4 Retention Steps Insurance Agents Need to Be Taking
Retention is something that many insurance agents struggling to find that first sale often don’t think about. However, it is as important as anything else because it answers the question, “What do I do with my customers after I finally get one?” The answer, of course, is to have a strategy that embraces the customer and keeps from leaving them behind. Without a proper strategy in place, you may have them for now, but you won’t be keeping them long. And from there, you are right back to where you started. To help you with this challenging but necessary part of your business, here are four retention steps you should be taking before, during, and after the insurance lead becomes a customer. Let’s get started!
It may seem a tad dehumanizing to classify your customers into different “categories,” but it’s entirely necessary if you are going to make the most out of your retention efforts. By categorizing the customer, we mean that you will need to create classifications that label how involved your customers are with the products you offer. For example, a young couple, who just had their first child, will produce more revenue than a college kid with nothing but a renters policy. It’s not that you “think less of” that college kid. You still want them to have great customer service. But most of your follow-up efforts will need to be with that young couple because they’re going to need life and auto and homeowners policies. Now, it’s possible that college kid will one day jump into a new category when he or she starts a family of their own, but for now, they shouldn’t be receiving the lion’s share of your focus when it comes to retention efforts.
Learn your customer retention rates
This isn’t as complicated as it may sound. How many customers did you have at the start of the year? How many did you have at the end of the year? Is your ending number higher than your starting number? If not, how many did you lose? Once you know the answers to these questions, break it down further. Of the ones you lost, how many were multiline customers vs. single policy? The more detailed you can get with your information, the more effective your retention strategies will become.
Discover why your customers are ditching you
Some insurance agents make the mistake of stopping at face value. If they have more customers at the end of the year than the start of the year, they assume there is no retention problem that needs to be addressed. This is a mistake. It could be that you’ve done a fine job of lining up prospects in your marketing funnel, but those customers are losing faith in your offerings shortly after joining. This will eventually catch up with you, and if you don’t have a plan to address it, things could go from feast to famine in a hurry. If you have been losing customers, know why you’re losing them. This is vital for addressing any systemic issues that you may be having. While we’ll be the first to admit that not every lost customer is a loss for your business — with insurance especially, some can be liabilities — you will never know this unless you start tracking their reasons for leaving.
Create a data-driven retention plan
There is a reason we had you go through the first three steps before making it to this one. It’s because you cannot build an effective retention strategy until you’re fully aware of where your customers are coming from, who they are, how long they’ve been with you, why they’re staying, and why they’re leaving. By learning from both your strengths and weaknesses, you can find the weak links in your business and work to strengthen those over time.
As you set out to turn prospects into customers, don’t lose sight of what you will do with these individuals after the sale. A successful career does not depend wholly, or even majorly, on your ability to close sales. It depends on you being able to build loyalty in the prospects that you’re winning over. What are some specific retention strategies that have worked for your agency?