4 Ways Independent Agents Can Make Loyal Customers
Independent insurance agents are often thought of as loners, who lack the appropriate support to deliver quality customer care. While this certainly CAN be true, it doesn’t have to be. If agents know ahead of time what their customers are looking for, they can build systems to meet those needs, thus never giving the customer a moment to second-guess their decision to purchase. Since loyalty is essential for every insurance agent — independent or otherwise — you can’t do enough to ensure it. Here’s what you can do, however, if you’re an independent insurance agent unsure of where to start.
1. Start by finding the best value
When customers shop for insurance on their own, they’re often looking at price tags. You have to get them off this line of thinking right away. Let them know that you can find them the cheapest prices all day, but it will ultimately be about the coverage and protection they’re receiving for the money. Run some real-world examples of good and bad policies and try to get them thinking about educating themselves as much as possible.
2. Be prepared to counterbalance the big guys
One major selling point of nationally recognized insurance companies, is they are equipped to stack coverages and offer discounts. While many times they can deliver a cheaper price, it isn’t foolproof, and, again, you don’t want to ignore the terms of the deal being offered to their prospects. If you do have a prospect come to you and tell you about all the different coverages that he can get with XYZ Insurance, don’t let him make a decision until you’ve had the chance to run some numbers as well. At the very least, don’t allow your insurance leads to think the big guys are granting special favors that you’re incapable of matching. Check for cheapest life, auto, health, homeowners, etc., and see what packages you can produce for the prospect’s review. You may not win every time, but with hundreds of potential companies at your disposal, you can more often than anyone may think.
3. Sell your customers on customer service
When a big company like State Farm does an annual policy review, they are looking at how they can save customers’ money while providing necessary protections within their own ecosystem. The company has gotten to where it is today because it does this very well, and within that system, it does try to work to the customer’s advantage. You, however, are not limited to just one ecosystem. You can check on a wide range of coverages, policy terms, and prices. Furthermore, you are doing it from a place that is more balanced toward customer needs than company needs. Essentially, you aren’t just reviewing prices every year. You are reviewing what is best for the individual and their family and providing extra care, saving them time and peace of mind in the process.
4. Connect in every way that you can
Large national insurance companies can suffer from communication problems from time to time. It basically boils down to the fact that large ships are harder to steer and maneuver than small boats. There is an advantage to being a small boat in the insurance industry. It allows you to connect whenever and however you can with your customers. You also have more control with how you market yourself online and the portals that you provide customers for reaching out with any questions, comments, and concerns they may have. Use your blog, your social media channels, phone number, email, or a combination of all — bottom line, make it easy for customers to find you and interact.
Loyalty does not have to be an advantage belonging solely to the State Farms and Allstates of the industry. While these are great companies, they don’t have the market cornered on offering a customer-centric experience. There is plenty that you can do as an independent insurance agent to compete and win. Good luck!