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7 Keys to Increase Client Retention

7 Keys to Increase Client Retention text overlaying image of someone picking up a red plastic person If you are an insurance agent, one of your big picture goals are probably to grow as an individual agent, and to help grow your agency. There are many ways to do this, but ultimately what it comes down to is clients and how many you have. For most agencies, the main focus is to attract new clients by obtaining leads and converting them into satisfied customers. This practice is usually the highest priority, and in turn agents and companies will end up spending thousands on marketing. While dishing out advertising money to gain a new client is a big part of the insurance game. It’s also important to retain the clients you already have. 


A common misconception is that the easiest way to grow your business is by onboarding clients. While this can be highly profitable, the truth is, that focusing on the renewal of existing clients costs less money and time. In fact, it’s estimated that the average cost of signing a new customer costs an agency about $500 a year. Whereas keeping a client costs only about $25. You do the math. Where we can all agree is that it will benefit you to spend some of your time trying to continue your already-established relationships. 


In order to make clients want to return back to you, you’ve got to put in the work! During this process you must make a proactive effort to ensure customers that you are valuable to them. And that you always have their best interests in mind. Luckily for you, we’ve created a guide, that lays out some of the best ways to increase client retention. If you soak in the knowledge and are able to put it to good use, you will undoubtedly increase your revenue and the satisfaction of your clients. 

1.Understand Your Clients 

Getting a client to renew their policy starts with identifying who they are as a consumer and as a person. Because of this, it will benefit you greatly to get into the practice of segmenting your clients based on their needs and wants. For example, you should be able to differentiate between the customers who are mainly concerned with getting the lowest price, and the customers who are more concerned with getting the best quality service. By segmenting them into several categories, you will be able to customize your sales and communication approaches so you’ll have the best chance of winning their business and loyalty. It’s sort of like a game of chess — while you have to be thinking a couple steps ahead, your actions or techniques will always be based on what the client does, or in this case, what their preferences are. 


To take things a step further, we will show you an example of how knowing what your clients want can affect your approach. For this example we will use the client who is mainly concerned with getting a low price. For someone like this, you should approach them by comparing multiple policy options side-by-side. By laying out the options for them, instead of simply presenting them with the plan that you want them to choose, they will be satisfied knowing you have their interests in mind. You could say something like, “To help you understand your options, we’ve put together many different provider plans for you to look at. If you’re still concerned about the price, we can look at some other similar plan options as well.” By assessing a client’s needs and acting accordingly, the customer will likely appreciate the relationship and come back to you for future help. 

2.Be an Effective Communicator

In order to keep up rapport with clients it is vitally important to communicate with them effectively and regularly. You don’t want to overwhelm your clients, or make them feel like they’re being nagged, but you also want them to know that you’re always available. A good middle ground is to set up communication checkpoints. These are simply times that you schedule ahead of time to touch base with existing clients. A good practice is to do this with each client a few times each year. Not only will the conversations let them know that you are thinking about them, but it will also give you a chance to gauge how satisfied or unsatisfied they are with their policy. 


You can reach out to them through multiple channels— social media, email, text, or phone call. In general though, you should try to make at least one of these checkpoints over the phone because it is more direct and personal. Another idea is to hold semi-annual meet-and-greets to welcome clients to stop by your office. You can also use customer surveys to get an overall gist of customer satisfaction, or any questions that they may have. No matter how you check-in on your clients, the act of reaching out will let them know that you have them in mind. 

3.Attempt Cross-Selling 

Though you never want to be pushy, a great way to create loyalty in your customers is by offering them another insurance product. While some customers may not be interested, the truth is, clients who have more than one of your products will be less likely to cancel at any point. Think about it this way — for someone who wants simplicity, bundling multiple insurance products under the same agent will make their life less complicated and oftentimes will save them money. So next time you schedule a check-in with a client, just explain to them that you offer a variety of products that could potentially be of use to them. The worst they can say is no!

4.Be Proactive about Policy or Premium Changes

When it comes time for clients to renew their policy you want to be upfront and honest with them about any changes. This includes policy details or changes in their premium rates. You don’t want them to be surprised when seeing that they’ll have to pay more this year than last, so get ahead of things and let them know as soon as you find out. Additionally, instead of simply telling the change in price, provide them with an explanation as to why the premium has changed. By giving them extra information surrounding the change they will likely be more understanding, instead of just thinking that you want to make more profit. Before you have this conversation it’s a good practice to try to think about the questions they might have so you’ll already have an answer in mind. Think of questions like:


  • Is there anything that can be done to get my premiums back down? 
  • If I can’t afford this price change, or their other plan options? 
  • Are other insurance agencies seeing these same trends? 

By being transparent and having their concerns in mind before the conversation begins, you will be able to navigate the situation successfully. Because of this, most clients will appreciate your openness and continue to work with you. 

5.Focus on Value, Not Price

When it’s time for renewal, it’s easy to focus on the low-price points that you are willing to offer as a sales tactic. While this may sometimes work, when it comes to price, there will always be competitors who can undercut you. For this reason, instead of solely focusing on the cost, instead focus on what you bring to the table as their certified insurance expert. You want to prove to your clients that they should stay with you because of the value that you hold. You can do this in many ways.


For example, you could put together some visuals like videos or infographics that dive into common client questions and concerns. You can provide them with your personal cell phone number, to let them know that you are always available to talk. However, you do it, try to go above and beyond what other competitors are doing. While it’s great to attract new clients with low premium rates, the likelihood of them renewing with you is less likely than the customers you’ve reeled in based on the value you provide. 

6.Offer Autopay Options

If you don’t have one already, you should consider creating an autopay option for clients to pay their bills. Unfortunately when it comes to insurance, when someone forgets or misses a payment, their policy usually gets canceled. This could happen due to a lack of money, but it could also occur simply because they didn’t remember to pay. To make sure the latter never happens, offer and suggest the use of an auto-payment system. 

7.Give Gifts and Renewal Rewards 

A great way to show customers that you are more than just an ordinary insurance agent is to give them gifts for special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays. On a similar note, it’s also a good idea to set up a renewal rewards program. The gifts don’t have to be big. They could be something like a gift card, a t-shirt, or a coffee cup, but it’s the thought that counts! This simple thing that everyone can do will show your clients that you appreciate them and their business. It may sound silly, but it’s things like a gift that often stick out to people when it comes time to review their options. 

Final Thoughts

Spending lots of time and money on marketing to bring in fresh leads is important, but it can often cost more than it’s worth. While new clients are generally the focus on most insurance agencies, we are here to remind you to take care of your current clients too! Not only are you already established with them, but if you’re able to renew their policy, it will cost you far less than onboarding a new customer. Client retention revolves around communication.


Doing simple things like communicating regularly, understanding your clients values, and focusing on what you can do for them instead of relying on a low price point, will all make them appreciate you more. You can also go the extra mile when interacting with them by offering other products that they might appreciate or by sending them a heartwarming gift. When it’s all said and done, there are countless ways to encourage your clients to renew with you, but it all comes down to being open, honest, proactive and personal. It may sound cliche but showing that you care can go a long way. 


If you are interested in boosting your sales and return on investment, you might want to consider our lead generation services. At Benepath, we offer data leads and inbound phone calls, all of which are exclusive and produced in real-time. Our lead products include: individual health, group health, Medicare, life, and commercial insurance. For more information on pricing or details surrounding the generation process, simply fill out a form or give us a call at 888-684-3121.

About The Author: Cassandra Love

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