We’ve chatted quite a bit in this blog about generating more business by building relationships and enhancing the customer experience. Doing so will improve customer retention so that as your marketing efforts begin to bear the fruit of more and more customers, you’ll have a better chance of hanging on to them.
We understand that building relationships takes time and patience.
But it truly is the only way to realize significant and lasting success in a service-oriented industry. Why? Because in order to build a thriving insurance agency, and in order to make money consistently, you must build a client base that trusts you and is loyal to you over the long haul.
And what’s the best way to do that?
Through the building of relationships.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
They write out a check once a month (or once a quarter, or year) for something they can’t really see; something they can’t really touch. Insurance is a nebulous commodity. They can’t play with it, drive it, admire it in their homes or really enjoy it in any way, other than the peace of mind it brings.
Now, granted, peace of mind is huge, but they can get the same peace of mind from using the agency down the street or some guy on the internet– it doesn’t have to come from you.
So building relationships with your clients is crucial. And exactly how do we as human beings build relationships?
We build relationships by showing people that we care about them.
Think of your significant other. Did he or she love and trust you overnight? Probably not.
You had to slowly show them that you cared about them and that you could be trusted. Over time, you worked yourselves into each other’s lives in an indelible way. It’s the same way with friendships. Lasting relationships of any kind are gradually built over time, as you get to know each other and as trust is deepened.
Why would business be any different?
Granted, if someone is buying one thing one time from you – say a couch – building a relationship isn’t necessary.
But you’re asking people to trust you and stay with you for years…for decades…for their entire lives.
And hopefully, to recommend their friends and family to you.
Of course, it’s going to take some work! Why would we ever think it was a given?
Obviously, any good agency is going to touch base with their customers once a year for renewals, and probably, to perform an audit as to how they might be able to be of further service. If they’re really on the ball, they probably send out birthday cards and maybe holiday cards, as well.
Do you seriously think that’s enough for people to trust you with their lives, their families, their finances, their retirement – essentially all of their hopes and dreams – for their entire lifetimes?
It sounds kind of silly when it’s put that way, doesn’t it?
I mean, we want customers to stick around, don’t we?
One of the main reasons insurance is such an attractive career is due to the residual income. Year after year we reap the rewards of retaining our customers’ business. So, yeah, we want to hang on to every single customer for as long as we possibly can.
In fact, it’s so important, that it would behoove us to focus a whole lot of our time and energy on it, don’t you think?
A quality publication which is seen by your customers and prospects each and every month keeps you front and center in their minds, giving your brand real value and increasing retention and referrals.
It is an essential component to building trusting, loyal, lasting relationships.
Now, notice we said a quality publication.
So what should it look like?
Again, think of it from your clients’ perspective. If you were in their shoes, what kind of communication from your insurance agency would you want to see every month? What would make you pay attention?
At AMM, we make you the publisher of your own monthly community magazine called Our Hometown, which is available both digitally and in print copies.
Granted, doing it yourself will take some time and effort on your part. But a quality publication which is seen by your customers and prospects each and every month keeps you front and center in their minds, giving your brand real value and increasing recommendations and retention.
Because it becomes a lot a harder for people to cancel their policy when they feel that they know you and your agents personally.
If you want your agency to thrive, rather than just survive, it’s critical to institute marketing which will bring in more clients who will stay with you for the duration.
A monthly newsletter will help to build relationships with your customers because you’ll be contributing something of value to their lives on a regular basis.
So go ahead and give it a whirl.
Just don’t forget the number one rule of marketing: don’t be boring!