Fall hunting – beware of client poachers!

Maintaining client relationships is crucial to maintaining any brokerage. But how that client base can be maintained?

Fall hunting – beware of client poachers!



Maintaining client relationships is crucial to maintaining any brokerage so that it can grow. But how that client base can be cultivated and developed is the question.

“What is key for brokers to maintain client relationships? Trust,” says Rima Dresher, general manager for Affiliated Insurance Management Inc. “An engaged staff that truly understands the needs of clients and care about doing what’s best for them.  Answering the phone – using as little voicemail as possible, a prompt response to an email, providing up to date, relevant information and advice, are important elements in maintaining our client relationships.”

Even in a digital age, it is important to have that human contact, says Dresher.

“While I think a social media presence is an effective tool to attract new business and to make our name more recognizable,” she says, “my experience has been that for service, people still want to know that a specific someone is looking after them.”

While being more proactive in maintaining clients, brokers must also be aware that the competition is actively looking to increase their book.

To protect your client list from this “professional poaching, a good offense is the best defense, says Dresher.
“As brokers, we need to start communicating what we do better than direct writers or banks,” she says. “Plus, we have to be proactive in communicating the same value proposition to our own clients.”

Creating a culture of client loyalty is important – and it can be done by doing more than just lowering premiums of sweetening offers with promises of air miles.

“Premium will always be important. Everyone has a price threshold,” says Dresher. “But in many cases it won’t be the final determining factor. Programs like Air Miles do help, as long as premiums are still in the ball park.  Loyalty comes when you have met your client’s needs and exceeded their expectations.”

Maintaining client contact is crucial, and the tools available to brokers today make maintaining that contact easier than ever.

“Social media and email makes a much higher degree of client engagement possible at a much more affordable cost,” she says. “It greatly reduces the number of clients who can only be reached through traditional means such as mail and phone.  By reducing the numbers, it is now more affordable to use those traditional means of contact for clients that prefer not to communicate electronically.

“At the end of the day, it’s all up to the customer.”

But it is important to tailor that contact for each client, as each one will have different comfort levels.
“Is there such a thing as too much contact?  That depends on the individual and type of contact,” says Dresher. “Some clients will appreciate a high degree of contact and engagement. Others will find it intrusive. The only way to determine this is through trial and error.”

But does there need to be any trial and error involved, when there are other industries utilizing the same customer contact principles with success – examples that could be copied by insurers?

“Car dealerships and hotels seem to be good at determining what their customers want,” says Dresher. “So are the social media sources like Facebook, Twitter etc.  Not only are they constantly evolving and updating  in response to their user’s needs, the ability to anticipate those needs seems to be their life blood.”






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