How To Win Your Customers’ Loyalty
Customer loyalty isn’t easy to come by in any business, especially the insurance business. When 70 percent of buyers are looking for new providers two to three years after purchasing a policy, you know that they expect a lot, and the vast majority aren’t getting what they want. While that presents a challenge for companies all across the U.S., it also provides you with a great opportunity. By winning a customer’s loyalty, you not only have revenue you can depend on, you also have a brand evangelist, who can help you move your business to the next level through a combination of strong word of mouth and providing you with highly qualified referrals. But first, you have to learn how to win customer loyalty, and that’s hopefully what we’ll now put you on the path to doing.
Firstly, give them what they need before they need it.
Many insurance customers, who are shopping for insurance online only see what immediately lay before them. In other words, auto insurance customers are only looking for auto insurance. Home insurance customers are only looking for home insurance. Life insurance customers are only looking for life insurance. You get the point. What they may not realize, however, is that they are being too short-sighted. You can help these customers explore their other insurance needs by taking the time to talk about their lives and financial goals and actually showing them the additional value that a second and third policy can bring to the table. This technique also allows you to overcome the obstacle of competing on price. Customers have shown in the last 10 years that they buy based on price, but they stay based on value. Too many agents fail to draw the distinction. That’s where you can stand out.
Secondly, show that you look at them as more than just a customer.
That doesn’t mean you have to go out and have a beer with each of your customers, but it does mean you should be listening carefully for clues into their lives and personalities. Putting in that extra little bit of effort to remember a birthday or carry the kind of off-brand cola that they enjoy more than the real thing so it’s there whenever they visit your office for something are great ways to show that, to you, they are not just a paycheck. When insurance customers feel taken care of like this, they have a greater tendency to stay come renewal time.
Thirdly, emphasize the value over the cost in all things.
Just because customers tend to stay based on value, that doesn’t mean they don’t occasionally raise their backs whenever there is a premium increase. As their agent, it’s important that you step in and confront that role as a value evangelist. Never tell the customer what their policies are “costing” them; rather show them the coverage they’re getting for the price they’re paying. Bring in value comparisons when applicable so they can see how you’re helping them compared to how another company would treat a customer in a similar situation. It’s not always an easy tightrope to walk, but it can be done if you stay out ahead of a potential problem.
Finally, adjust your schedule to the customer’s as needed.
With this item, I’m thinking specifically about annual policy reviews. Those can be tricky to set up because customers don’t often like to think about insurance. They simply want to buy it, forget about it, and be able to know it’s there in the event of an emergency. But you can improve your odds of making those meetings actually happen by not sticking rigidly to your office hours when a policy review is forthcoming. Chances are, your customer has to work 8 to 5 or something similar. Let them know that, for them, you will meet over coffee or leave the office open after hours so you can discuss their annual review and perhaps find them more ways to save. While this willingness may not always result in a face-to-face meeting, it will greatly improve your rate of contact.
Customer sales are important, but it’s customer loyalty that separates the fly-by-night agent with the one who sticks around for retirement. By employing the mindsets listed above, your customers will be the staying kind.