Insurance agency owners sometimes say that getting customers is one of the hardest parts of their business. Landing customers can be difficult, and will continue to be difficult moving forward. Additionally, keeping them around can be even harder thanks to the billions of dollars being invested into advertisements in today’s world. We already know that offering good customer service is important, but that’s not enough in the competitive insurance market.
A recent Forrester report stated that nearly 95% of businesses, even your competitors, said that their number one priority this year in 2016 is to provide a great customer experience. With that being said, many companies are already providing a grade-A customer service, but the real question here is this: is your insurance agency prepared to give the ultimate overall customer experience? And secondly, are you monitoring the service you’re presently giving to your clients today?
Lets define “customer loyalty.” Customer loyalty is a buyer’s preference for doing business with a particular business establishment. It’s the relationship between a satisfied client and the business he or she frequents. It can also be the relationship between a satisfied customer and the candy shop he comes to once each year when he visits his mother.
Customer loyalty goes way beyond just enjoying the services or products an insurance agency offers. It is partially about enjoying them, but it’s also about having an enjoyable overall experience. It’s the experience behind an insurance agency that makes prospects go out their way to seek out your services.
This all sounds great, right? But how does customer loyalty actually boost your insurance agency and its growth for this 2016 year? And more importantly, why does it matter?
What does customer loyalty actually do for you and your insurance agency?
Customer loyalty doesn’t come easily. As a matter a fact, it is difficult and a lot of work. So why should you work to earn it? How can it help your insurance agency grow? My personal opinion is that there are several reasons increasing customer loyalty is the cure-all to your growth and retention numbers.
Loyal customers spread the word.
Word of mouth marketing is very real, and yes, it works. Why does it work? Here’s the thing, we trust people we know, and when they recommend a service or company to us, we are ready to listen. Loyal customers truly believe in your agency, and they’re not shy about sharing that with anyone who will listen. With social media’s reach in today’s world, that can really help your insurance agency grow. This is undeniably a benefit for you in many different ways.
Here’s an example of word of mouth marketing:
My good friend Mark used to go to the local farmer’s market on weekends. A friend of his sold them produce and local honey there. He would buy a few things, such as fruit and veggies along with the honey, and she would give Mark free fruits each week. I remember thinking “How is this a good idea for that woman’s business? She’s giving items away for free every week.”
What I didn’t realize was that Mark was telling all of his friends and also taking pictures and posting them on Facebook and other social media avenues, and boy was Mark drumming up business for her.
She knew Mark was a very loyal customer of hers, and she showed her loyalty back to Mark by saying thanks by giving Mark free fruits, and in return, he actively promoted her products on a regular basis. This is how loyalty spreads, because a relationship is a two way street, and this is how word of mouth helped Marge have her best year in her business yet.
If a customer has given you their loyalty, they stick around, and in the insurance world, that is very important to the bottom line of the insurance agency. They don’t visit you or your website then suddenly jump ship; they are clients who stick around and renew their policies year after year.
Because they like what’s at the core of the insurance agency, loyal customers will stay with you when times are rough. Loyal customers are dedicated, and they become your raving fans.
Even if something goes wrong, loyal customers are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and stay true and loyal to you.
Loyal customers come back more often.
Many times, loyal customers use an insurance agency more often than they logically need to, just to support the company.
If there’s a need for baked goods because your insurance agency is doing charitable work for the local food pantry, you’re loyal customers are there to bake. If you’re collecting new socks for the homeless center, your loyal customers are there to help support you and the cause. You’ll find yourself on a first-name basis with many of these loyal customers, and in many cases, you build a strong relationship with them that goes beyond earning their business. That’s the essence of the loyal customer-business relationship, and part of why customer loyalty matters to your agency and its survival.
When it comes down to it, loyal customers will take your insurance agency’s side. Let’s look at the facts. What Yankee’s fan has ever sung the praises of the Red Sox organization? Even though there are always scenarios in which we won’t be able to use our favorite business or route for our favorite sports team, we’re always ready to take their side. That gives you a competitive advantage by having raving fans of your business; they’ll always have your back.
Customer loyalty matters, especially in today’s fast-pace world where social media is such a strong outlet for your business. Making customers loyal to your insurance agency helps with word of mouth marketing, customer retention rates, rate of patronage (policies per household), feedback (surveys), and competitive advantages. How are you working to make your customers loyal and become raving fans of your insurance agency? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below, but regardless of how you are servicing your customers, make sure you are always focused on earning their loyalty.