The insurance world is constantly evolving, but one thing remains the same: a great customer service experience can show your clients that you care.
Many agents see customer churn as an inevitable sales phenomenon. Whether it happens during the sales process or when a policy expires and a client needs to renew, clients do in fact move on, and sales professionals are left to find new leads and begin building again.
Unfortunately, we rarely dig down and investigate what motivates a policyholder to leave. However, agents should take the time to ponder this both during the purchase and after in order to reduce the number of clients who walk away.
Make Your Policies Client-Friendly
Many people associate fear with insurance, and that feeling comes from a variety of sources. Some prospects fear they aren’t getting the proper value in return for their hard-earned money, or they might be skeptical about whether they really need the policies you sell. Others purchase insurance because they fear loved ones will be left to foot the bill in the event of a catastrophe.
Regardless of why a client may experience fear when making important decisions about coverage, one thing is for sure: agents must make it a priority to care for the needs of their clients, both economic and emotional. As VP of NIIT Jon Mayo puts it, “What customers really want is to be cared for by experts who understand the best products for them across an increasingly complex product set.”
Oftentimes, the legalese and difficult insurance language that come with policy sales compound the issue of client fear. To remedy this, you should present policies in plain language, tell stories to demonstrate the ways in which policies address client needs, and make an effort to ask if there are any questions you can answer. You are the expert, and as such, it is your responsibility to communicate to prospects the complex world of insurance in a way that doesn’t leave them feeling lost.
Go the Extra Mile
If you want to show your clients that you care about them, you’ll have to develop some strategies to meet (or exceed) their expectations. For example, some newer companies have seen impressive results from easy online quotes, one-click claims processing, and externally certified product comparisons. Clients who are engaged with their policies in meaningful ways will naturally feel more in control of their coverage.
The leadership of a new insurance start-up, Lemonade, began their company after noticing the often adversarial relationship between insurers and policyholders. Their unconventional P2P home and renters insurance model groups policyholders together by similar philanthropic interests. Clients pay premiums, Lemonade takes a 20% management fee, and 40% of their payment funds external and internal reinsurance to help cover claims. Any unused funds at the end of the policy period are donated to the group’s designated charity.
“I don't want the money,” said CEO Daniel Schreiber. “It's the root cause of the adversarial relationship between the insurer and policy owner. When you make a claim, I don't want ever to be in a position of doubting whether I should pay.”
Consistent Communication is Key
When a client signs on the dotted line, that isn’t the end of the sale. You should make it a regular habit to follow up with your policyholders to see if there are any needs or questions they may have. Routinely check to see if there are new products in your company’s catalogue, not just to upsell, but to see if there are any opportunities to reduce premiums for your client.
If a prospect decides to go with someone else, you should accept the news with grace. Customer churn does happen, and it doesn’t mean that a client on the way out won’t become a client again in the future. Keep them on file, and reach out to them when their policy is set to expire. All kinds of factors can result in them looking to switch carriers. Perhaps their premiums are set to go up in coming months, or they weren’t satisfied with the customer service they received.
As carriers continue to develop new products, and as the insurance landscape continues to evolve, one thing is for certain: nothing can ever replace an excellent customer service experience.