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The Agency Guide to Onboarding New Clients

Apr 23, 2019

Are your insurance clients satisfied? Or are they delighted?

According to the Independent Insurance Agents of Dallas, 50 percent of satisfied clients will switch to a new insurance agent sometime within the next three years.

In other words, satisfying your clients is not enough.

For your brokerage or agency to reach its full potential, you need to delight clients to the point where they become loyal clients. While loyal clients may account for only 15 percent of your base, they can be responsible for up to 70 percent of your revenue.

The numbers speak for themselves.

So what, specifically, can you do to increase the chances that more and more of your clients remain delighted after they’ve purchased insurance from you for the first time? It starts with developing an engaging onboarding process and offering as much value to your clients as you can right out of the gate.

Here are four tips that should help you accomplish these goals.

1. Optimize the onboarding process

First impressions matter. If your clients don’t have a helpful onboarding experience, they may second-guess themselves, wondering whether they made the right decision to work with your agency.

Streamline and standardize your onboarding process by developing an onboarding checklist that agents can follow step by step to ensure new clients transition into your agency smoothly. The checklist should be clear and concise so that all agents can easily understand it. For the best results, avoid acronyms and use simple language.

Some items on your checklist might include:

  • Adding clients to your client database or customer relationship management system (CRM) without errors. Check your entries, double-check your entries, and then check them again. If you misspell a new client’s first name in your CRM, your initial outreach is unlikely to be well-received.
  • Sending thank-you letters to every new client. These letters can explain policy effective dates, a copy of your agency’s recent newsletter, a link to the company blog or other content resources, an invitation to “like” any of your social media accounts, and a description of all the products your agency provides—such as annuities and disability coverage.
  • Setting reminders for important milestones. Use these reminders to automatically reach out to clients on important days, such as their birthdays, their children’s birthdays, and their anniversary dates. An email might suffice. But picking up the phone—or even arranging an in-person visit—shows that your agency is willing to go the extra mile. With the right approach, these milestones start engaging conversations that can become great cross-selling opportunities.

2. Develop personal relationships with your clients

Think about the barber or hair stylist you’ve been relying on for a decade. When you respect someone’s work and look forward to talking with them, you have less reason to look for substitutes.

When you have strong personal relationships with your clients, you increase the chances that they’ll stay with you. If clients feel as though they are part of a community, they are less likely to shop around.

Since acquiring new clients can cost up to 25 times more than selling to existing ones, this is a big deal. According to research from Bain, improving client retention rates by just 5 percent can translate into as high as a 95 percent increase in profitability.

3. Keep your clients informed of market trends and regulatory changes

Communicating with your clients on a consistent and timely basis should be a top priority for any business that sells insurance. Any major developments—such as a service area reduction or premium increase—should never come as a surprise to your clients.

Once they sign on, keep them informed of new industry developments by scheduling educational seminars and workshops. Deliver more value by cohosting events with tax advisers to help your clients learn more about what kinds of strategies they can leverage to secure their financial futures while meeting their long-term insurance needs.

4. Don’t sour on clients who get insurance elsewhere

A recent study revealed that nearly half of U.S. consumers have changed health insurance plans over the last three years.

Phrased another way, in the world of insurance, churn comes with the territory.

When clients leave you, be gracious, understanding, and helpful. If they’re not satisfied with their new insurance broker for any number of reasons, they may come back your way.

Continue nurturing these former clients by reaching out to them once or twice a year with newsletters, educational resources, and special offers.

Growing your insurance business starts with delighting your clients on a regular basis and adding as much value as you can. Click here to learn more about a simple way to support those efforts.

Looking for more? Check out our white paper: The Complete Guide to Successful Cross-SellingThe Complete Guide to Successful Cross-Selling Insurance Plans | AgentCubed