Tips for Improving Client Loyalty as Social Distancing Continues
Customer loyalty is critical to independent agents selling Medicare due to the renewal-based income these insurance sales generate. Making steps to improve customer loyalty can be a challenge in normal times and we all know we’re not in “normal times” right now. Extra effort is required from agents who want to keep and grow their book of business. The good news is that there are many improvements one can make to their business model to ensure clients remain loyal and those renewal cheques keep coming in year after year.
Keep communication going. Clients are more likely to embrace a long-term relationship when they receive regular communications from their agent. Quarterly postcards with service reminders, a handwritten note on your client’s birthday, a letter requesting a plan review around AEP (after Oct. 1 and before Dec. 7), appointment text reminders or a friendly phone call just to say “hi” can all go a long way to improving client loyalty.
Offer some sort of 24/7 support. We live in a world where customers demand immediate satisfaction from the brands they do business with. How, then, can an independent agent sleep at night with the ringer off? Including a Frequently Asked Questions section on your website or Facebook page can go a long way to providing answers when your clients need them. Agents and agencies with a robust website should consider integrating a chatbot that can guide visitors through learning about products or obtaining educational material.
Expand how you offer your services. Virtual conferencing software like Zoom or GoToMeeting can put you eye-to-eye with your clients & prospects without having to meet in person. Online quoting tools make it easy to deliver information over the internet. Carrier-approved procedures like obtaining a signature through text messaging can streamline the process for both you and your customers. If you’re not incorporating these newer ways of doing business, be aware that other agents are… and are growing their sales by doing so.
Deliver customer service through multiple channels. Send a “thank you” text after an appointment. Create automated email responses for whoever downloads content from your website. Send a “Happy Anniversary” message through the Instant Messenger app on Facebook. The list of additional contacts you can make goes on and on and is limited only by the number of tools in your chest. The point is, when you increase the number of ways in which you can connect with your clients, you improve your chances of keeping them loyal by creating multiple touchpoints throughout the year.
Show genuine appreciation and allow your clients to reciprocate. If your budget allows, send your clients some branded “swag” such as a personalized pen, keyring, or small bottle of hand sanitizer. You can also consider hosting a Customer Appreciation Event like a “Virtual Happy Hour.” Show some client love while also taking a moment to ask them to refer anyone who they feel may need your services.
Create a referral program. When your clients love you, they will love referring you… so give them ways to do so! Create an extra set of business cards that have a “Referred by:” field on the back of each card, and give a few of these extra cards to clients when you see them. Ask your most loyal customers to write a testimonial for display on your website and social media channels. Include a line like “Your referral is the highest compliment I can receive” in your email signature. Remind your clients that referrals are an essential part of your business. The agents who ask for referrals, after all, are the agents who receive them!
When it comes to improving customer loyalty, it’s often the little things you do that make a big difference to your patrons. It’s also true that a small increase in client retention can mean a big boost to the bottom line. Independent research suggests that improving customer retention by just 5% can lead to profit increases up to 95%! In an industry that provides such excellent renewal-based income, making customer loyalty a top priority helps ensure your name stays top-of-mind.
As a National Marketing Organization that works with thousands of independent agents, we understand you must generate new leads in order to grow your business. That’s why we work diligently to provide the resources necessary for successful marketing. If this information is valuable and you want to know more about the services we provide our Medicare agent partners, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-745-2320.