When it comes to client retention, would having more data help improve client retention for your agency? According to a recent study completed by Safeco®:
- "69% of independent agents believe that additional data would improve referral marketing
- 65% believe it would improve social media effectiveness
- 54% believe that more data would help them anticipate their client's life event changes."
If you believe more data can help your agency with client retention, the next question is: what type of data do you need? To protect and maintain your book of business, we believe there are three types of data essential for client retention.
1. Client Segmentation Data
Modern insurance clients demand personalized and relevant communications from any company they are conducting business with these days. This personalized service leads to a stronger relationship between client and agency.
Relationships translate into retention, and retention translates into revenue.
The recent study by Safeco also cites that "agencies who authentically communicate regularly with their clients see a 1.5 point retention lift over 12 months."
To meet modern consumers' demands, it becomes increasingly important to segment your clients and communicate with each segment in authentic and relevant ways. Mass emails and generic messaging won't get the results you're looking for anymore.
MOST VALUABLE CLIENTS
It's essential that you know who your most valuable clients are and that you develop a specialized retention strategy for them.
While there's sometimes overlap, in general, your restaurant clients aren't interested in the same information as your large general contractors.
Maintaining a marketing list segmented by industry or niche will allow you to build authority and credibility with those clients. You can communicate timely and relevant information that is personalized for them and addresses their very individualized needs, pain points, and goals.
A great example of this is how this agency supported its restaurant clients during the pandemic.
Your average policies per client are directly correlated to your retention. So it only makes sense that you would maintain segmented lists of the opportunities that exist to round out policies throughout your agency.
Plug these lists into your CRM to set up an automated nurturing campaign and make cross-selling a year-round activity, not just a renewal one.
Have you ever received a snarky response from one of your retiree clients about an email you sent out about preparing for a new baby. In that case, you understand the importance of life-cycle segmentation. (Yes, this actually happens).
Millennials and Baby Boomers don't communicate the same way, and they're certainly not interested in the same things (generally speaking, of course). Besides improving the client experience with relevant communications, maintaining a marketing list segmented by life-stage also increases the likelihood that you can time your more promotional content. Think life insurance around the time your client has a baby, not a grandbaby.
2. Client Sentiment Data
Tracking your client's sentiment is a must for the modern-day insurance agency.
Understanding where you might be vulnerable to losing clients and why it is critical to an effective retention strategy.
Platforms like Rocket Referrals and DONNA For Agents can help you track your client sentiment easily by integrating with your Agency management system and other platforms to give a real-time view of how your clients feel about their experience with your agency.
In the blog article "How Do They Really Feel? Making Sense of Client Experience Metrics," we discuss how SentiMeter® and NPS® can be used to track and measure customer experience.
IMPROVING CLIENT EXPERIENCE USING SENTIMENT DATA
Step one is looking at your agency's performance overall and benchmark yourself relative to your industry peers – how does your performance compare? Dig into the score and try to answer several questions:
What trends do you see in the data? Are there particular segments of clients giving you higher or lower scores?
What themes can you see within the feedback clients are providing? Did several reviews mention the same issue or give kudos to the same person? Do any specific carriers stand out?
What are your clients looking for? Are they mentioning not knowing who their account manager is? Maybe they want more communication?
Next, get a sense of how individual departments and staff members perform by filtering the data to look at each. Notice any outliers? Are some members of your team killing it and others way underperforming?
Armed with the above information, map out your improvement plan. What processes can be adjusted, technologies updated, training and improvement plans implemented based on the above information? Pick the most impactful and build a plan on how to get it done.
RETAINING CLIENTS IN REAL-TIME
Asking clients how they feel and then not responding to their thoughts is likely worse than never asking at all. Client sentiment is like an alarm system for your potential retention issues – don't miss the chance to save the client.
Set up your systems so that when a client provides a low score, their SentiMeter® Score drops, or they supply other negative feedback, you get notified. Build out a simple process where someone reaches out to them, thanks them for providing constructive feedback and starts a dialogue with them about what's going wrong.
Pay special attention to your VIPs and most valuable clients, and be sure to reach out promptly and personally if the data indicates they may be unhappy.
3. Third-Party Data
Clients retire and get a second home, buy a new car, or open a new business out of state. These are examples of life events, life changes, and business shifts that all present opportunities and threats within your book of business.
Every agent has one (or many) of these stories. A client is buying a second home out of state. Instead of calling you, he calls an agent closer to his new home. It's bad enough that you missed the chance to write that business. What's worse is you're now potentially in danger of losing the entire account to the other agent.
TAP INTO OUTSIDE DATA
Data from public sources, demographic information, social media activities, search activities, underwriting data, and various other data points provide insight into which clients have a new need and what that need is so you can personalize your messaging. Well-timed, personalized communications lead to deeper relationships, higher retention, and increased revenues.
Until recently, this type of data wasn't readily available to insurance agencies, making it challenging to reach out to insureds before they shop proactively. New platforms like DONNA provide Big Data capabilities to agencies by integrating with your agency management system and outside data, providers to provide you with easy-to-understand, real-time information regarding your clients, allowing you to discover unknown needs and step into the conversation at exactly the right time.
The majority of agents believe that more data can help them with improving client retention. For this strategy to be successful, we believe you not only need more data, but also specific types of data.
To protect and maintain your book of business, we believe that client segmentation data, client sentiment data, and third-party data are essential for client retention.
Start with using client segmentation data to segment your clients and communicate with each segment in authentic and relevant ways. Mass emails and generic messaging won't get the results you're looking for anymore.
Tracking your client's Sentiment is a must for the modern-day insurance agency.
Use client sentiment data to understand where you might be vulnerable to losing clients and why it is critical to an effective retention strategy.
Tap into third-party data from public sources, demographic information, social media activities, search activities, underwriting data, and various other data points. All of this type of data provides insights into which clients have a new need and what they need to personalize your messaging.
When combined, using these three types of data becomes a powerful strategy to retain your clients.
Download the DONNA Use Case, "Benchmarking SentiMeter® Performance" to learn more.