Now so more than ever, insurance agents need a good reputation to attract and retain clients.
As an independent insurance agent, you possess a wealth of knowledge about different products and how they help your clients and prospects mitigate their insurance risks. You pride yourself on providing superior customer service that has led to a profitable book of business.
Of course, you’re always looking for ways to boost revenues even further. While your sales techniques and industry expertise are top-notch, you may overlook another accelerator of agency growth — your reputation. Having a solid reputation fosters trust with clients and prospects that leads to referrals and more business opportunities. Conversely, a less-than-stellar reputation tarnishes all your hard work. With that in mind, agents can adopt these seven tips to burnish their reputation with the public.
1. Invest in Your Digital Presence
In 2013, a survey by GE Capital Retail Bank found that 80% of consumers conduct online research before making a major purchase. It’s safe to say that the percentage has only gone up since then. That’s why you need a well-maintained digital presence anchored by a professional website that details the solutions you offer to clients. Part of managing your online reputation also entails responding to reviews, both negative and positive. If a client posts a glowing review, be sure to thank him or her. When confronted with a negative review, respond swiftly and offer to resolve the issue with the client, preferably offline.
2. Go Above and Beyond for Your Clients
Your first priority is to present your clients with the best insurance solutions for their homes and businesses. To truly bolster your reputation, however, you shouldn’t stop at selling insurance. If a client recently bought a house and purchased a home insurance policy, suggest the names of contractors to help them renovate. Any time you have the opportunity to do more for your clients, seize it and you’ll boost your reputation twofold.
3. Be an Advisor
Clients come to you not only for insurance purchases, but for advice on their finances, as well. If during your conversations you think of a recommendation that might aid your clients in reaching their financial goals, don’t hesitate to provide it or refer them to another professional who can. They’ll remember that you cared enough to help them in other facets of their lives.
4. Provide Great Customer Service
Your agency’s reputation hinges largely on your customer service. It’s how your clients and prospects encounter your staff when they have questions or need guidance on filing claims. Advancing your reputation therefore requires a regular review of your customer service practices to pinpoint areas of improvement so your clients receive a smooth, seamless experience.
5. Meet Deadlines
If you say you’re going to follow up with a client or file a claim by a certain date, make sure you do it. If you wait until a client calls to remind you, you’ve already dimmed your reputation. Manage your time effectively to meet deadlines, and you’ll never lose a client.
6. Be Proactive in Proposing Solutions
Sometimes, you may spot a challenge in your client’s insurance portfolio that he or she may have overlooked. Rather than wait for the client to ask for help, explain the problem that you see and offer a solution. They’ll appreciate your unprompted input.
7. Monitor Your Online Reputation
Set up a Google Alert so that you receive an email whenever your name or agency is mentioned online. Knowing what people say about you enables you to learn where your reputation stands with your clients. This information provides valuable insights into how you can improve your reputation.
As much as product knowledge and lead generation programs, insurance agents rely on their good reputations to promote their business. Especially in today’s digital age, agents cannot afford to neglect their reputations when a poor review travels instantly on the Internet. They must constantly manage and raise their reputations everyday if they want to succeed.