6 Ways Independent Agents Can Put Their Customers First

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    Companies with best-in-class customer experience management realize 359% greater revenue growth than other companies.[i] As an independent insurance agent, it’s your job to put your customer’s needs at the heart of your business, but what does customer first mean and how can you achieve it? These six tips will help you quickly ramp up to better meet the needs of .


    1. Provide Easy Access to Your Services


    One of the first things customers look for when purchasing anything is an easy shopping experience. In fact, 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler interactions,[ii] which means independent insurance agents must provide quick and easy access to products and services at all times. Creating a website that provides information about your company and its products or services would be the first step, but consumers are increasingly looking to do more of the leg work themselves when it comes to purchasing coverage. Consider offering them the chance to quote products online and using a partner or service provider to help you deliver access to a wider range of options as well.


    1. Ask What People Want


    The truth is, you can’t know what your customers want unless you do a little digging. Surveying your customers provides useful information, but in today’s digital world, it’s only one of the ways you can gain valuable feedback. Forums, social media sites, review websites and even your own company blog are all excellent places to find out what your customers are thinking, allowing you to more accurately tailor your products or services to meet their needs.


    1. Offer Acknowledgements and Rewards


    People like to be acknowledged for their contributions. Sending out periodic thank you messages to your loyal customers is a way to make their experience more personal. When people interact with your social media accounts, respond to them. Don’t forget to include rewards sometimes. Promotions, contests, sales and loyalty programs are all popular options. You might even consider throwing a party. Don’t be afraid to get creative.


    1. Give People What They Want


    Don’t let the aforementioned market research go to waste. Use it to your advantage to sell your products or services. For instance, 50% of customers say they establish loyalty with an insurer based on the cost of the coverage they offer.[iii] If consumers aren’t knocking on your door because you can’t meet their budget points, consider gaining access to more products. When you can offer the right coverage at a price consumers want to pay, you’ll see greater acquisition and retention rates.


    1. Deliver on Your Promises


    The number one way you can retain customers is by keeping your promises. Honoring timelines and commitments is an important facet of this principle, but most importantly, consumers are looking for someone they can trust. Offering relevant guidance about coverage and making sure customers understand their policy are just two small ways to let your customer know you’ve got their back.


    1. Know How to Adapt


    Technology is rapidly changing how consumers want to research and purchase insurance. Independent agents who succeed will be those who adapt to the digital world in which we live. That doesn’t mean you need to become a digital direct-to-consumer producer. After all, your customers work with you because they value the personal relationship, but they also expect transactions to be fast and efficient. Don’t forget, your consumers will interact through the channel that’s most convenient at the moment, so you need to be available and ready to respond.


    When it comes to keeping your customers happy, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Tried and true methods have their place, but innovation is becoming increasingly important in today’s world. To learn more about the meaning of “customer-first”, check out Superior Access.

    [i] SAP Center for Business Insight 2017 calculation based on “CEM Executive’s Agenda 2016: Aligning the Business Around the Customer,” Aberdeen Group
    [ii] “Global Brand Simplicity Index 2017.” Siegel+Gale press release, 2017. Web.
    [iii] “Voice of the Customer: Identifying Disruptive Opportunities in Insurance Distribution.” PwC, 2017. Web.


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