I am consistently amazed at how many insureds buy a policy from their agent and either never hear from the agent again or forget they have an agent. Almost like buying a car or a kitchen appliance, once you buy it, you never hear from them again.
Although Trusted Choice is nice service, it should not be your only service. No one wants to be on the receiving end of an insured who is clearly confused about what they purchased. That is why we have retention – here are some ways it can work for you.
A Call at Renewal
When I worked inside an agency, every month, the agency would print a report of all the renewals coming up that month –six month and yearly – and everyone got a piece. As agents and CSRs, we worked the list.
We called each customer to follow up, see how they were doing, and chat about insurance. Retention isn’t just a sales technique – it’s a keep the customer happy technique.
In order to do an awesome retention, the agent should have the following items easily available:
- A retention list of all the policies the agency wrote during that month that include the insured name, phone numbers, and spouse’s name.
- An active/current list of websites and passwords for all the carriers your agency writes business through. Most carriers have gone green – they do not send out declarations page in the mail any longer.
- An appointment calendar for all agents in the office. Believe it or not, some insured’s like to meet and speak face to face.
This is where the idea that one or two nights a week the agency is open past 5 pm. The best time to reach most families is between 3 pm and 5 pm. Staying open late is for the folks that call back when they come home.
Make sure you try just twice, anything more than that, you’re too pushy. After that second time, send a note or an email. Believe me, they see and hear you. I have had insureds come up to me in the supermarket three months later and talk to me about their needs – why? – because I reached out to them.
Because we are in a digital age, a lot of insured’s like to do things through email and social media. Make sure when you start a policy that you know how they want to be contacted. Don’t call, if you know they want something on email.
Keep your book/your commission in order
Don’t you want to know about a cancellation and/or non-renewal – before you receive the commission statement? You want to make sure that you are paid that 10% (or better) you deserve each month. Or what about the insured you wrote the renters for that ends up going to a different agent for auto?
Besides, if you have more than one carrier or a line on a better carrier, I am certain you want to be the one who provides that assistance. Hey, if they move one piece of business, why not the whole book?
That’s an awful lot of missed opportunity and praying the carrier gives the agency credit for any change. Not only that, but a huge gap errors and omissions has to address.
Get ahead of any changes – keep the losses low
If the insured changes their address and moves out of state, gets married, gets divorced, has children, buys a pet, passes away – all these represent opportunities to sell. Likewise, most claims happen when things are changing.
At the agency, you have resources, right? You insure those movers, the car dealership, the funeral director – you know the best in town already. They probably left their cards in your office.
At the end of the day, it’s about the relationship you have with your insured. And it’s a constant task, not a one-time purchase.