Client relationships are the currency of the independent agent’s world. Some clients have come easily through family members or referrals, while other clients have been hard won through consistent marketing efforts. Either way, most independent agents can tell you the story of how each client came to be.
With the holidays approaching, it’s a good time for agents to think about ways to show their appreciation to those clients. Most agents will want to take the opportunity to extend a special thank you during the holiday season, but some of the best ways to show your clients some appreciation can happen at any time throughout the year.
Here are 10 creative and meaningful ways agents can show appreciation for their clients.
1. A Handwritten Note
In today’s world of electronic and digital communication, a handwritten note received in the mail is a welcome novelty. There is something touching and personal about a handwritten note. Invest in some well-designed thank you cards and drop one in the mail when you write a new policy. In fact, you can make it part of a new client file checklist.
2. Community Involvement Shows Your Gratitude
Show your clients you care by getting involved in community projects. Better yet, start a community project. Organize a beach or park clean up, donate to a food pantry, do a toy drive for Christmas. Nothing shows you care about your clients like showing some community spirit around the holidays.
3. Exercise Due Diligence at Renewal Time to Thank Your Clients
One of the most meaningful ways agents can show their gratitude to clients is by saving them money. Agents must fully leverage renewal time to connect with clients and scour for savings opportunities.
At renewal time, conduct thorough insurance reviews with your clients to uncover ways their risks may have changed. Use the best underwriters to get them the best possible rates. Agents have an obligation to their clients to find them the best insurance at the best price. Show your clients some appreciation by saving them some money at renewal time.
4. Welcome Face to Face Meetings
Technology has made communication instant and easy. Still, even with video communication and instant messaging at your fingertips, sometimes a face to face is best. Agents can show gratitude to their clients by meeting face to face.
You can offer in-person reviews at renewal time. You can also set up home appointments to discuss new policies such as life insurance or other financial services. A home visit is a great way to get to know your clients and an even better way to show them you care.
5. Be There at Claim Time
Claim time is a difficult time for policyholders and it’s an opportunity for agents to really show their gratitude by being there for their clients. A homeowner in Florida recently suffered from a catastrophic sinkhole claim. The newspaper photo showed a cavernous hole in the earth that had swallowed an entire home. Standing by across the street were the homeowners, emergency personnel and an unidentified person. Turns out that person was the couple’s insurance agent. Sometimes you must be there face to face. Show your clients some gratitude by showing up when it’s claim time.
6. Agency Holiday Cards are a Tradition
Agency holiday cards are a tradition for many insurance agencies and a time-tested way to show your clients gratitude. But if you want to do something a little different this year with the holiday cards, add a personal touch.
A photo of your office staff dressed up in holiday cheer can send a festive theme. Consider adding a year in review newsletter about the agency. You may include agency milestones, staff updates, gratitude lists and what you’re looking forward to in 2019. Taking the time to make a personal connection and show your clients some gratitude.
7. Honor the Client Relationship
Gratitude is the opposite of taking something for granted. So, show your clients some gratitude by honoring your relationship with them. Remember that a client isn’t only about a premium, commission or a policy. A client is a relationship. There is trust and respect involved.
A great way to build and honor relationships with your clients is by getting to know them on a personal level. Use social media to support a personal relationship. Learn about and engage with your clients by commenting on their social media posts and pictures.
Also, make it a point to begin a conversation with a bit of personal conversation. Ask about their children, careers, and interests.
You can even keep notes in their file about your conversations so the next time they call or drop in, you can open a conversation about their favorite sports team or recent life event. Personal connections build trust and goodwill.
As a busy independent agent, it can be easy to forget that behind each of your active policies is a person, a family, and a life. Keep that person in mind as you carry out your duties as an agent.
8. Sponsor a Local Sports Team
Agents can show their clients gratitude in many ways, but one of the best may be by sponsoring a sports team. Getting children involved in sports teaches them teamwork, discipline, and commitment.
Community sports leagues can always use extra money. There are many expenses including uniforms, equipment, fees for tournaments and transportation. Get your agency involved in sponsoring a team. It shows you care and that you’re grateful for your clients and community.
9. Help Promote Local Businesses with a Wall of Business Cards
Get a wall of business cards in your office. Install cardholders on a wall and encourage your commercial clients to put their business cards up. As clients come and go they can inspect the wall if they need any services.
Your commercial clients will be happy to get the exposure and your other clients who select a card will be happy to have a recommendation for a service provider.
10. Be a Consumer Advocate
Showing your clients that you are grateful means doing your best for them every day. Today’s insurance world is increasingly complicated and confusing, especially for consumers. Remember that you are not only an insurance agent, but you are also an advocate. Join professional organizations and stay abreast of the changes in insurance laws and regulation that may impact your clients.
There are many ways agents can show their gratitude to their clients. There are cards, community involvement, and personal touches to be put in every interaction. But the best way agents can appreciate their clients is with top notch customer service and unparalleled expertise. Wow your clients every day by going above and beyond and they will feel the love.
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