Insurance Customer Processes: Why They’re So Important
In any insurance agency, the need for tried and true processes is essential if you hope to deliver maximum value to your clients from day one, and it’s as simple as getting organized. Unfortunately, many insurance agents underestimate the need for organization, and that filters down to the rest of the talent. If you are regularly closing insurance leads — and if you want to survive, then you’d better be — then you need to establish some processes for how to manage them.
While each insurance customer is different, you should have some degree of uniformity so you can make the most of your time and reach everyone on your list before they start thinking they don’t need you and that insurance is something they can get “just anywhere.”
Here are some processes to look into and build upon.
What required paperwork does your agency have for new insurance customers?
Paperwork is often the bane of an insurance agent’s existence, but when dealing with large coverage amounts and the exchange of monies each month for premiums, you need to have a system in place to ensure that you’re not leaving anything out and that the client is fully protected. While this can definitely seem like a drain on your time, it will save you so much in way of time and headaches as you progress with adding to your customer list.
What are your direct mail habits?
Most agencies send mailers to their customers to stay in touch and to remind them of upcoming policy reviews, changes in privacy policies, and potential discount opportunities with the addition of new policies. Before you hire a new agent and turn them loose — and before opting to simply fly by the seat of your own pants — make a list, in writing, of the different outreach efforts that you have toward existing customers via direct mail.
What should your insurance customers expect in the first six months to a year?
You don’t want your insurance customers to feel like you’re going to simply forget about them after the initial sale. That’s why you should sit them down upon signing and let them know about what they can expect in that first policy period or two. Let them know why you’re here, that you will try to connect with them every so often to make sure they’re getting all the discounts they deserve and all the coverage they need. Take them under your wing instead of turning them loose. This practice will also hold you accountable for following up. And as with all the things on this list, write it down so that it’s easier to teach to new agents and employees.
What can they expect from you when they offer you a referral?
You want your insurance customers to feel comfortable referring others to you, but you also need to motivate them to do just such a thing. Therefore, try to have a system for how you deal with referrals in place. Let the customer know that referrals are valuable to you by offering financial rewards or special gifts for referring qualified leads. Explain why referrals are important and show them that it will be worth their while to remember you. (I recommend gift cards to popular stores like Walmart and Amazon, or you could match the reward with what you know about the client, though that could prove difficult before you’ve gotten to know them.)
How do you keep them from missing an annual policy review?
Insurance customers aren’t always the most ever-ready when it comes to sitting down for a policy review. I get it. They get busy. They’d rather sit in front of the television after a long day than talk about insurance. But it behooves you to keep them motivated because that’s what will give you your best shot at selling additional policies of benefit to the customer or upping coverage amounts as the customer acquires more valuables that they need to protect. Create a system where you and your agents are reminded a couple of weeks in advance about upcoming renewal dates for each client. That way everyone knows which of their customers are on the horizon, and you don’t have to be the only functioning brain.
Developing processes for handling new customers will create ongoing customers. And the longer you keep them, the greater loyalty there will be to your brand. You owe it to yourself to work out the details of your systems, and to communicate those systems to the people who will be using them every day. Make everything scalable so your business can be.