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Customer Experience


Cultivate the Customer Experience Your Clients Want

What Do Customers Want From Their Independent Insurance Agents?

The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) has developed strategies to help you tap into digital technology, and enable your team to provide the service today's insurance consumers want. 

By creating a process with digital touchpoints throughout the insurance policy lifecycle, your team will build relationships and your clients will become champions for your agency and help you grow your business.


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Six Steps of the Customer Experience Lifecycle

Explore each step of the lifecycle using the tabs below





 




When considering an important purchase, where do consumers research? Online and possibly from a mobile device. That's why it's important for your agency to have a mobile-friendly website with lots of great content that emphasizes your experience in the marketplace. Add social media, a robust Trusted Choice profile, an understanding of SEO and your agency will make the right impression with the right customer.  



#1 

Create a robust, mobile-friendly website

Today's consumers want a website that's mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. And in today's 24-7 world, your website should make it easy for prospects to submit an inquiry. 

If a website does not provide the needed functionality from any device, 66% of viewers will not continue.

Here are some resources to help your website make a great first impression: 

 


#2
 Develop a content strategy

Content is king, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming.

By creating a content strategy, including a blog, you'll show new consumers your understanding of the marketplace and give policyholders a reason to come back to your website. Share the work with staff, or look to resources like Trusted Choice for content to post.

Here are some tips to help your website reflect your agency's culture:   


"Who" is your agency?

  • About Us: tell your agency's story, agency locations, and hours of operation
  • Staff Listing: photos, direct email and phone numbers, areas of expertise (should a shopper be looking for a certain line of insurance)
  • Community service affiliations, Trusted Choice logo and pledge, volunteer positions

Keep the content coming...



#3
 Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (or 'SEO'), is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. The goal is to increase virtual foot traffic to your website by prospects looking for local agents or specialization based on the line of business needs.

Utilize keywords on your website, create local profiles, and complete "Find an Agent" profiles with your carriers and Trusted Choice

Here are other ways to improve your SEO:


Search Engine Optimization


Pro Tip:
  • Complete TrustedChoice.com and all carrier Find-an-Agent Profiles. When possible use photos of agents and include specializations.  

#4
Build a social media presence

A business social presence is another open door to your agency and is a vital communication vehicle when disaster strikes. Determine what social media works for your agency and build a presence your clients want to follow. Consider Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTubeSnapchat, and Pinterest.

Find ideas below to help build that social media presence:

Social spaces defined:

Facebook: 1.8 billion daily active users. Reaches 59% of social media users. More than 20 million small businesses around the world use Facebook tools. 78% of American consumers have used Facebook to discover retail products. Ability to set up a business page with several administrators.

Twitter: 192 million daily active users. 63% of Twitter users are between 35-65 years old. 67% of all B2B businesses are using Twitter as a digital marketing tool. 40% of Twitter users reported purchasing something after seeing it on Twitter. Use hashtags to start or join conversations. 

LinkedIn: 660 million business users. 30 million companies are listed on the platform. Linked in is the 2nd most popular platform among B2B marketers. Great for job postings and building a personal brand.

Instagram: 800 million monthly users. Share photos and stories.

YouTube: Create a video channel users can subscribe to. Generates over 1 billion views monthly (the world's 2nd-largest search engine).

Pinterest: 150 million active users. A visual catalog of blogs, many DYI.

Snapchat: 178 million daily active users worldwide. Imaging messaging service with location-based geofilters.

 

 

 

Getting Started
  • Create a complete profile
  • Follow and engage your business clients and community leaders
  • Share new or relevant content from your website
  • Share posts of your staff and community engagements
  • Look to Trusted Choice for relevant and customizable content
  • Host a video series
  • Promote posts and advertise on social is affordable  

                 

Social Strategy Builders

 

Not sure how your social media measures up? Get an expert review!

Trusted Choice digital review is free to Big I" members. 
                    Sample Agency Social Media Review

Look to Trusted Choice for consumer-facing social content to share!




 







Once a consumer narrows their search how can you leverage your web content to make the decision-making process easy?  Your website is your agency, and the same internal knowledge and expertise a client would get in the office should also be available online. Here are some strategies to help you build content clients want and help them choose your agency.





1. 
Demonstrate Your Expertise

In the Discover phase, we learn content is king but doesn't have to be overwhelming. The more information you have on your website, and the easier it is to find an agent, the better the customer experience.  Blogs are an easy way to add content that's easy to organize and easy to navigate. Tap into Trusted Choice, the Big I" Virtual University, and your team for content.

Blogging Tools

 



2. Showcase Your Quality

Make the most of memberships and online reviews. Solicit reviews on social media and collect testimonial stories from clients for your website. Be sure to monitor your social presence and respond swiftly to online inquiries.

     


 

3. Offer Comparative Rating

Some consumers may want to compare rate and coverage options before making a purchase. Real-Time rates on agency websites may provide enough preliminary rate information to reduce additional shopping on aggregator or carrier website.  

Industry management system and rating solutions which offer versions for agents to plug into their websites to offer consumer-to-agency rating (listed in alphabetical order):



 






The consumer finds the right fit for their insurance needs and it's your agency. Now, they need to be able to easily engage your staff. And, when it's time to sign on the dotted line, many will look for a simple online application and want to complete the process via mobile-friendly e-signature and EFT payment. 







1. Online Applications With Minimal
Information Required From the Applicant

Most consumers are used to completing a quick web form to order service and they will want the same from their independent agent. This can be further simplified when the agent and customer can work on the file simultaneously. Additionally, any information the agent can backfill from public assessors will streamline the process. Utilize as many online databases for supplanting information as possible. The application also needs to allow the customer to choose coverage and billing options.

Data and solution resources

Screen-sharing resources 

Sometimes referred to as "co-browsing" - software you can use to view insured's screens to act as a guide while they fill out your online forms




2. E-signature

Consumers expect mobile-enabled e-signature for applications, coverage rejection, and other forms. Common E-signature protocols must be accepted and implemented by all companies and agents and the time savings for agencies can be enormous.

E-signature

 Did you know Big I" members can save 20% on DocuSign? Save time and money!




3. Bonus Service Feature: Online Chat Assistance

Chatbots and online chat are an easy way for consumers to get the answers they need and to connect with your sales force. Coupled with an easy-to-find phone number, your team can help the client determine what coverage they may need and start the application process.

Tools for online chat and chatbots:

Not sure how your website measures up? Get an expert review!


 











Let the relationship-building continue as you become a trusted resource for valuable information and community support. To do this, it's important to create an experience based on your clients' preferred communication outlets. By leveraging your agency management system, creating a communication strategy, and being easily accessible when your client needs you most your clients will become champions of your agency.








1. Mobile account management

Clients will expect access to policy forms with 24/7 availability. In addition, payment features, ID cards, household inventory and claims reporting should be easy and mobile-friendly. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly (LINK TO DISCOVER) and implement self-servicing features for clients. Consider text message alerts for important updates. 

Account management tools:

   

 2. Communication preferences

Some clients may like text messages for non-policy-change discussions, and others may want email or phone calls.  Others may prefer documents sent electronically via email, or access needed policy documents like ID Cards, bill payment, etc., via a customer portal accessible from your agency website.  Determine your clients' communication preferences from the start of the relationship and leverage your agency management system to distribute content and alerts how your client wants it.   
Bonus: Streamlined communications and a paperless office environment save your agency time & money.

     Management systems: 
      
  

3. Robust web content 

Share insurance and risk management-related tips with clients on your website and social media outlets. Target the content to the clients you want and utilize a mix of delivery methods including blogs and listicles, podcasts, video, webchats, and more. It doesn't have to be overwhelming and contributors can include staff, carriers, and Trusted Choice has a wealth of customizable content.  Once created, content can be sliced, diced, and shared repeatedly when relevant. Craft an email newsletter and build a social media following to remind clients of the wealth resources available. 

 

Build an informative website:


Want a personalized review of your website? 
Trusted Choice can help!

 

4. Be proactive when life changes 

Implement a plan to nurture your client relationships. Recognize life changes including birthdays and anniversaries. Illustrate that you understand your clients' needs by sending timely storm safety tips or a note when a teen becomes a licensed driver. Consistent touches throughout the year will solidify your relationship and open the door for inquiries when life changes are top-of-mind. 
       

Communication and marketing tools:

5. Value-added, community building, services 

In addition to building a robust website strategy, there are other ways to create value for your clients. Host shredding events, sponsor defensive driving courses, and highlight your community involvement online and in your agency. Advise customers of services available to them at no additional charge via agency newsletters, blog, website, social media, texting, etc.  This is an excellent way to highlight agency advocacy and commitment in the community.  Another great value for commercial lines customers is risk management and/or safety consulting. 
          

Community builders: 
 

 

6. Create a positive claims experience

During the claims process, clients will need clear process and after-hours options for reporting. Clients will want to be briefed on what to expect from the claim process and what they will need to submit. Follow-up with a phone call or email form on the agency's claim status. 

 If the problems occur, the agent acts on the client's behalf to resolve the issue. If the client's claim is denied, the agent will help the client understand why and identify the next steps. Agencies should consider implementing a claims communication plan which might include a personal acknowledgment (by phone, email, or note card) of each claim and post-claim service report cards to solicit feedback on the claims experience.

 Resources: 






Be proactive and contact your client in advance of renewal armed with any new information you've collected during your touchpoints throughout the year.  When you are proactive with content and information updates with your clients and involved in the community, your clients know you are there and will likely renew. Research shows that 90% of clients that have been touched 3 times in the policy period renew with that





 

1. Be Proactive with renewals

Proactively reach out to the client prior to the renewal with a proposal inclusive of comparable quotes and rate increase explanations.  With a management system in place, outreach can be automated. If rate changes are necessary, take care to clearly explain the renewal increase. Use this as an opportunity to update the profile you have on your customer in your agency management system.

BEST PRACTICE: A key recommendation is to start the renewal process 90-120 days out from the actual renewal date.

Resources:  


 

2. Cementing Client Engagement

An ongoing goal is to keep clients engaged with meaningful communication so the value you bring is top of mind, not price. This phase is a perfect opportunity to implement great client nurturing tools that allow agents to reach out and request Net Promoter Scores and testimonials in the months prior to renewal.  This minimizes the friction at renewal if a client has previously provided a positive assessment of the agency.  People who have scored the agency high are less likely to reconsider their opinion of the agency at renewal.  And if a client does provide a negative score or review, there is time to address and correct the problematic issue prior to renewal.    

Resources: 







A social media review or five-star business rating from a satisfied client can bring new business to your agency.  Incorporate an ask for ratings or reviews in your outreach strategy after positive claims experiences, renewal, or after a community event.  Monitor and respond to all reviews promptly and build your reputation as a trusted advisor.






1. Reviews & Referrals

Request satisfied clients to post positive reviews on agency and social sites.  Be sure to track and respond. Ask if you can use great social referrals for your website, marketing materials, or newsletters. Some outlets may have an approval process in place before reviews go live. The more reviews your agency receives, and the more consistent they are, the more effective.  Make sure you thank your customers individually for writing a review this can be done via a phone call or mailing a brief thank-you note with a small gift.  
 
Resources for getting the most out of reviews & referrals:
 

This can be the most effective type of review - providing it is natural and honest.  The fastest-growing agencies use video on their website to marketing and educate - 52% of agencies who have more than 6% revenue growth on both personal and commercial lines rank videos as their most valuable tool.
It doesn't have to be expensive - Use simple video equipment, even a smartphone, to film testimonials in the client's own words. If working with commercial lines clients, film the video at their place of business, in front of a sign or other marker to add value for the client. Post the video on your website and social media. Tag the client to reach their audience and its a win-win for both you and your client. 
 

Tip: If you are using a phone, make sure to flip it horizontally for optimal viewing.  

Resources: 

3. Blog posts and Written Testimonials 

Clients may welcome a mention or testimonial on your blog. Include background on the client, photos, and links to their website. 

Blog resources:

Articles:

 





 


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​127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556
email: info@iiaba.net

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