With the commoditization of insurance and the rise of the digital age, online presence for your agency is now more important than ever.
A vital element to a business’s web presence is 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 companies is 4.53 stars, it’s vital for your agency to have positive online reviews. (Review Trackers) The insurance industry is a competitive market to be in.
After reading how important online reviews are, you might be tempted to send a mass email to your customers asking them to leave you reviews all at once - but hold off on that.
If you take this approach, you’ll probably get a big influx of reviews over a short period of 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 quantity of reviews, but also the frequency and consistency. (Rocket Referrals)
The research shows that a random influx of reviews over a short period of time won't be helpful a few months down the road.
It isn’t a viable approach for the long term.
You'll also run the risk of 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 easy way to get a review every now and again, it’s simply 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.
People are busy and often need a reminder or a nudge in the right direction when it comes to things like this.
This is why you need to have a systematic process to nudge your customers to leave online reviews.
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.
You should be asking for reviews at "strategic moments" along 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. (This often goes along with the customer insurance review meeting.)
There are many more instances we could call “key moments”, but today, we’re going to show you how to use customer insurance reviews/customer appointments to get more online reviews for your agency.
When conducted properly, customer insurance reviews are generally a positive experience for your customers.
These appointments help with retention, production (multi-lining/cross-selling), and obtaining referrals.
If you’re not familiar with the customer insurance review process, learn more about it in these articles:
Here’s a step by step guide to turn 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, make sure to ask your customer how their experience has been with your agency. This can help you tailor the meeting to your customer’s specific needs and concerns.
If their experience hasn’t been great, make sure to gather all the feedback you can so you can fix whatever problems or issues they have with your office.
Don’t worry too much if they haven’t been satisfied so far--this is your opportunity to resolve issues and turn their experience around!
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!
Let them know that you’ll send them an email with the link for them to leave an online review if they’d like to. (this will warm them up to be looking for your email - increasing the likelihood that they’ll follow through and leave the review.)
4. After the meeting, send an email
Along with the other action items from the meeting, send them a personalized, short 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 different platforms they can leave reviews on so they can choose the one they’re most familiar with (Google and Facebook are both great options!)
5. Respond to every review directly on the platform - positive or negative
Follow up the positive reviews with a personal thank you note (email is okay, but sending a tangible note can go a long way).
By adding a couple easy steps to the appointments you’re already having with your customers, you can generate a steady flow of positive reviews for your insurance agency.
What other ways have you been able to generate online reviews for your insurance agency? Let us know in the comments below!