As automation and technology assume a larger role in everyone’s lives, what happens to the personal relationships that are often the backbone of an insurance agent’s business? How can you foster a sense of community and loyalty when you’re less likely than ever to meet prospects face-to-face?
It can be a real challenge to create or maintain a client relationship in the tech age. Understanding how the landscape has changed is a good first step.
Get Familiar with the Tech
If you’re not someone who stays on top of every trend, it can seems like technology changes rapidly. But many tech/computer-based tools are based on similar or familiar principles. For example, social media platforms are mostly about sharing and connecting. Automation software such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system focus on tracking your sales cycle and customizing marketing.
A familiar phrase like “Have your people call my people” has become “Send me a calendar request.” And instead of going to someone’s house to assess their home, you may now be using satellite imagery to verify that there’s no pool or trampoline on the property. You’re doing the same thing you’ve always done, just in a different way.
New technology is less intimidating if you look at how it’s similar to something you already know. If you’re not naturally tech-curious, find an online Facebook group of insurance agents and make it a point to read posts about technology and how others are using it, or hire someone to teach you what you don’t know. A lot of conversation happens because of technology. You’ll be left out if you don’t stay conversant.
Listen for Knowledge Gaps
Another way technology can impact your client relationships is that knowledge is much more easily acquired than it used to be. A good agent undoubtedly has more insurance expertise than the vast majority of their customers, but try telling some of your customers that. They’ve gone online, they’ve read up on their options, they know what they want and why.
Granted, they may not always be right, but with the availability of good information online, you may be dealing with a very educated insurance shopper. Don’t risk damaging a relationship with a tech-savvy consumer by automatically assuming they know less than you do. Instead, listen for knowledge gaps that you can help fill in. Bring value to your relationship, not condescension.
Share Information Freely
Because so much information is available online, you will also do well to position yourself as an advisor, not the keeper of the information. Anyone with an interest can learn all about insurance if they want to. That doesn’t mean they understand how to pick the right coverage levels to protect their assets.
As an agent, you bring tremendous value to the equation. Your experience and knowledge cannot be replaced by technology, so that’s what you can (and should) sell. Your expertise gives your customers a primary reason to want to continue a relationship with you.
Stay in Touch
You can demonstrate your value in different ways. Whenever possible, get your customers in the door for an annual insurance review. Hold someone accountable at your agency for setting these appointments. This may be easier if you/they put it in terms your clients already understand, like comparing it to an annual medical checkup or getting an oil change before there’s an issue with their car. Set these checkins for a time when their policy is not up for renewal. This will lessen the chance that your client will make choices based solely on pricing.
Use tech to stay in touch! Send a quarterly email with seasonal tips for homeowners. Use your CRM to send an automated birthday greeting that includes a thank you for their business. Post a useful article on Facebook from a respected financial source about how to calculate the right level of life insurance. In short, make technology work for you, not the other way around.
As a technology-based company, Hometown Quotes makes it possible for you to get the freshest insurance leads out there. If you aren’t working with us yet, give us a call at 800-820-2981 to learn more. If you’re already one of the agents we do business with, we’d love to do a quick review of your lead settings to make sure our services are maximized to help you have a stellar sales year. Follow Hometown Quotes on Facebook or Twitter, or sign up for our monthly newsletter to get the latest updates, read helpful articles and ask us questions.