As an insurance agent, it’s your job to be there for your clients when the going gets tough. They look to you for guidance on some of the most important aspects of their lives, so delivering exceptional service should be top priority for every insurance agent. Building strong relationships doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul of your business process.
1. Be a Resource
In times of crisis, it can be difficult to determine what—and when—to communicate with your clients. You may think you need to wait until you have a plan in place, or at least some thoughtful perspective to share. However, in the meantime, your clients are likely trying to gather information on the same issues you’re waiting to solve. Instead of waiting, try to be a source of that information for them. This will reassure your clients that you’ve got your finger on the pulse of what’s affecting them and that you’re working alongside them to reach a solution.
Put it into action: When you know something is happening in your clients’ lives – someone is graduating or they are staring a new job, for example - share relevant news and resources that may be helpful and solidify your role as knowledgeable professional who cares about them.
2. Check In
When a client is in need, an email check-in won’t cut it. Your clients are people and, in many cases, have become friends. Reinforce this relationship by having a personal moment. Call them and ask questions about what’s going on: “Is your family OK?” “Can I help in any way?” This will show them that you care about them and their families as people, not just clients.
Put it into action: Block off time in your calendar for making personal calls, allowing for plenty of time between each conversation so you don’t feel rushed while listening to a client.
3. Anticipate Their Questions
When your clients are stressed, they want reassurance that you’re there for the big moments in their lives. So before you pick up the phone, be sure you’ve done your due diligence. Clients don’t expect you to predict the future, but they do need to know that they can rely on you. In an uncertain situation, try using hypotheticals (i.e., “if X happens, here’s what we’re thinking”). This lets them know that you and your team are planning for all the various situations that could arise.
Put it into action: Use the resources you have available to you to keep up-to-date on things that may impact your clients.
4. Follow Up and Follow Through
Personal calls are important, but even more important is what happens after the call. Now that you understand your clients’ needs, what can you do to help them reach a solution? How can you proactively assist them? Devise a plan, and then follow through on that plan—maintaining communication all the while.
Put it into action: Jot down notes during your calls for ways you might be able to go above and beyond — delivering a meal, connecting them with a community resource or showing up to lend a hand.
5. Say Thank You
Clients have a variety of choices when it comes to insurance. That they’ve chosen you out of the myriad options to help guide them through life’s milestones speaks volumes about their trust in you and their loyalty to you. Though clients often receive member benefits for doing business with you, take that a step further by offering a genuine, heartfelt thank you.
Put it into action: Divide your client list into batches, then set aside an hour each month to write a handwritten thank-you note to each “batch.”
We’re Here for You
At Farm Bureau, we go the extra mile for our agents so they can go the extra mile for their client/members. Contact us to learn more about the support and resources you’ll receive as a Farm Bureau agent.