Like chocolate chip cookies, a successful Customer Insurance Review Program results from specific ingredients - or components - all working together.
Setting and conducting the appointments are only a couple of the ingredients.
Today, I’ll detail 6 critical components for a lucrative Customer Insurance Review Program.
You’ve probably just about had it with the relentless January goal talk; nonetheless, having goals and a clear vision can determine the effectiveness of your annual insurance review program.
Whether you set specific goals or not, these meetings will usually produce results, so think about how much more effective these appointments can be with a couple of clear goals to work toward!
Here are a few goal ideas (specific to annual insurance reviews) to help get you thinking:
Increase retention by X% in 2022
Meet with X number of customers within a year
Invite every customer in for a review within a specific time frame
Multi-line X number of mono-line accounts
The goals you set for your annual insurance review program can help you stay focused on what is most important.
2. Effective Appointment Setting
There are a couple of popular approaches to insurance appointment setting.
In-House Appointment Scheduling
Some agents hire a part-time caller whose sole purpose is to set appointments.
Others add it to their current team members’ plates.
Both can be practical approaches to appointment setting as long as you do the following:
Phone presence training
Write a general script that callers stick to
Practice rebuttals to common objections
Regularly review calls for quality assurance
Utilize click-to-call software
Ensure diligent record-keeping of what is discussed on each call
Establish a consistent calling schedule
When things get busy in the office, you need to make sure the appointment setting calls don’t get put on the back burner, or you’ll find periods of time that no appointments are coming in!
It looks like a lot of work, but it pays off for many agencies!
If you go this route, check out this article: 7 Ways to Optimize Outbound Appointment Setting
Outsourced Appointment Scheduling
We may be a little biased, but many agents find that outsourced appointment setting is a lot more cost-effective and much more simple than handling it in-house.
The graphic below is based on our 20 guaranteed appointments package and industry averages.
Besides providing a list of names for us to call, keeping your calendar availability updated, and running the appointments, you don’t have to do much else!
This saves time and money and can help your staff avoid burnout from these often tedious calls.
Outsourcing, not only for appointment setting, is an easy fix to increase capacity in your office amid the talent shortage we’re experiencing right now.
While talking with one of our customers, I learned that he preferred us to set the appointments (instead of his team) because when he had his staff members call, their clients would ask all their questions over the phone and not end up coming in for the appointment.
Since our callers aren’t licensed in insurance, we refer your clients back to you for all questions they might have - and they’re much more likely to agree to an appointment that way.
Ultimately, our mission is to take some work off your shoulders so you can do the work you do best - helping protect your customers with your unique expertise, knowledge, and skillset.
3. Appointment Preparation
There are a few things you should do in preparation for each review appointment:
The Needs Assessment Form
If possible, have your client complete a Needs Assessment form before the meeting.
A Needs Assessment form prepares your client for the meeting and gives you a seamless starting point for the review.
Learn more about the Needs Assessment form (and download a free copy for your agency) in our blog post: 3 Reasons a Needs Assessment Form is One of Your Best Sales Tools.
If you don’t already have one, create a working file for each customer you’ll be meeting with.
To prepare yourself for the review, note their current coverage and potential areas of concern in that working file.
Review any recent claims and be prepared to discuss them and their implications to their coverage in the meeting.
If you’re not familiar with your client’s coverage before the review, they’ll surely recognize that in the meeting - don’t just wing it.
Reminder Call or Text
Call or text your customer a few days before the appointment to confirm and remind them of the meeting and briefly let them know what to expect.
4. Conducting the Review
If your client didn’t fill out the Needs Assessment form before the meeting, go through it with them to get things started.
Typically, agents should aim to accomplish these 4 goals when meeting with their clients:
Make a list of action items that need your attention.
These will be things like checking up on an open claim or changing contact information.
Identify any areas of additional revenue opportunity.
Think about adjustment limits to current coverage, additional policies, or similar items.
Review for potential discounts
Ask for referrals by presenting your referral program.
You can find a detailed step-by-step guide to conducting the review meeting here: 12 Steps for Running an Effective Customer Insurance Review Meeting.
Maintaining Consistency with Multiple Staff Members
You’ll need to ensure that all staff members are on the same page to run these appointments consistently.
And even if you don’t have multiple team members running the meetings, make sure you stay consistent with the appointment process.
5. Action Items & Follow-Up
Immediately after the meeting, make sure to complete action items discussed and update your client’s file with new contact info(where applicable) and specific notes about what was discussed/offered. (This has proven worthwhile for agents who have experienced the risk of an E&O claim - read more about how review meetings help agents CYA here.)
A week or so after the meeting, call to follow up on any educational material you sent their way - have they reviewed it? What questions do they have? Are they ready to move forward?
It’s during the follow-up when sales are naturally closed.
You should also follow up about any referrals they gave you to let them know if you’ve been able to contact them or not.
It might be a bumpy road at first, especially if you’ve never held customer insurance reviews with your existing clients, but staying the course is vital to the success of your program.
Through the first year or so, you’ll probably experience a higher rate of no-shows than you’d like.
Remember that this is something that gets better with time and consistency - some clients need time to warm up to the idea of an annual review.
Agents who have been regularly holding annual policy reviews for multiple years find the most success and growth from their appointments.
When I was an appointment setter a few years ago, it was always clear to me when I called for a consistent agency because their clients were not only expecting the review, they were enthusiastic about scheduling an appointment, too!
Consistency is key.
What do you think? Did we miss anything on this list of key components for a successful customer insurance review program?
Let us know in the comments below!