Insurance Customer Retention: Strategies That Work
In the insurance industry, it takes months to build good relationships with customers, understand their needs, and provide the best customer service. Hence, it is important to learn how to improve customer retention in insurance companies. Undoubtedly, you will need to bring in new clients but remember that customer acquisition costs are much higher than the costs involved in the retention of customers in insurance agencies. Therefore, the majority of your profits come from renewal. Insurance agents must keep their clients engaged at all times and motivate them to renew.
If your marketing strategies are not focused on your already existing clients, it is now time to make some changes. You already have the advantage of knowing your clients. They trust you and already know a lot about your services. If you do well and offer them what they need, there are chances that they will stay with you and not shop around ever. Otherwise, your competitors are already looking to break your clients and acquire them. Avoid that from happening and pay attention to customer retention.
18 of the Best Strategies to Retain Customers in the Insurance Industry
There are several strategies and techniques that can help you retain insurance agency customers. From personalizing their experience with you to using insurance agency marketing automation, there are many different and creative ways to form personal bonds with insurance customers and keep them from switching to a different agency.
1. Personalize Your Services
All the services that you provide in general are the same as provided by other insurance agents and their agencies. You need to find ways to set yourself apart from your competitors and show that you are the ideal choice. Give your customers good reasons to choose you and have a long-term relationship with your brand. All of these things can be accomplished through personalization.
Nobody wants to be treated like a regular customer. Hence, personalize your services and treat every customer differently. There is no blanket approach that works in the insurance industry.
Customer insurance in life insurance and other policies is dependent on how well you boost your offerings. Take the time out to conduct several meetings with your customers to identify how your services can fit their requirements.
Another thing that you can do is send out personalized direct mail items through insurance agency automation. This way, you don’t have to do anything yourself, but you can still offer personalization and keep in touch with your customers.
2. Meet Customers’ Expectations
Promising one thing and delivering something else does not cut it. If you keep making false claims, exaggerate your services unrealistically, and aren’t there for your customers when they need you—you aren’t doing anything right. Don’t guarantee anything that you know is not possible.
Insurance agents should know how to retain insurance customers by managing expectations. Commit only to things that you can rightly deliver. If the customer asks for something that you can’t offer, see if you can make some exceptions. Otherwise, be honest and tell them that you can’t. Many insurance agents make false promises just to make a sale, but that approach is completely useless.
Look for ways in which you can over-deliver and wow your clients. Go out of your way sometimes to support them beyond their thoughts and expectations. Offering value-added services, delivering something ahead of schedule, and other such things give you a chance to over-deliver and impress your customers.
3. Improve Customer Service
Focusing on customer retention strategies in life insurance when your customer service is completely off is like trying to catch a fish in a sea where there are no fish. Good customer service means client satisfaction, which then results in client retention. Therefore, it is the little things that can help you retain customers in insurance.
Solve your customers’ problems effortlessly. Talk to them and try to gain insights into their problems and needs. Implement the required changes. Even small improvements reflect that you are listening and doing something for your customers.
When you contact customers, ask them about their preferred communication mode: text, email, in-person visit, or phone call. Customers should also be able to reach out to you anytime through this mode.
4. Smoothen Customer Onboarding
It is true that the first impression matters the most. People tend to form opinions too quickly, and you have to give your best right from the beginning. Take care that all your customers have a smooth onboarding journey that is easy for them and according to their wants.
Shift your focus from what you want to what can be done better for your customers. Help them start with their plan terms without any confusion and frustration. It can be achieved only when you assist your customers during onboarding.
When this process is pleasant, they will automatically have a good opinion about your agency and would look forward to being with you for a long time.
5. Communicate Often With Your Clients
Keeping in touch with your customers allows you to stay proactive and identify potential issues at the right time. If you aren’t proactive, it will always be too late, and there will be nothing left for you to do. Constant communication is the key to retain insurance customers. Use predictive analytics for customer retention in insurance.
- Pay more attention to your new customers: Customers who haven’t completed even two or three years with you are likely to not renew their policies. Therefore, pay more attention to them and develop a proper follow-up schedule. For these starting years, make sure that they don’t get surprises. When any paperwork like the declaration form, renewal letter, or policy change notice arrives in their mailbox, they should be expecting it as you already called and informed them first.
- Call important clients before renewal: Whenever a customer’s renewal date is upcoming, call them and thank them for their loyalty. Show them that you appreciate their relationship with your agency and are happy to respond to any queries that they possibly have. Especially identify all the “flight risks” and reach out to them either via email, phone call, or direct mail.
- Shop rates for your customers: Once a year, you can send price comparison quotes to your customers. Shop rates of different insurance agencies and put them together with your rates. It doesn’t matter if you are shopping rates of the worst insurance companies, just seeing that their rates are higher than what they are currently paying is enough to make customers feel good.
- Keep customers informed regarding any premium increases: If the client is going to get a premium increase, it is advisable to be open and proactive about the same. Inform your customers beforehand. Help them identify any applicable discounts that can curb the effect of this change. Being honest about the reason for this change and offering solutions will be appreciated, and your customers will not immediately consider switching agencies.
- Send direct mail: Sending handwritten letters, postcards, surveys, notices, and newsletters in the mail allows you to have an additional touchpoint to keep in contact with your customers. Using insurance agency marketing automation, you can automate these tasks easily. It enables you to stay top of mind and also increase brand visibility.
- Optimize policies: If customers can optimize their policies, inform and guide them. Oftentimes, customers’ needs are changed, but they don’t adjust their insurance coverage. Talking with your customers regularly will give you an opportunity to know and understand these changes and optimize client policies.
6. Deploy Insurance Agency Automation
Deploying technology and automation into your business practices can help you retain more insurance customers. With so many technological advancements, you need not do everything manually. Insurance agents can automate most of their tasks.
A lot of customers are lost due to very small things such as forgetting to pay bills on time. A missed bill can lead to immediate policy cancellation, so take care that none of your customers forget to pay bills. You can simply automate the entire payment process for all your clients. It will reduce the chances of policy lapses significantly. Not only do the customers appreciate simplified payment processes, but they will be more tempted to use automated payment systems when a discount or cashback is offered. Calculate how much money is lost with lost customers, and you will realize that offering a small discount to retain them is the smarter choice.
How to retain customers in the insurance industry? There are many other things that you can do like lead generation automation, implementation of a self-serving platform, and allowing customers to request quotes in an automated way. Not to forget that you can use PostGrid’s print and mail API to send marketing, compliance, and transactional messages effectively. Hence, automation can improve efficiency, which will go a long way in customer retention.
7. Acknowledge Important Events and Make Personal Connections
Anniversaries and other such important dates are meant to be recognized by insurance agents. Most renewal decisions are taken around these days, and you need to be a part of them. Be proactive and reward renewals by sending small gifts as a token of your appreciation. A simple postcard with a personalized, handwritten message adds a personal touch to your mail. You can also send a gift card to a local fashion retail store or restaurant. Understand your customers’ preferences and likes to tailor gifts and other mail items. However, make sure to acquaint yourselves with the local laws related to giving gifts to insurance customers.
- Send holiday cards to clients before their renewal month. For example, you can send a Valentine’s Day card to customers who are supposed to renew in March or St. Patrick’s Day cards for those renewing in April. This way, you can always be proactive before renewals—increasing your renewal chances.
- Do random acts of humbleness and kindness. Do something nice for your customers as part of customer retention strategies in the insurance sector. Mentioning a client on your social media page or sending personalized mail items can make them feel special and valued.
- Remember some things about your clients—like their children’s names or the vacation they recently went on. A simple question like “How is your daughter Bella?” can win hearts and reflect your image in a loving and caring light. It also makes customers feel respected, which is always a good sign.
- Send anniversary gifts every year. Whenever a customer completes one year, two years, three years, and so on with your agency, send them a little something. The more you give, the more you get. It doesn’t always have to be something big or fancy.
- Remember birthdays. Everyone likes getting birthday postcards. It doesn’t hurt to make a list of all your clients’ birthdays and send them a handwritten postcard or letter containing a beautiful message. It is like watering your plants that results in strong and healthy customer-agency relationships. If you can’t afford it, at least do it for your most loyal clients.
- Increase customer contacts. Connect with them on Linkedin and other social media channels. If your customers are friends with you, they are more likely to renew. Having personal and emotional connections with existing customers has proved to be one of the best customer retention strategies in insurance companies.
8. Cross-Sell Policies
If your customer has purchased more than one policy from your agency, it is easier to retain that customer. So, your effort should also be focused on cross-selling. You can offer a small discount on current policies if the customer buys another from you. Study the clients’ preferences and lifestyles to identify what kind of products best suit their needs. Identify what kind of services they are most likely to avail of. Selling other policies to customers in addition to their ongoing policies increases brand loyalty and also expands the time period for which the customer will be involved with your agency.
Even while cross-selling, you should consider the clients’ best interests. Do not sell any policy just for the sake of getting more sales. Your motive should be helping out customers while strengthening relationships and retaining them.
You can choose to send a direct mail item to communicate about other policies. Mention the benefits in concise bullet points and ask them if they are interested and would like to have a small talk on the same. From here onwards, treat these existing customers like new prospects. Follow up in a timely manner and heighten your attention towards them. As the products you offer a change from time to time, make sure to revise cross-selling opportunities a few times a year.
9. Encourage Clients to Refer You
Referrals are an important part of getting new customers but are equally important in customer retention. It is obvious that clients are more likely to renew when they have already discussed your brand with their family and friends. Most people tend to continue using a company’s services just because their close ones have also started using them. It is basic psychology that can help insurance agents retain customers.
Hence, encourage your clients to refer you to everyone around them—by either maintaining strong personal relationships or by incentivizing them. The more referrals you get, the better.
10. Keep Reminding Your Clients of Discounts and Longevity Benefits
How to retain insurance customers? Remind them of your service benefits and why you are better than your competitors. The best way to do that is to remind them of the discounts they have availed of on their current insurance plans. When you talk about discounts during every interaction, the topic stays fresh in their minds, and it reinforces the thought that they aren’t paying too much for your services. Plus, it makes it less likely that they jump to another agency offering discounts.
Longevity benefits are the next thing to remind clients about. While settling claims, agencies consider their client’s longevity with them. An old client is more likely to get coverage than a new one.
11. Educate Clients Constantly
It should be a regular practice to pass on your knowledge on insurance concepts and plans to your clients. Educated clients can see value in your services and not just the price. If they only think of the price, they are more likely to leave you for another agency that offers lower prices. But, if you want your clients to stay with you regardless of your current rates and potential fluctuations, it is your duty to educate them beyond those rates. Moreover, it will be a lot easier to explain your benefits and features to them when they have enough knowledge on the subject.
12. Be a Part of Your Clients’ Claim Experiences
Clients who have had claims in their past policy periods are not likely to renew their policies further. Hence, customer retention in insurance after clients go through the claim settlement process is rare. That is because most claim experiences aren’t pleasant. However, as an agent, you should follow up with your clients about claims until the process is complete and be an integral part of it.
Most customers tend to cancel their policies after a bad claim experience as they think it is the only way to show you that they had a bad experience. Therefore, make sure to keep in touch with them, note down their complaints, apologize, and try your best to retain the client.
13. Be Accountable in the Event of Problems
If you refuse to take ownership of any problems and blame it on things outside of your control, you don’t give a reason for your clients to stay. Though it is completely natural and common to list a number of reasons other than yourself for a problem, avoid doing that. Instead, be accountable for all the problems and assure your clients that they won’t repeat themselves. This way, you can gain their trust and provide better services. You are more likely to retain customers using this way than blaming other factors for creating problems.
14. Incentivize Your Staff on Customer Retention
You need to make someone responsible for all the strategies developed around customer retention in the insurance sector. When you make it a certain department’s or person’s responsibility, you will see a massive increase in the number of retained customers.
Moreover, pay your staff for retaining customers, else they might not pay any attention to it. Pay them directly as commission on every retention and encourage them to retain as many customers as possible. Such commissioned jobs are more productive and profitable than your general ones.
15. Prepare Surveys
Insurance companies can accomplish a lot of their major goals by asking their customers to offer feedback. Customer retention is one of these things. If you understand the importance of customer retention in the insurance industry, you probably already know how important customer feedback is. It gives unhappy and unsatisfied customers an opportunity to express their concerns instead of canceling policies and switching agencies. Plus, it shows them that you are committed to keeping them satisfied and providing them with top-notch services.
Have a proper customer feedback mechanism in operation to collect and implement feedback efficiently. Most agencies use customer surveys as a way to ask for feedback. Surveys are also another touchpoint to keep in contact with customers. You can use insurance agency automation to print and mail surveys to your existing customers.
16. Be Polite to Customers That Leave
Even after employing all customer retention strategies in the insurance industry, some customers might choose to leave. Beyond a point, there’s nothing that you can really do other than being polite and respectful. Moreover, make it a pleasant experience for them.
If you appreciate your customers even when they are leaving, there’s a possibility that they might come back. Though it is actually a customer re-acquisition strategy, it is worth mentioning while talking about how to retain customers in the insurance industry.
17. Give Referrals
Since you are in touch with a lot of people, including your existing customers and prospects, you can easily refer them to others. You can become the center of so many business relationships through this method. Giving referrals is the most effective way to show your customers that you care about them. It is a big thing for customers that are small business owners or probably in other fields where referrals work great. If customers get even a small amount of business from you, they are likely to never leave your agency. Hence, if you are able to offer such extra services over and above basic insurance advice, your customers are sure to be impressed.
Some offices have a board where they pin all their customers’ promotional materials to give them extra coverage. Though it might not sound very appealing, it can definitely keep a lot of your customers from leaving.
18. Exaggerate Your Success
How to retain customers that are leaving insurance? Tell them that you are always in demand. Your customers should have the feeling that your agency is the best. Only then will they stop looking around and continue with their current policies. Show them that you are selling insurance policies every day of the month and people are lining up for your services. The best way to do that is by putting together testimonials of happy customers and sending them to all your existing and potential customers.
Today, several marketers use print and mail marketing to catch their prospects’ attention and retain customers. Similarly, you can send marketing postcards or letters with customer testimonials to create brand awareness, showcase your services, and attract more and more people towards them. PostGrid’s print and mail API can help marketers use insurance agency marketing automation to streamline all their direct mail activities.
Testimonials, real-life stories, and reviews all work in your favor and are a must to use in your marketing messages. They give your prospects an overview of your work. Furthermore, they enable your existing customers to have confidence in your agency. This confidence further creates brand loyalty and helps you retain customers. All the customer retention strategies in life insurance companies revolve around showing testimonials to customers through different marketing channels.
How PostGrid’s Direct Mail Automation Solutions Can Help Your Agency Retain More Customers?
Every interaction with your customer either leads to better bonds or dissatisfaction. It is in your hands how you communicate with your customers and how good your customer service is. When you are ready to go above and beyond customer expectations and offer personalized services, chances are your customers will come back by themselves for more.
It is crucial that you identify strategies for customer retention in insurance that suits your business model. With PostGrid, you can print and mail personalized postcards and letters to impress customers, keep in constant touch with them, show them that you care, and also communicate about other policies. It is your one-stop solution to get your direct mail activities streamlined.