With the commoditization of insurance and the rise of the digital age, an online presence for your agency is now more critical than ever.
A vital element to a business's web presence is a steady flow of positive online reviews.
Some Compelling Statistics
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)
Because the average review for insurance agencies is 4.53 stars, your agency must have positive online reviews to stand out in the competitive market. (Review Trackers)
Knowing the power of positive online reviews might tempt you to send a mass email to your customers asking them to leave you a review - but hold off on that.
If you take this approach, you'll probably get a significant influx of reviews over a short time.
Consider the following:
69% of consumers feel that reviews are irrelevant if
they're more than 3 months old. (Search Engine Land)
Google has complex algorithms that don't only look at the number of reviews but also the frequency and consistency. (Rocket Referrals)
The research indicates that a random influx of reviews over a short time won't be that helpful a few months down the road.
It's not a viable long-term approach.
You'll also risk giving unhappy customers the idea to leave a negative review.
Many insurance agents provide a link in the signature of their email where customers can go to leave online reviews.
While this is an effortless way to get a review every now and again, it's not enough to generate a consistent flow of positive online reviews.
So, what should you do to generate consistent, positive online reviews?
First things first, provide exceptional service to your customers (this one should go without saying).
Your customers need something to be happy about to leave a review.
However, it's usually not your customers first thought to leave a review after a good experience with your agency.
Because people are busy and often need a reminder when it comes to giving a review, you need to implement a systematic process to nudge them in the right direction.
Identify "Key Moments" of the Customer Journey
Timing is everything when it comes to asking for reviews.
Asking the wrong customer at the wrong time can lead to negative reviews.
Instead, be intentional by asking for reviews at strategic or "key moments" in the customer journey. (Hubspot)
Here are a few potential "key moments" during an insurance customer's journey:
After you've finished a claim or resolved an issue to your customer's satisfaction
When a customer refers someone to your agency
After a successful customer insurance review (IFR, FFR, PPR, etc.) meeting
After you save them money with discounts, bundling, etc.
There are many instances we could call "key moments," but today, we're going to show you how to use annual customer insurance reviews or customer appointments to get more online reviews for your agency.
When conducted properly, customer insurance reviews are a positive experience for your customers.
These appointments help with retention, production (multi-lining/cross-selling), and receiving referrals.
If you're not familiar with the customer insurance review process, learn more about it in these articles:
Here's your step by step guide to turning your appointments into glowing online reviews:
1 - Schedule the appointment
2 - Prepare for the appointment
Before the appointment, make sure you review your customer's file.
Send the customer a "Needs Assessment" form.
3 - Conduct the review meeting
Near the start of the meeting, ask your customer how their experience has been with your agency. This will help you tailor the meeting to your customer's specific needs and concerns.
If their experience hasn't been great, gather all the feedback you can to fix whatever problems or issues they have with your office.
Don't panic if they haven't been satisfied so far - this is your opportunity to resolve issues and turn their experience around! (Reviews left by once angry customers-turned happy are often the best ones you'll get!)
On the other hand, if their experience has been great, you're even closer to getting that review!
At the end of the appointment, let them know that you're trying to increase your agency's online presence, and a positive review from them would help a lot if they're willing to give it.
Generally, people are happy to help someone who has helped them!
Tell them you'll send them an email with the link for them to leave an online review if they'd like to. (this will warm your client up to be looking for your email - increasing the likelihood that they'll follow through and leave the review!)
4 - After the meeting, send the email
Along with the other action items from the meeting, send them a short, personalized email thanking them for their time.
Refer to your earlier conversation about increasing web presence with online reviews, and provide them with the link(s) to leave a review.
Be sure to have a couple of different platforms they can leave reviews on so they can choose the one they're most comfortable with.
According to Bright Fire, the most important platform to have positive online reviews is Google, followed by Yelp and Facebook.
If you haven't added your agency business profile (or claimed it) on Google, this Google Support article will guide you through the process:
5 - Respond to every review directly on the platform - positive or negative
You could even follow up the positive reviews with a personal thank you note (email is okay, but mailing a tangible note can go a long way since you'll be responding directly on the platform already).
By adding a couple of easy steps to the appointments you're already having with your customers, you can generate a steady flow of positive reviews that will prove to be a powerful acquisition tool for your agency.
What other ways have you been able to generate online reviews for your insurance agency? Let us know in the comments below!