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Tips to Improve Retention Rates During Hard Markets

An agency’s customer retention rate is a critical indicator of success. With retention rates at around 82% in the insurance industry, independent agents and brokers can’t forget about this important metric. Policyholders are influenced by price in this tough economy but agents can focus on other ways to retain customers even during the hard market.

Read on to learn more about customer retention and how agents and brokers can work with policyholders and insurers to provide a better experience.

 

Tips to Improve Retention Rates During Hard Markets

Policyholders are affected by macroeconomic factors, like inflation and supply chain challenges, and the rising costs of insurance are another pressure point for many people. This causes customers to shop around when they may have had more loyalty to an insurer or agent in the past. When many customers are shopping based on price, it can be a challenge for agents and brokers to improve their retention rates.

Try these ideas for ways to work with your policyholders and insurers to retain customers:

 

Focus on education and outreach.

Offer seminars, workshops, and webinars to educate your policyholders — and potential customers. Continuing to offer value to your customers is a good way to retain them in any industry, and when it comes to insurance, education is a valuable offer. You can work with your insurance company partners to produce educational seminars or bring in experts you work with to provide information.

Topics like ways to reduce costs while retaining coverage, how to mitigate and manage risks, and explanations of the various types of coverage available could be helpful to policyholders. You could also ask your customers what types of workshops they would find valuable.

 

Use technology in creative ways to improve the customer experience.

Studies have found that reducing a customer’s effort is a good way to retain them. This could mean offering proactive information or anticipating and meeting your customer’s needs before they ask. The good news is technology can help boost customer retention by reducing effort. You can schedule proactive, personalized communications in advance of important dates, like renewals, or use technology to gather data before you meet with your policyholders so they don’t have to provide it.

Here are some other ways to reduce customer effort:

  • Empower your team to help customers and make decisions
  • Keep customers informed
  • Improve customer-facing processes
  • Seek policyholder feedback often
  • Avoid repetitive steps customers must complete

 

Build brand reputation through community events and networking.

Brand awareness and having a solid reputation can help to improve retention rates. Local customers may recognize your agency from your community involvement. Try partnering with other local businesses to sponsor events or community clean-up days. Work with your insurer partners to offer merchandise or other brand giveaways. Some insurers have special items for children, like coloring books or stuffed animals you can distribute locally.

And don’t forget to network when you attend conferences and events so other professionals know your region and niche. Referring business to other trusted agents and brokers can be a helpful way to grow your agency when others refer customers to you in turn.

 

Join the American Agents Alliance For More Retention Ideas

The American Agents Alliance is designed to empower independent agents and brokers to thrive. Become a member today to access networking opportunities and business discounts to help run your agency.

 

 

External Links:

  1.     https://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?queryid=25441
  2.     https://hbr.org/2010/07/stop-trying-to-delight-your-customers
  3.     https://www.linkedin.com/advice/1/how-can-contact-centers-optimize-workflows-processes



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