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Policy Retention: The Fastest Way to Impact Agency Bottom Line

Insurance agencies are always chasing goals. How can they increase sales, get new customers, and improve year-to-date numbers? How can agents be motivated to reach new heights and what incentives and team building activities can be created? Just discussing it sounds exhausting. It can also be time-consuming and even expensive.

Is there a better, more productive and even faster way to improve the bottom line?

There is. It is focusing on retention. One of the rewarding aspects of the insurance industry is that it rewards those who retain their clients. Oh, there are significant rewards for obtaining new clients, but the business model as a whole has been based on annual renewals and retention. Yet, many agencies lose sight of this foundational aspect of the business. They continue to invest in and chase sales goals. There are profits to be built in retention.

Retaining clients can be easier and less expensive than obtaining new clients. It also has a very important side effect; it will likely improve customer service and that can lead to more referrals.

Here are some tips to improve policy and client retention to quickly improve your bottom line.

Stay Connected

Too many agencies take a “let sleeping dogs lie” attitude when it comes to their policyholders. Unless there’s an issue, just let them go and hope they will renew. The problem is every year more of these sleeping dogs are waking up and are well on their way to changing providers before you may even know they are awake. It is far better to stay connected through birthday cards, phone calls, an email or occasional text to let them know you are thinking about them. Don’t make every contact an opportunity for a sale. Stay in touch because it is the right thing to do. You also may uncover life changes that provide opportunities.

Schedule Annual Policy Reviews

One way to stay better connected with policyholders is to schedule annual policy reviews. Sure, you and your clients are busy and it can be easy to dismiss. But how would you feel if you knew a dozen of your policyholders were scheduling policy reviews with competitors in the next week? How important do retentions sound now? Be proactive. Again, it can lead to opportunities.

Improve Onboarding Strategies

When new agents come on board there is often immediate pressure to learn and perform. Client retention and service strategies fall down to mid-pack in priorities. This may be sending the wrong message. Stressing customer service and retention can set the proper foundation for a long and productive career in insurance. It will also set the tone and attitude for how your agency sets its priorities and conducts business.

Set Clear Retention Goals

You certainly have sales goals and may even have prospecting, lead generation, and referral goals. But do you have clear and achievable retention goals? Are you aware if your retention numbers are improving or sliding? Do you know how you compare with other agencies of your size? Once you begin to look at the numbers it brings a new focus to the value of retention. What would it be worth if you have retained 10%, 20% or even 50% of the clients you lost in the past year? Just how would that impact your bottom line? When you measure it, you can improve it. What is your retention level? Can you make it a source of pride for your company?

Consider Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Once affordable to only large corporations, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software can help not only build relationships with your current clients but help develop new prospects into leads and customers. It can put data you likely already have on hand to use in building stronger relationships with clients and prospects. It can pull all aspects of your marketing efforts together so you don’t miss out on opportunities.