Simply TALK to your client to keep them coming back!
If America had a dollar for every time something has been blamed on the economy in the past few years, we could probably pay off our entire national debt twice over. So, while it may seem like I’m merely just piling on (which, let’s be honest, I am), I’m going to unsympathetically tack one more item on to the list of woes the economy has wrought. I’m speaking (as the title of this post implies) about client retention.
Because of the economic downturn, everyone (or almost everyone) has been forced to at least take a second look at their budget and finances. And, if they’re not on a group or company plan, you can bet insurance is a big part of that discussion. With clients and prospects placing more and more emphasis on the bottom dollar versus the extent or quality of their coverage, you and the policies you’ve sold will come under scrutiny every time your clients sit down to reevaluate their financial situation.
This makes it critical that you give your clients every possible reason (think financially and non-financially) to remain loyal to you. But why, you might ask, should you focus on retention in addition to attaining new business? Well, aside from the obvious answers that probably crossed your mind the second you read that sentence, here’s a stat drop for you from a study I read last week: Spending $1 on client retention is the equivalent of spending $5 on acquiring new clients, from a value standpoint. That’s bang for your buck.
So what’s the best way to increase client retention? There are a thousand articles about client retention if you just Google “client retention strategies” or some variant thereof, but I’ll save you some time since you’re here already. For the most part, it boils down to the obvious: just talk to your client. Because I do as much research and fact-checking as a Nobel Prize-winning scientist (at least in my mind) for nearly everything I write, here are more stats and ideas for your consideration:
- A singular quarterly message can increase retention by at least 5%. This can come in the form of a newsletter, personal e-mail, anything that shows you’re thinking about the client on a regular basis. Even send gift cards for birthdays or special occasions.
- 52% of insurance buyers are self-described “relationship buyers.” This bodes well for you with regard to clients that have purchased a more expensive policy. If they like you, chances are they’ll stay with you.
- Respond to client messages or status updates on Facebook and Twitter. It can be as simple as a one word response. As long as it shows you’re taking an interest in them, it’s money in the bank (literally) and takes just a couple of seconds (literally).
- E-mail marketing to current clients seems to be the consensus best bet. It’s more convenient for you (especially if you have the ability to schedule automatic e-mails) and it’s statistically effective.
- A 2008 survey revealed 54% of consumers had a more favorable opinion of a company that sent them e-mails and (in specific regard to financial services companies) 44% of consumers felt more loyal to said company. Another study found that 75% of active social media users preferred companies communicate with them via e-mail.
So there you have- the facts as I see them. Do you have any unique client retention strategies you’ve used with marked success in the past? Or do any of these stats seem inconsistent with your personal experiences in client retention? Feel free to share and discuss!