28 April 2014
Category: Agency Support
28 April 2014,

Sometimes, we get so caught up working in our business, that we forget to work on it. How often to you spend time thinking about the future of your agency? Not just wishing you were more profitable, or hoping to see the growth you desire, but putting a strategic plan in place for a brighter future?

As the agency owner, it is your job to hold the vision for where your agency is headed. If you get too busy selling policies or servicing clients and don’t make time to plan for the future, your agency will ultimately stall.

I believe there is one important key for ensuring the future success of your business: agency assessment.

Agency assessment is important

Do you know why your clients choose to do business with you? Do you know how well you are fulfilling their expectations? If you’re not certain that you are doing a good job for the people who buy policies with you, how can you be confident that they will stay with your agency year after year? You must have a system in place for honestly assessing your agency.

Here are a series of questions that will help you with agency assessment:

Am I providing critical information to my clients consistently?

Educating your clients is your job, and if you’re not providing them with critical information, you’re not doing your job. But more importantly, you’re missing a golden opportunity to touch your clients more often. By reaching out to share something with them, you can deepen your relationships, and increase retention.

Am I helping my clients navigate the ever-changing insurance landscape?

Your clients rely on you as a trusted advisor. As an agent, you must help them whenever possible, and hold their hand whenever they need it. Some clients will require more help than others, but giving them the ability to lean on you is an important step in developing and maintaining client trust.

Am I going above and beyond for all my clients, all the time?

How many other multi-line agents do you know? Your clients probably know just as many. If you’re not going above and beyond for your customers, you won’t stand out from your competition. Your goal should be to stay top of mind with your customers, and keep them so satisfied with your service that they have no reason to notice all the other options out there.

Am I getting back to my clients immediately when they contact me?

When a client calls, they are typically anxious for answers, and you are the keeper of those answers. It’s a great position to be in – but one you must take seriously. Responding to your clients quickly and comprehensively (within minutes, not hours or days) allows you to ease their concerns and earn their trust.

Am I making it easy for my clients to do business with my agency?

How can you make doing business with you easier? Excellent customer service, timely call-backs, convenient office hours, quick turnaround on quotes, proactive outreach to clients, offering the best products in the industry, sharing your knowledge…the list goes on and on. Find more ideas for making it convenient to do business with you here.

Am I making it easy to buy products from me, including renewals and new-to-the-market products?

As part of building relationships with your clients, you should be constantly educating them on what’s new and how it might work for them. Not only will this increase your profitability, it will allow you to better serve your customers by keeping them in the right policies. Talking to your clients frequently allows you to better understand their needs, and educating them about the benefits of the products you offer allows them to choose the right fit for their situation.

Am I making it easy for my clients to justify paying more in some cases just to do business with my agency?

What would your clients lose by going somewhere else? Will they miss your customer service, your knowledge of products, or your relationship with them? If not, they have no incentive to stay with your agency. However, if you are constantly going above and beyond for your customers, they won’t be willing to give your agency up. This is why in my agency we offer what we call “concierge service” each time we have contact with our clients.

Am I giving back to my community I serve?

Your clients and potential clients care about their community, and respect organizations that give back. As a part of that community, you need to demonstrate that you care about what your customers care about. Get involved. It will pay off in many ways, in business and personally as well.

Once you have finished your assessment and honestly answered all of these questions, take a step back and look at what you came up with. If the answer isn’t an enthusiastic ‘YES!’ to every question, it may be time to make changes in your business.

You need to invest time, or money, or both to ensure that you are consistently delivering great results in all the areas touched on here. Create a strategy and commit to doing whatever it will take to be able to answer all of the questions positively during your next agency assessment. If you can do that, you will have your customers’ loyalty for life. And that’s how you stay ahead of the game.

I believe there has never been a better time to own a multi-line insurance agency – it is one of the best business opportunities in America. If as an agent you continue to consistently assess and improve your agency, you will reach a level of success that you never thought was possible.

View other blog posts about Agency Support.

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