customers, you can use this strategy for any interaction you have with them.
That’s it for today - we hope this gives you some insights into what you can do to finish 2022 strong. Stay tuned for another post with more common insurance agency challenges - we’ve got more in the works.