Building Customer Confidence

The secret to growing your business is taking care of your customers. You have to build customer confidence and trust in order to build a strong, dependable consumer base. At the end of the day, people buy from people that they trust, but it’s not always easy to get people to trust you when you’re selling insurance. The fact of the matter is, many people simply don’t trust sales people. Don’t let that discourage you! There are some easy ways that you can gain the confidence of insurance shoppers. 

Share Video Testimonialscaucasian hands on a laptop keyboard with "customer testimonial" on the screen

The saying “show, don’t tell” holds true in most situations, including in the world of customer service. People want to see great reviews of a product or business before pulling the trigger on a purchase, so don’t only show your customers the work that you’ve done or have them simply read reviews from your clients; show them video testimonials of customers you’ve helped. People want to know that they are dealing with someone who truly cares about and helps people, and what better way to highlight your personal relationships with your customers  than by sharing how they feel about you in their own words?  

Talk About Yourself/Build A Connection

Build a connection with your customers by letting them get to know you. Don’t try to rush into a sales pitch; instead, start by talking about yourself, your children, and your pets. If your children are in sports or any after school activities, talk about them and your involvement with the school or community. When you share these aspects of yourself, customers will feel a connection with you and will be more likely to look at you as more than just an insurance agent. They will feel more comfortable opening up to you, and in the end they will feel like they have spoken to a real person, not just a salesperson.

Offer Great Customer Service

support spelled out on scrabble blocks with clear blocks in the background
Be there for your customers when they need you and make them top priority.

Customer service means always being ready, willing, and able to help. When a customer contacts you, be sure to contact them back as soon as possible. Always keep them informed about any changes to their policies, and serve as a resource center for them. Find any solutions to their problems if you can, and take on their problems as your own.

But great customer service is not just about the practical side of things. It’s also about showing  a genuine interest in your clients and in protecting them. Customers get tired of hearing sales pitches and feeling like they are being strong-armed into a sale. They want to know that you truly care about them, so take your time with them, and ask questions so you can better understand their needs. Over-explain and be empathetic while going over their insurance options, and be honest about what plan will best work for them and why. Be genuine, and your customers will pick up on that and appreciate it.

Build A Strong Reputation

Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Reputation is everything when it comes to gaining customer confidence, so you need to build a worthy reputation for doing the right thing, which means taking the time to genuinely help customers as much as you can without being pushy. If you don’t focus on customer service, you could end up with a bad reputation, and then you can forget about trying to convince a potential customer that you are the right insurance agent for the job. Never stop working on your reputation; if you do end up with any unhappy customers, always take the time to try and make things right if you can.

Make your customers your top priority at all times. Period. There are no shortcuts when it comes to gaining confidence from your customers and potential customers. Provide them with the best service you can, be honest and transparent, and don’t cut corners. In return, you will have loyal customers and boost your sales. It’s as simple as that.

Preventing Your Clients From Leaving

Your customers are the foundation of your business, so your number one priority should be holding onto your existing customers. New business is important, but customer retention is more important, especially when it comes to your bottom line. In fact, did you know that it costs 6 times more to gain a new customer than it does to keep an existing one? That’s right, so approaching customer retention with the attitude of “I’ll just find more leads and more customers” is not a great idea. graph of bars going upward with money signs on the first and last bar

When it comes to growing your business, sometimes it’s about quality, not necessarily quantity. You need a solid base of loyal customers. Once a customer is gone, odds are they are gone for good- about 90% of customers who leave a business never return. You can prevent this from happening by building strong relationships with your customers and by resolving any problems that arise – doing so will increase a customer’s loyalty by 30%. To improve your customer retention rate and prevent your clients from leaving, you need to look at what customers want and how you can give it to them. 

Why They Are Leaving

caucasian woman with her hand on her chin looking down
If you don’t tend to your customers except when its renewal time, then you will most likely lose them as a customer.

First, you need to look at why customers might leave your business. Most of the time it’s not because of the price of your product, or because a competitor lures them away. The number one reason customers walk away is that they feel like their agent does not genuinely care about them. 

Are you making this common mistake? You sign up a customer for an insurance plan, and then you don’t make contact with them again until it’s time for renewal, or until they need to make a claim. If so, your customers will feel like there’s no personal touch in your relationship with them; your relationship will feel like a mere transaction. Similarly, if you are not returning your customers’ calls or answering their messages in a timely fashion, that lack of communication will take a toll on your retention rate.

What You Can Do

In short, you have to keep your customers happy, and that means going above and beyond with your customer service. You need to:

  • Build a customer database – Collect information about your customers and keep it in a database such as a CRM. This will keep track of the contact that you’ve had with them, what you’ve spoken about, what they’re interested in, and any problems or complaints that they have.
  • Keep in touch – One way that you can keep in touch with your customers is by sending out personalized emails to let them know about any updates, or any new plans that you think would benefit them. Make sure these emails feel tailored to your customers, otherwise they will just come off like sales pitches. 
  • different apps on a cellphone screen.Offer different channels of communication – This is the most important thing that you can do to retain your customers. You need to give them multiple ways to reach you in case one way doesn’t work. Ask your customers how they prefer to communicate with you, so that you are ready to communicate in that way, whether it is via email, phone calls, texts, or through social media.
  • Thank your customers – People like to feel appreciated and that they are more than just another sale. Go out of your way to thank your customers for their business.
  • Resolve any issues immediately – What many business owners and agents do not realize is that customers who are unhappy don’t usually complain – instead, they just end up leaving. So, if a customer does complain, take that opportunity to try and resolve any issues as quickly as you can. Your customer will  appreciate your attention, and will be more likely to talk about you to others.

Having a lot of customers is great! That means your business is booming. But sometimes it’s not all about getting more new customers – sometimes it’s about keeping your current ones happy. Having a loyal customer base is a more sustainable business model than that of constantly finding new customers to replace the ones you’ve lost. Do your best to keep your relationships with your customers strong, so that they never get to the point of wanting to leave. After all, it is not about competitors or price – it’s all about communication, which is completely in your control.

How To Improve Your Business’ Customer Service

If you want to grow your business, then customer service is one of the most important things that you need to focus on. Each interaction that a customer has with your business will either build it up or tear it down. Great customer service leaves customers satisfied, and when they are satisfied they’re more likely to continue to do business with you, and possibly refer you to others. And bad customer service? Just remember that customers tell an average of 15 people about a negative experience versus the 11 they tell about a positive experience, and 51% say they will never do business with a company again after just one negative experience. No matter how focused you are on your customers, there’s always room to improve your customer service so that you can increase your sales performance.

make a great first impression written on an orange notepad
First impressions are everything when it comes to attracting a customer.

Your First Impression Is Everything

We have all heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” And it holds true; first impressions are powerful and memorable. Within a few seconds of meeting you, a customer will have a solid impression of who you are. Studies show that 55% of first impressions are made by what people see (visual), 38% are made by how you speak (vocal), and 7% are the actual words you say (verbal). So if you are meeting a client, make sure you look professional yet approachable, and when speaking with a client, focus on both your tone and what you say.

Feedback Is A Plus

One of the best ways to improve your customer service is by asking your customers for feedback, and learning from it, whether it is good or bad. You can do this by asking your customers to complete a brief phone or email survey at the end of your interaction with them. Use the responses that you get to learn what your strengths and weaknesses are so that you can make improvements. 

african american woman sitting in front of a laptop, holding a cellphone to her ear and laughing
Customers want a personal connection with you, so make sure to build a rapport with them.

Build Rapport

All customers want to feel like they are more than just a customer. Build a rapport with your customers by showing them that you care about them. Use their name often and try to build a personal connection with them. Don’t just focus on automated email responses or run-of-the-mill check-up calls. Make your meetings more personal by showing sympathy with and empathy for your customers. Listen to your customer’s complaints, allow them to get it all out, and show that you care while being respectful. If it is something that you can help them with, then make it your problem so you can help them find an appropriate solution. Use phrases like “I’m sorry to hear that…” or “I can understand how frustrating it is to…”

Respond Quickly

Make sure that your customers can easily get in touch with you, and make sure that you respond to any messages within a reasonable amount of time. In a world of advanced technology and social media, there is plenty of opportunity to connect with your customers faster than ever. Return calls within a reasonable amount of time (88% of customers expect a response within 60 minutes), follow through, and always establish the next steps, so that your customer knows what to expect and when they can expect to hear from you.

Communicate Clearly2 women sitting across from each other talking.

The insurance world is a complex one, and it has a language all its own. Customers are coming to you to find the best deals, but they are also coming to you for help translating that language, or because they don’t fully understand the process. Simplify the process as best you can and make everything as clear as possible for your customers. Always end your conversations with a question like, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” or “Is there anything you would like me to go over again?” This gives customers an opportunity to ask questions so they are not left lost or dissatisfied at the end of the conversation.

Admit Mistakes

If you make a mistake, always own up to it, even if the customer hasn’t noticed it yet. This not only builds trust, but also restores your customer’s confidence in you, and  allows you to control the situation. After you correct a mistake or solve a problem, be sure to call and follow up so that your customer stays satisfied with your service.

thank you note surrounded bu flowers, macarons, and a pen
Thank your customers so they feel appreciated.

Thank Your Customers

Always thank your customers for entrusting you with their business. Make them feel appreciated and thank them after they provide you with a new referral, or give them an incentive for providing a referral to you. There are different ways you can show how thankful you are, such as buying them a cup of coffee or sending them a thank-you note. A little appreciation can go a long way.

Ways To Thank Your Customers

It can be easy to put all of your focus on turning leads into sales, and on growing your business, instead of focusing on what is most important: your customers. There is nothing wrong with wanting to grow your business and become more successful, but at the same time it’s important  to take a step back and remember that you are only successful because of your customers. In order to maintain a healthy relationship with your customers and ensure long-term success, you need to keep them happy, while letting them know that you appreciate them. You can do this by simply saying thank you in a creative way.

Send an Old-School Handwritten Note

caucasian hand with a pen in it next to a white card that says thank you

Handwritten notes are rare in today’s technological world. Emailing a thank you note has become the norm, but doing this is not personal or memorable. Taking the time to hand write a special thank-you note to a customer will make them feel important and appreciated – and everyone loves getting things in the mail!

Surprise Them

Send flowers, a goody basket, or pizza – because who doesn’t love pizza? Taking time out of your day to send any of these items is a great way to say thank you. Just make sure it is something the customer can relate to and will appreciate. You can send a little note or a joke with these gifts, and your gesture will surely brighten up their day.

instagram icon with the pull down menu to make a new post
Give clients a shoutout by posting a kind thank you message on your business’ social media page.

 

Give Them A Shoutout On Social Media

A lot of people spend their free time scrolling through social media, so what better way to thank your client than by putting it on social media? Give them a shoutout by posting a kind thank you message on your business’ social media page. Be sure to ask your client permission before posting, especially if you are using their professional profile, just in case they aren’t comfortable with having their name out there. 

Make a Phone Call

Usually when an agent calls someone it is to make a sale. So you can imagine how surprised a client would be if you called to simply thank them for their business. Set some time aside during your day to call customers and thank them, and if they don’t pick up, leave a thoughtful voicemail.

Treat Them To Coffee

If you think your client would feel comfortable with it, ask if you can take them out for a thank you coffee. Taking your client out for coffee is an effective way to say thank you in person and help build a stronger relationship with them. If they cannot meet for coffee, or if they live far away, then consider sending them a gift card to their local coffee shop.

Pay It Forwardwoman holding a large $50 bill with the word donation on it in red

A wonderful way to show how grateful you are to your client is by paying it forward. You can reach out to your client and let them know that you want to donate to their favorite charity in their name. This is not only an extremely thoughtful way of showing your appreciation, but it is also  a great way to build a stronger connection with your client.

Showing that you appreciate your clients and letting them know that you care about them as more than just a business prospect is easy. Show your gratitude with any of these simple and effective  acts, and you will not only have a great relationship with your customers, but they will surely spread the word about your thoughtfulness to others- which will mean more business for you.

The 5 Best Ways To Get Referrals

A solid marketing plan, and using a reputable lead-generating company like Benepath, are great ways to get new customers. But you shouldn’t underestimate the power of referrals. Around 85% of small business owners say word-of-mouth referrals are the number one way prospective customers find out about their business. While referrals can be a big boost to your bottom line, it can feel awkward to ask your customers for them. With a little creativity, though, and our top 5 tips, you can get referrals that will help grow your business. 

1. Be Prepared To Ask

If you want referrals, then you need to be confident and make asking a natural part of your interactions with customers. Waiting around to ask for referrals could mean missing out on a lot of new business. Try making referrals a lighthearted part of your initial conversation. Your approach can be something as simple as, “If I do a great job and get you a great deal, then you will tell others about it. Deal?”

clock on the time 7 o"clock

2. Know The Right Time To Ask

While you don’t want to miss out on a referral by waiting around, you also need to read your customers and know when to ask. It’s a case-by-case kind of situation – you know your clients best and can figure it out by focusing on their personality. For example, jumping in and asking the moment that your transaction is complete could turn some customers off. With these customers, you might need to establish a relationship first, or they might need time to process your transaction and make sure they are fully satisfied. For other customers, some well-placed compliments might help. Some customers are most excited and pleased with you right after they make their purchase, so they might be more receptive to a quicker request for a referral.

However you decide to ask, make sure that you check in with your customer before you do to make sure they are happy with your service and the plan you delivered. Offer exceptional customer service, and you will find that happy customers are happy to help you.

3. Make It Easy For Them To Refer You

caucasian man in a suit with a card in one hand and the other holding his suit jacket
You can include referral information on your business card.

You can’t get referrals if your customers don’t know that you’re looking for them, or if they don’t know how to refer you! If you want to make it clear where and how they can refer you, then you can:

  • Add a line in your email signature noting your interest in referrals.
  • Include referral information on your business card.
  • Mention referrals in the follow-up emails you send them. 
  • Thank your clients and ask if they have friends that need your help.
  • Incentivize referral requests with a referral program.
  • Ask for testimonials on your site. 85% of consumers trust online reviews and recommendations.

4. Ask For Feedback

Get a feel for what is working and what is not in your business so that you can understand what it will take to get more referrals. Ask your current customers what they like and don’t like about your service. Listen to their feedback, and show them that you care about them and their needs. You want to blow your customers away and exceed their expectations so that they will go out of their way to recommend you to others. Think about how you feel when you eat at a restaurant and end up loving the food. The next thing you want to do is recommend the place to your friends so they can enjoy it too. 

5. Networking

network of people connected

The saying “you get what you give” applies in the insurance business, too. You can help grow your network by referring your customers’ businesses to others. This simple action will make them more inclined to do the same for your business. If you work with a real estate agent who helps you buy a house or an event planner who helps plan a party for you, then share their information with others. Establish a mutually beneficial relationship with these companies and you can both grow.

5 Qualities Of A Successful Agent

Looking into becoming an insurance agent? Already one, and looking to become more successful? There are certain qualities an insurance agent must have in order to increase sales. Being an agent is not easy, and you will face a lot of rejection, and stress, but there are some important qualities to focus on that can make it easier. These qualities will not only raise your profit potential, but also boost your overall productivity and self-esteem as an agent.

persons hand coming out of a laptop screen shaking another person's hand.
To be successful, you have to care about your clients, and behonest with them.

1. Care About Your Clients

Your clients needs must come first. In order to be successful in this aspect, you must put aside your care for a commission, and want to provide the best for your client. Listen to what your clients say, what they need, and provide them with good customer service. Customer service is key to keeping a client happy. No one likes to get the run around when dealing with a business.

Return your clients calls, find answers to their questions, and care for your clients needs before your own. Not only will your client remain yours, but they will refer you to others.

2. Hold Integrity High

Honesty is the best policy. When working with a client, be honest with what you can offer them. Deception only leads to a client not staying with you for long. Provide your clients with honest quotes and whether you can actually provide them with a better plan than their current plan. If not, then admit you cannot offer something better. You will earn a client’s respect and trust with your integrity, leading to more business over time.

3. Take Initiative & Know Your Product

cartoon of an owl with grad cap on sitting on top of books.
Know your stuff! A client will more likely want to work with you and refer you to others if you’re knowledgable.

Always appear to be eager and excited. Take initiative with a client with a positive vibe. A client can tell when you are down, or pessimistic. No one wants to work with someone like that. Now that that is out of the way, when you do take initiative, you have to know your product.

The more disciplined you are, the more successful you will be. As an agent, you must be determined to learn your products, and know all of the ins and outs. You need to possess more than just how to sell a policy. An agent must learn all of the tax and legal aspects of products. This way you will get a better understanding as to how these products are designed to fit a certain clients needs. The more you know about your products with confidence, the more a client is comfortable to work with you.

4. Have An Emotional Connection

This goes hand in hand with good customer service and caring about your clients. Build an emotional connection with your client. You can achieve this by empathizing with a client and learning what they really need and want. Do not look at a client as just a sale. Building an emotional connection with a client builds an everlasting relationship with them. They will feel like you genuinely care about them.

5. Persistence Is Key

Rejection will happen a lot when you work in this kind of field. The key to any successful agent is to be persistent. You will deal with a lot of clients saying “no,” and it is important to be able to accept it with a smile. Persistent in this instance does not mean that you have to badger a client. Instead, it means that even though you receive rejection, you keep pushing through and work until you get a yes from someone else.

Lead Types

Get Your Free Guide to Selling Exclusive Insurance Leads!

    Hey there, I’m Ben, your personal assistant. What brings you to Benepath’s website today?