Why Insurance Agents Should Give Out Their Cell Numbers
Many insurance agents have nightmares about what it would be like if some of their more annoying customers were able to get access to their personal cell phone number. But anymore, that is a fear worth living with because of the value being in your customer’s phone has to your business. There are three areas, in particular, that can get a boost from your customers having full access to your number. Those areas are sales, service, and retention. Let’s take a look at each one individually.
Just how can giving out your cell phone number have a positive impact on sales, especially to people who are already your clients? In a very powerful way. Ideally as an insurance agent, you can maximize your time spent marketing by turning your existing customers into brand evangelists. That means referrals. And one of the most powerful ways that you can get a referral is by a customer sending your contact information along to friends and family, who may be in the market for buying a new policy or switching from their existing carrier. Rather than telling their loved one, “I’ll get that information to you when I get back to my house or office,” they can simply text your contact card to the friend or family member’s phone. From there, it becomes super simple for the referral to call you at their convenience without having to look up information. And referrals are much more likely to call a personal number than a robotic operator, and call it quickly.
Probably the most obvious item on this list is how giving out your cell phone number can present numerous opportunities for enhanced customer service. When your customers feel like they can reach you any time of the day or night with a question or concern about their coverage, they are more likely to feel connected to the business, to the point that it’s not just an insurer but an extension of their family. And the great thing is you don’t have to be waiting by the phone and ready to pick up before the second ring in order to give them that feeling. In other words, you can still have a life provided that your customers know your policy. Tell them ahead of time that you may not be able to get to their call right away but that they will hear back from you in less than X number of hours. This will do even more to give them the peace of mind that comes from great customer service. Additionally, if you work for a bigger insurance agency, you can emphasize the use of certain mobile apps prior to calling (like for claims handling, updating home inventory, etc.). This will increase the odds that your customers only call you as a last resort to a pressing question, and it will ensure that the countless man-hours and financial investment your company poured into creating mobile apps was not in vain.
Looking at my own phone, I have names and phone numbers and email addresses in the Contacts List that I’ll never use again. Point being: once you’re in someone’s phone, you’re usually there to stay barring some monumental foul-up. By getting into your customer’s phone with your personal cell number, you’ll be able to improve your chances of retention across every range of insurance product. People just aren’t as quick to cut ties if you’ve forged that bond. And aside from that, the fact that you can give them better customer service and peace of mind by giving out your number, will only make them want to stay even more.
You may be uncomfortable giving out your cell phone number, and you may want to have two separate phones — one for business, one for home — which isn’t a bad idea. But if you do have a business phone, make sure you treat it like a personal phone. That means answering immediately when you can and returning calls in a quick and timely manner. By getting your number on your insurance customer’s phone, you’ll be building a strong bond that can last for years.