In this industry, the customer’s needs are always changing and evolving. Companies are always updating their products and adding/removing or updating policy coverage offerings. With all these changes over the years from both the company and customer, how does the agent make sure the customer’s policy is meeting their current needs? One way to encourage communication and check in with the customer is to offer periodic account reviews.
Why are account reviews important?
- They keep your agency relevant and promote brand loyalty.
- They deter any E&O claims. If you document your review with the client, there is proof that you spoke about the subject and coverage was declined.
- If the insured has bought/sold anything, it will ensure that their policy is up to date. Life happens—we all have had that call from the customer where they have been driving a car for 6 months and forgot to call us to let us know.
- They give you a chance to cross-sell & round your accounts. The more accounts your customer has with your agency, the more likely they are to stay at your agency, increasing your retention.
Starting off I would recommend that you have your CSRs and producers enter emails as much as possible. Completing reviews by email or phone is going to save your agency money because mailing a review to each customer is going to cost money to print and stamp, and time to fold and mail. Decide what method is going to be best for your agency and clientele.
Something to keep in mind when preparing the process is the time constraint. Utilizing your agency management system and any other services that you have is going to be vital to maximizing the time you spend on account reviews. Streamlining the process by pulling reports and having prefilled information will keep the process efficient and automated.
Timing is important when sending out your account reviews. The best time to send out a review is halfway into the policy term. Think about it: what is on the customer’s mind at renewal? Price. If you send out a review around the renewal, your customer may not be as open to your suggestions. Maybe they took an increase and you’re just adding insult to injury. If you send it out halfway through the policy, they are only going to take the rate for half of the term. This is the time that they might consider adding that umbrella policy or increasing their liability limits. This is the best time to approach the customer about options they may need.
Here is a breakdown of some of the considerations that you should make:
- What customers are you going to send to? Commercial, personal, life, home & auto, auto only? Etc.
- What questions are you going to ask? What is the most common question you receive at your agency? What are the most important things that you think you should include on the policy?
- When will you be sending them? Create and commit to a schedule.
- How will you be sending them out? Will you use HawkSoft to send a batch email? Will you use another service that your agency uses? Will you email reviews, mail them, or call customers?
Keep it simple. You do not want to overwhelm your customers with a ton of questions. If your questions are too wordy or you end up asking to many, they may become disinterested and may not complete the form. Get an idea on what situations may cause the biggest issues with coverage for a customer or what are some situations that your agency is dealing with regularly that you may want to be proactive about.
Customers want to feel like you have their back and that you are always looking out for them and what is in their best interest. The needs that a customer may have when you first wrote them 10 years ago may be different than their needs today. Maybe they were renters when you first wrote them and now they are homeowners, own their own business, and have acquired items over the years that they may need covered.
With an account review, you will be able to see if the customer has any potential gaps in their coverage. You can make sure they did not forget to replace a vehicle on their policy, or maybe they built a large barn at their house and didn’t know they should contact their agent to make sure they have enough coverage on their homeowner’s policy.
Does your agency offer life insurance or health insurance? These account reviews are a great time to add in these questions. Maybe the insured has had a life event over the past few years, got married, had kids, bought a house, etc.
The HawkSoft User Group has a lot of great resources that you can utilize to figure out what works best for your agency and clientele. Check out some of their webinars and resource library. You can also reach out to any additional services that your agency may use and see what capabilities could be used to make your account review process work for your agency.
Sarah Ferguson, ACSR
Belt Insurance Agency