Building Customer Relationships: The Importance to Your Agency
No matter what career path you choose, you build professional and personal relationships with your clients. Coming from an insurance background myself, I understand how important those relationships are. Not only am I finding common ground with people I haven’t met, I make sure I am branding myself and my agency. I want to be sure I made the right recommendations, but also an impression. So when you’re out to dinner with Jim and the topic of how his insurance premiums just went up, you can enthusiastically recommend your company. And so the cycle continues.
Even though selling insurance today is much different than it was years ago, I’d like to think consumers still value walking into an office or picking up the phone and speaking with the same person they have for the last 5-25 years. Interestingly, in a study done by Jack Morton Worldwide, 78% of people agreed that they’d pay more for a product or service if they knew they’d have a memorable experience with a particular company. Unfortunately, because it is so easy to hop online, or dial an 800 number, after seeing one of those catchy commercials without any hassle, only 26% of those people believe that they’ve actually had some type of unique experience. Think about when you’re sitting down at night, ready to watch the lineup of your favorite TV shows; how many times have you seen in that one commercial break advertisements for a competitor? Too many times, right? These companies are spending millions of dollars to advertise their name, but when you call in, that’s all it is, a sale.
Branding your agency is more important than ever. As an owner, you do not need to spend your life savings on a CGI animal that can talk, but you do need to get involved. Maybe sponsor a baseball team, or talk to your local pizza parlor about forming a relationship, so you are not only branding your name, but helping out other local businesses. As always, be conscience of the laws that vary by state. Take your online presence seriously. Blog. Post a status on your agency’s Facebook page about anything! A study done by Virtue shows that the three biggest times people are online occur on weekdays at 11:00 am, 3:00 pm, and 8:00 pm, and that morning posts are most effective.
As an insurance agency in this highly competitive environment, you can’t afford to be invisible. Your clients need the opportunity to engage with you and your staff using the tools they choose. Forming that bond is the key to your agencies doors swinging open for a new policy. So, what are you waiting for?