We hear the term customer relationship management thrown around all the time. At its core, prioritizing managing relationships should be your approach to all interactions with current and potential clients. Relationships are essentially the way in which two or more people are connected or the state of being connected—and building those relationships matter. In fact, they matter a great deal more in business than you might expect.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “insurance is a relationship business” far too many times to count. If you Google that exact phrase, you’ll get over 512,000,000 results! It’s vital to remind yourself of that phrase and make sure you’re not letting your network fall by the wayside. Building deep connections is the root of insurance agencies – and the quality of relationship management will ensure clients come back year after year.
“Insurance is a relationship business”
Engaging with clients with personal messages that are relevant to their unique needs and situations are essential to creating relationships that last. Effective relationship management means client engagement—and that’s a HUGE differentiator for you in the insurance business. It can be difficult since client engagement takes a lot of time and is resource-intensive, but the long-term results are well worth the effort.
The Traditional Agency
The traditional agency is more service-centric. Rather than focusing on communicating and understanding the needs of their clients and building stronger relationships, they focus on desperately retaining clients. They’re selling and trying to push their services as much as possible to close a deal. Usually, an agent is the primary channel of communication with the client and interactions tend to mostly be face-to-face. Occasionally, client interactions also occur via phone, email, or chat. The traditional agent typically follows manual processes to record interactions with an existing or prospective client. Incentives are based on the number of deals closed and whether or not the agent is hitting their quotas.
The Agency of The Future
The agency of the future is where agents are encouraged to be more client-centric. Prioritizing building long term relationships with clients and serving as a trusted advisor is the focal point of the future of insurance. Catering to the unique needs of clients and providing efficient customer service is key to building long-lasting relationships and increasing client retention.
Though independent agents continue to be the primary channels for insurers to reach their prospective clients, the agent of the future is much more omnichannel.
Clients should be able to reach agencies on the channels that they’re comfortable with, with a mix of traditional channels like phone and email, and new channels like social media and chatbots. Agencies are also much more omnipresent in the way that they conduct business. It’s no longer restricted to office-based communications. Agencies should possess the tools and capabilities to be able to conduct business anytime and anywhere at the convenience of existing and potential clients.
Incentives are no longer based solely on closing deals. A heavy emphasis lies in relationship-building as well as garnering positive feedback. At a time when digital avenues are quickly replacing traditional channels, insurance agencies need to adapt to digitizing their traditional processes. Customers want to be able to digitally interact with agents when dealing with matters on coverage, policies, or claims.
To fully optimize agency performance, the future-ready insurance agency must be client-centric to provide customers with the best experience.
3 Quick Tips To Build Stellar Relationships With Your Clients
The key to building and maintaining client relationships is through great communication. Whether it’s face to face, on the phone, texting, social media, or chat, staying connected and keeping clients in the loop about any changes to your business, promotions, or advantages your agency can provide will be beneficial.
Build trust and loyalty with your clients by becoming a trusted resource. Understanding and catering to the unique needs and situations of clients proves to be valuable and shows that your agency cares about providing the best experience possible.
People like to do business with authentic people. Showing your clients that you value them by maintaining an open and honest relationship is not only great for building relationships, but it’s also a great way to keep communication as a focal point. Being authentic and cultivating a trusting relationship is the bridge to increasing client loyalty and satisfaction.