Partner John Eck Jr. explains how Troxell has maintained strong client partnerships and an impressive 90% client retention rate as it celebrates its 130th year in business
IBA: Tell us about Troxell.
John Eck Jr.:
This is our 130th year in the business. We were a single-location business in Springfi eld, Illinois, until 2005. Now we have seven different locations and over 130 employees. Today, we have six shareholders, and in January of last year, we added our first female shareholder. Through the years, we have expanded our geographical footprint and brand, and we continue to bring on many good partnership agencies and agents into Troxell.
IBA: What has been the key to the growth and success of your employees?
We always make sure we have a place where our people can grow professionally and personally. Developing an HR team and employee development program has been a key factor to our agency’s growth.
Insurance is a partnership in someone’s success, whether it is with a business or individual. We want our employees to be knowledgeable, involved and collaborative with our clients while bringing expertise about the industries where our clients operate. The more we can train and educate our people, and allow them to better themselves, the better job we do.
In the insurance industry, there are a lot of places that try to commoditize what we sell. We know the role of an agent is to make sure that our clients know and understand what they are purchasing.
What’s the secret behind your impressive 90% client retention rate?
Our agency fi rmly believes we have a role for our clients. People’s lives change, companies grow and shrink, and every step of the way, they have different needs. If we are not actively serving our clients and strengthening our relationships, then we are not doing our job. I think that’s where we have done a better job for our partners – and it all ties back to retention.
In addition, our key carrier partnerships bring strength and stability to our clients that they can rely on. This rounds out the whole relationship and makes it a true partnership that is impenetrable.
How has Troxell prepared for the new presidential administration?
On top of most people’s minds is healthcare. The Affordable Care Act was a major piece of legislation that affected a third of our revenue base in terms of the clients we serve, whether it is group or individual health. The ACA totally changed our role, bringing us into more of a business relationship with our clients.
I think as any administration comes and goes, regulations and the business environment are affected. Our customer relationship model makes sure our people are talking to our clients proactively about the changes that a new administration might bring – and those conversations are already in full swing.
We don’t know what will happen with legislation such as the Affordable Care Act, but we do know that we will play a part in trying to assist our clients to make sure they comply with any new regulations that are put in place. Any time a new administration comes in, there is some apprehension and excitement, but we will be here along the way to figure it out for our clients and stay ahead of any new changes or updates.
What are Troxell’s plans for 2017?
In 2017, we are looking to expand the products and services we o_ er. At the start of this year, we began marketing human resource products that we knew our clients truly needed. A majority of our clients have fewer than 100 employees with no full-time HR team. Our team developed a solution that will help our clients with compliance, training, healthcare and benefi ts. We are also developing other products and services, such as safety and business programs, so we can assist clients in areas where they need help, and where it will be an extension of the insurance plan we’ve already put in place.
Additionally, one of our biggest changes in 2016 was to separate the roles of key leadership so they have a focus in di_ erent areas of our business. Working each of these pieces independent of each other helps us make sure that we will have a successful 2017. We are confident that it will be a big year for us.