It’s no secret that successful agencies make retention a priority. They know that keeping a customer is much more profitable than going out to find a new one.
Here are 10 helpful tips to keep your agency focused and winning at renewal time.
Have a Retention process.
This one may seem obvious, but it really does start here. Repeatable success won’t happen without a plan. Document a process and embrace it the same way you would any critical procedure within your agency.
Work your Retention process daily.
Retention should be a daily habit. Each member of the team should have an assigned role and a list of goals to achieve each day.
Be proactive, not reactive.
Know what’s happening with your client’s policy before the carrier sends the renewal notice. Then, communicate (quickly). Once clients receive their new rates from the carrier, they’re already shopping (without you). That means you need to touch 100% of your clients before the carrier.
To stay ahead of the game, make sure renewals are downloading to your agency management system.
Know when a client is at risk.
Renewing clients should be managed in two categories—those at risk and those that aren’t. (This may seem easier said than done, but technology can really help out in this area.) You’re going to touch both groups, but prioritize the communication.
For at-risk clients, you’ll want to evaluate their policy first. If you recognize their renewal is out of line with the market, communicate that. Let them know better options are available and reassure them that you’re already working on it.
For clients in a better spot, you’ll want to communicate that you’ve proactively reviewed their renewal. All is in order and in line with the current market, but you’re available for any additional consultation.
Be ready to explain why the client’s premium increased.
An on-screen comparison of the current and renewing policies is the quickest way to accomplish this. If there is an obvious reason for the rate increase (new car, coverage changes, etc.), viewing them side-by-side will quickly discover it.
Be ready to provide multiple quotes.
Customers want to feel like they have explored their options. By providing multiple quotes, you’re easing their minds and making them feel better about doing business with you.
Know when to remarket, and when to educate.
As retention becomes a daily priority, your agency will gain a feel for when it is appropriate to remarket your insureds. What does the client value? How big was the impact of the state rate change? What’s happening in the carrier market, or with the product offering?
Educate your clients on current market conditions so you remain their trusted advisor.
Stay in touch… not just at renewal time.
Having a regular communication cadence will keep you top of mind all year round. Find reasons to reach out and add value to your clients’ lives. Account reviews are great opportunities to re-evaluate clients’ needs and reinforce your value.
Cross-selling keeps customers.
Rounding out accounts is a sure-fire way to strengthen them for the long term. Is the client bundled for home and auto? Does your agency offer Life and Health?
Be unique in your community.
You know why customers trust you to insure their risks, so make sure that value comes through at renewal time. Do you give back to the community through charitable work or volunteerism? Do you serve a particular demographic? What types of online services do you provide? Do clients have access to their policies online 24/7?
This is the time to promote your brand and show customers that you care.
Always remember, agency retention doesn’t happen by accident. It’s something you must work toward constantly to be successful. With the right plan and practices, retention can become the cornerstone of your business and its long-term growth.
If some of these best practices seem daunting, it may be because your agency isn’t using all the technology available today. EZLynx can help with that. From Rating Engine to Management System, Communication Center, and the patented Retention Center, EZLynx has the tools you need to intelligently streamline the entire customer renewal process.