How often do you speak to your customers? When a claim occurs? When they purchase a new car or a house, when a teenager gets his/her driver’s license, or when they sell their home, downsize to a townhouse? How about your business clients? How often do they hear from you and your staff?
With today’s fierce competition and an insurance market that’s seeing rates firming, it’s worth your while to connect to customers on an ongoing basis, not just when a life change occurs that instigates a call from them to you. Take the time and effort – and yes, the expense – to let them know they are whom you’re working for, to protect their assets, loved ones, property, business, and employees.
How? Use the social media platforms you created. Blog on your website. If you haven’t done so yet, then be sure you establish a presence on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Post relevant and entertaining content on these social media platforms on an ongoing basis. Remember, people want to be informed or entertained. Inform them of things happening in the community, at your agency, or on the economic front that may affect them. Like what? For example, a recent article came out in the Wall Street Journal about how new construction will be concentrated in multi-unit projects, with more people renting and downsizing. You can tie this into (without a hard sell) the need for Renter’s insurance. Another idea is talk to about how the price of gold has surged 176% in just five years. That means a gold necklace worth $1,500 five years ago could be worth more than $4,000 today. If your customers haven't received updated appraisals, it may mean some of their most valuable possessions may be largely unprotected.
In addition, send out a monthly or quarterly e-mail newsletter that ties back to your blog, which should also contain relevant information and be current with at least one blog post a week. You can use a number of resources to create an on-line newsletter, such as Constant Contact or iContact. Get your name in front of your clients and capture their attention about subjects that would be of interest of them. This may sound obvious, but so many agencies are not doing this on a regular basis.
Send out a white paper using a drip marketing system. I’m sure you’re downloading white papers all the time related to the insurance industry or about niche markets in which you serve. Do the same for your customers about topics of interest to them…coverages they need to know about, features and enhancements that could benefit them. Or, provide tips that can help them to protect their valuables, whether it’s taking an inventory, disaster preparedness, business continuity plans, etc. We at Neilson Marketing/ProgramBusiness are doing a series of white papers for our agency clients so that they can keep front and center with their clients.
And, of course, pick up the phone. Establish a system whereby your customer support reps contact your customers at pre-determined times throughout the year.
The bottom line: Your customers need to hear from you… they’re definitely hearing from the competition.