May 5, 2022
Does it seem like customers aren’t as loyal as they used to be? Consumer expectations have changed, and this means commercial insurance agents need to work harder than ever on their retention efforts. Don’t wait until your best clients have gone elsewhere. Make sure you’re doing enough to develop loyal insurance customers now.
Why Your Best Insurance Customers Might Leave
A study from Omicron Media Group found that brand loyalty dropped from 65% in March 2020 to 49% in November 2020. The takeaway is clear. When times get tough, customers look for something better.
This is an important realization for insurance agents. Right now, the insurance market is hardening, and insurance rates have been rising. These factors could push your customers to start shopping around.
Insurance customers might also start looking for greener pastures if they become dissatisfied with the level of service provided. Improvements in technology have raised the bar on the customer experience, so agents need to keep up.
Four Ways to Increase Loyalty
- Humanize the Experience
New digital tools make it possible for policyholders to access policy information 24/7, manage claims online and receive instant claim payouts. However, these tools do not replace the need for insurance agents. In fact, the 2022 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power found that claims satisfaction scores dropped even as insurers introduced more digital tools.
Agents still have value, and if you want to boost retention, you need to demonstrate your value. That means maintaining a human touch, year-round – not just when it’s time for renewal.
After you make a sale, do you tend to disappear? If so, don’t expect your clients to stay loyal to you. Excellent communication is vital to a successful agent-client relationship.
Communication may even be more important than price. Rocket Referrals looked at feedback from more than 2 million U.S. insurance customers and found that 42% say communication is the most important factor when deciding whether or not they’ll recommend an insurance agent. For comparison, only 22% cited price as the most important factor.
Are your communication practices as strong as they could be? Ask yourself:
- Do you meet in-person or by Zoom to explain renewals and/or quote comparisons?
- Do you follow up with clients to make sure they’re satisfied with their policy and any supporting services?
- Do you a hand-written thank you card?
- Do you schedule quarterly insurance reviews?
- Help Policyholders Manage Risks and Control Costs
People buy insurance to manage their risks and control their costs, so it makes sense that policyholders will want as much help in these areas as possible. As an insurance agent, you can demonstrate your value by supporting proactive risk management. For example, do you:
- Follow up on large claims and reserves?
- Keep policyholders informed about developments that could impact their coverage and risks?
- Ensure they’re making progress on planned loss control initiatives?
- Provide useful information and risk management resources throughout the year?
- Share tips on new industry innovations such as smart devices or telematics tools that could improve their risk management?
- Help Clients Keep Their Policies In Force
Policies can lapse due to nonpayment, and this can stem from multiple issues. For example, a client may forget to make a monthly payment or forget to update the financial information used to be pay for premiums. The person normally in charge of making payments may be sick, on vacation or otherwise busy. In some cases, a policyholder may not realize that anything has gone wrong until they receive a notice of cancellation.
If you want to keep your clients, you need to help them keep their policies in force. By making sure that costs are affordable and that payments are made on schedule, you can reduce the risk of policy cancellation.
How ClassicPlan Premium Finance Can Help
ClassicPlan provides premium financing for commercial insurance policies. By offering this option to your clients, you can increase access to quality insurance programs that might otherwise be out of reach. This alone can help you improve retention, but ClassicPlan also offers additional services that can help you develop loyal insurance customers.
If a policy is about to be canceled, you want to act fast to help your client keep the policy in force. ClassicPlan makes this easy by letting you sign up for daily email notices that give you a heads-up about any cancellation, reinstatement or bounced check notices.
You can also have ClassicPlan call delinquent accounts so you don’t have to.
Other services that can boost retention include multi-lingual inserts that avoid confusion stemming from language barriers. ClassicPlan also offers seven ways to pay, and accounts with loans of more than $25,000 will receive a thank you letter reminding them of an upcoming renewal.
Offering premium financing through ClassicPlan is one way to develop loyal insurance customers and boost retention. Are you interested in becoming a producer? Learn more.