Not to beat a dead horse, but as you know, increasing your retention rate can do wonders for your insurance agency.
According to Independent Insurance Agents of Dallas,
"A sustained 5% improvement in your agency's customer retention rate can DOUBLE profits in just 5 years."
The following successful insurance agents have a lot to say about holding customer insurance reviews and how these meetings help with their retention.
“You know, we hold [customer insurance reviews] for a few reasons. One, it helps with retention. It really is a big factor in maintaining our retention which is pretty good. It has been over the years. You want to let your customers know that you care and you want to see if anything has changed since you last talked to them... I just think it's vital to have a regular, at least an annual check-in or attempt to check-in with your customers to help with retention, finding any gaps that you may find that may be beneficial, and just to keep in contact with your customers.”
“I talked to a woman yesterday who I have never spoken with--ever. And she's been with State Farm since 1964, and then came on board with me in '92 and I've never spoken with her. She said, "All I've done is pay this premium, all the time," she didn't have any clue about [her policies]. Now I have a second appointment set up with her and yeah she really appreciated it. It was rewarding to me because I'm trying to reach out to people and keep people in my book of business and retention is a big thing these days because everybody's shopping. . . you need to reach out to the folks that you already have.”
“One specific product that we’ve come to realize that we’ve sold a lot of - out of 10 appointments we could probably land about 5 or 6 umbrella policies. The point is that it’s something that really provides additional coverage. Those types of things in our business make the household what we call “stickier”, meaning that the more policies they have with us, the more different types of policies they have with us, the higher likelihood that they’re going to be with us for a very very long time.”
“Any agent who isn't doing regular meetings - they're just losing money. They gotta do it. They gotta do it. They gotta be talking to their customers. It shows the value of why you have an agent. If they're not holding the meetings, go to Geico, I mean, go to a call center environment because that's effectively what you’re saying is “You were important to me when I could sell you something, but you're not important today." and that's going to just open you up to a world of hurt, so I think it's super important that they do it. I think that it's critical for any agent to have regular appointments with their clients, to have in-depth discussions.”
“This is my opportunity for them to meet with me, ask questions, and we dig a little bit deeper because you know you have your team members who are involved, they sell and they do a lot of transactions, but the customer needs to have an opportunity to ask questions and to be given information whereby they can make decisions for their future.”
“I thought it was very important to be able to reach out to the current customer base. I knew that because I came from outside of State Farm - I was a financial advisor prior to coming in. What I knew was really important was to solidify the current base. . . it was important to establish a relationship.
While I had my team members calling on trying to get new customers, the other part that I was using Engagex for was to get to the established base, have appointments, so we have a good mixture of people that we can talk to - new as well as current.”
“Consistently having appointments has obviously been good because that's the lifeline, that's the blood of the agency, you need to have appointments. . .Being able to add value no matter what, checking on the customer, maybe getting the sale, whatever it is.”
"For me, personally, what I want to do is maintain a low-lapse can ratio, and the more times that I'm actually meeting with my customers, the more touchpoints that I have, the stickier the business is for me.
I haven't been real good this past month, but when I have consistent reviews, I notice that my lapse/cancel ratio goes down and the cross-selling, at least in my office, goes up. I don't personally sell any policies during those meetings, I tell the people when we're in the meetings that this is not an opportunity for me to try to sell you anything, I'm simply taking the time to review this, and I want you to take this as me providing some sort of risk management for you. I'm going to give you suggestions, and then at the end of this you decide you want to make changes, we can make changes.
It's almost really benign, you know, we're not trying to sell you anything and if we do sell something it's simply because we're providing advice, it's not the flavor of the month, it's truly a holistic review with somebody and it gives you an opportunity to know that customer on a much deeper level. So I can't imagine any reason why you wouldn't want to do that.”
“One [obvious benefit of customer insurance reviews] is client retention: they're less likely to leave people they know and trust and they're not going to know and trust you if they never meet and visit with you.”
“My personal feeling is it does stop a lot of people from looking because some of them don't even know we offer this kind of service and they say "this is great, I now understand what my coverages are" and they thank me for taking the time to reach out to them and spending the time with them. I think that helps with keeping them here with [us]. . . It's a wonderful way of building relationships with your clients so they don't want to start looking around. For them to get to know, not necessarily the agent, but the staff people so they feel comfortable calling and talking to one of us about their insurance.”
-Diane Neely (Paul Hagemann Insurance)
“Engagex has assisted us with having those policy reviews and having deeper conversations and building relationships. It helps to establish the relationship with my customers, so that's helpful in itself.”
“My advice to an agent thinking about doing this (holding regular customer insurance reviews): Do it. Retention is extremely important, it's extremely time consuming to write an account. Once you have it on the books, you don't want to forget it. Just as we don't forget about people that haven't made their payments, we reach out to them making sure they make their payments because it's harder to put it on the books and get it on the books and you don't want to lose it for non-payment, etc but you also don't want to lose it because the client doesn't feel that they have contact with their agents.”
-Theresa Delcenio (Jim Dwyer Insurance)
“It 's interesting, I've always had a review plan in my agency. The biggest benefit is building a relationship with the clients. We're Collecting a premium and of course they're getting a bill. Unless they have a claim, all they know is they're getting a bill. So we want to make sure that we're not just seen as them getting a bill, but we want to be an active participant with them in planning for their families so it's a way for us to review their insurance with them, to make sure they're getting all the discounts they qualify for but also, just as importantly, is making sure there are no gaps in their protection. That could be gaps in car insurance or the home insurance side with retirement planning, could be gaps in life insurance, could be gaps in disability insurance…
Most of my clients are going to get touched every year because we're working off of the same lists every year. The primary reason for me is to deepen the relationship with the client.
We stopped [Engagex] service probably 3 years ago for 6 or 7 months and I definitely saw a difference in the business. I saw our lapse/can rate go up, I also saw our frontline production go down, because we didn't have a system to be in front of clients having these conversations which was once again, a confirmation to me that we need to keep doing these
The big thing for agents in general is just to have a systematic process of reviewing and touching base with your clients - whatever that looks like, for each agency may look different, they have to have a process for staying in touch with their clients to deepen the relationship.”