Today, the customer is in control. We can no longer compete on price. This means we must learn how to give unrivaled customer service, along with a memorable and meaningful customer experience.
As our industry continues to transform and new purchasing platforms arise, we must learn how to stand out from the competition. It’s not just about selling products and services. It’s about selling yourself, your staff and the company(ies) you represent to your clients. Why your agency/firm? Why your company/carrier? Why your suite of products and services? What makes you different than the 10 other insurance and financial services offices prospects or clients drove by on their way in to see you?
Today, 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience, up from just 36% in 2010, according to Forbes. That’s almost everyone!
But company leaders think they are having more impact than they do. Although 80% of companies believe they deliver “super experiences,” only 8% of customers agree.
Everything a company or agency does — marketing, research, advertising and more — plays a role in shaping the customer experience. Focusing on customer experience management (CXM) may be the single most important investment a brand can make in today’s competitive business climate.
A 2018 PwC study reveals that, in the United States, even if people love your company or product, 59% will walk away after several bad experiences and 17% after just one bad experience. And 32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved altogether after just one bad experience.
In fact, the PwC study says a positive customer experience is more valuable to customers than advertising. Think about the millions and billions of dollars the companies in our industry have spent on advertising in the past decades. Creating consistently great customer experiences is much more powerful than all that effort!
You can’t afford to not create exceptional client experiences.
What follows are six simple but powerful strategies for creating a positive customer experience. These simple ideas require minimal effort, yet they will have an immediate positive impact on your business.
Before you can demonstrate to your customers how and why you offer an unrivaled service and experiences, you need to have a clear picture in your own mind about your how and why.
Get your team together to write your group’s story, describing why and how your team offers memorable, meaningful experiences that customers appreciate. Once you have all agreed on the story, have everyone practice it to ensure that you and your staff know it well.
This story should be personal to you all. There is a reason you all show up every day to the same address. You believe in your business and what you are offering to your clients and community. Convey this passion and commitment to your existing and potential customers. Your passion will translate into a deeper understanding of who you, and your staff, are. It will ensure higher client retention, reduce attrition and build deeper trust from your clients.
Instead of seeing you as a transactional professional, they will see you as their trusted advisor — their Discussion Partner.
I like to shop. I will go to Nordstrom and buy the same items I could get at Macy’s for 30% less because I like the Nordstrom experience more. When I walk into Nordstrom, everyone is trained to greet customers the same way.
When I am on the sales floor, the associates tell me all about the new arrivals and what the hot sellers are. At checkout, the cashier explains why she is taking the time to wrap my clothing in tissue paper and why she folds it a certain way. This is why Nordstrom earns the right to get 30% more than their direct competition — they are the best at what they do.
Be the best at what you do. How can you ramp up ordinary service that customers have come to expect to create an unforgettable experience? Brainstorm ideas with your team.
Give your prospects and clients the highlights of the company(ies) you represent. Explain how these key elements will benefit them. Introduce the visitors to your staff, and let your staff tell their stories. This will help deepen your relationship and engage people with your business.
Our industry is filled with acronyms and terms that only agents understand. Just because we know what BI and UIM are does not mean our clients do.
Don’t assume your clients understand you. Take the time to explain your products in terms they understand, and then ask the right questions to ensure they do. And help them feel comfortable enough to ask questions without feeling embarrassed.
Don’t leave any room for interpretation. You may have to use different communication styles with different customers. Not all adults learn and understand the same way.
We often hear the term concierge service, but it’s high-level follow-up that enhances your customers’ overall experience. This doesn’t require adding additional staff to the payroll. Just develop a new system for the way your current staff performs follow-up. It might be a simple next-day call to reiterate key discoveries and action items from the previous day’s appointment and to find out if the customer has questions or concerns.