Over 100 million conversations about products and brands are taking place worldwide every hour. This is the basis of so called word-of-mouth-marketing – one of the most powerful tools that helps to increase interest in an offer. According to Nielsen research, up to 83 percent of customers follow recommendations of their relatives and friends rather than other forms of promotion. What is interesting, according to the results of the same study, 66 percent of respondents rely not only on opinions of their closest neighbours, but also on opinions posted online.

83 percent of customers follow recommendations of their relatives and friends rather than other forms of promotion Click To Tweet

For many insurance multi-agencies, word-of-mouth marketing is not a completely new concept. It is one of the main ways to attract customers for many independent insurance agents. On the other hand, when we ask what they word-of-mouth strategies are, in most cases, the awkward silence falls, which is then followed by shrug of the shoulders. Sometimes we hear a timid answer – it’s like snow for Christmas, sometimes it happens.

Current market conditions require more focused and comprehensive approach to such form of insurance sales promotion. An insurance agent should know the most effective ways to use word-of-mouth marketing in order increase interest and attract new clients.

How can an insurance agency simply optimize results of its recommendation activities?

Method #1: Make sure you are delivering products and services of the highest quality

If you want to be successful and get others to recommend your insurance agency, you need to make sure your current customers are satisfied. Do you stay in contact with them? Do you know what gives them the most joy and what they did not like in the offer of your insurance agency?

Ask your clients for feedback. This is one of the foundations of customer-centric approach, as well as the most common business attitude in every sector of today’s world. Even when we have enough contact with customers, it is worth to refine our offer and increase the level of provided services.  Finally, reliability and quality are two of the greatest competitive advantages in any profession.

To collect feedback, just send an email or call a few people. Remember that not all of them may want to express their dissatisfaction. If this is a case, you can try an anonymous survey and use one of the free online tools, such as Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.

Method #2: Surprise customers with your knowledge and perfect preparation

Always be one step ahead and have all your customer information at your fingertips to offer a personalized solution and instant support. When a customer calls you, don’t ask him to explain his situation from the beginning, but immediately provide him with tailor-made solution for his needs.

Nobody, however, is a genius. It is impossible to remember all information about your customers. This is not a problem! IT solutions, such as the program for insurance companies Insly helps a lot. The insurance software allows you to collect data on insurance (life, communication, health, etc.) and find an insured person in the database in the blink of the eye..

Your customers will appreciate your immediate help and saved time.

Method #3: Provide individual assistance in case of accidental claims

An accident is an unpleasant situation for everyone. It causes many negative emotions and raises the level of stress. Taking care the injured person and assisting him in asserting his claims with the insurer will build your positive image as a professional insurance agent. You will stand out from the competition of insurance agencies. Most of them simply convince customers to contact their insurers himself and leave them alone with all challenges and huge stress.

Once again, you can use the Insly insurance software. Its claims management function will help your customer with this process.

Method #4: Create a recommendation program for your customers

Creating a recommendation program can attract customers and encourage them to recommend your insurance agency services  to others. A well-designed insurance agency program brings benefits for everybody. As an insurance agent, you gain new clients without any cost and time overheads, and your existing and potential customers receive a discount or even a direct cash bonus (as for example, banking services). This is a classic win-to-win situation.

An insurance agency recommendation program doesn’t need to be very complicated. To start with it, you only need to print discount cards in a form of business cards and distribute them to existing customers. If someone comes to you and shows you a discount card, you will give that person and the referring person a discount – for example, 5%.

Method #5: Thank the person that recommended you

Another way to build positive customer relationships is to simply say ‘thank you’ for recommending your services to friends. Always ask new customers how they found out about your insurance agency. If you learn that your services have been recommended by your current customer, don’t hesitate to call and thank him.

Expressing gratitude is one of the ways to enter into and deeper, as well as successful, social and business relationship.

Method #6: Get along with other local businesses and create a mini affiliate program

Do you have a car washer in your area? Maybe you can talk to its owner and convince him to cooperate? You could offer a discount card for car wash to all your customers that purchase car insurance. This is a useful way to add value, and a good form of promotion for your business partner.

There are many great ways of similar arrangements – homeowners will be happy to receive a discount on cleaning services, and customers purchasing special health insurance for athletes would certainly be happy to receive a discount for massage and wellness. Just try it!

Method #7: Ask for recommendations

This is probably the simplest, but least used method. Don’t be afraid to ask a satisfied customer for recommendation. We call it a reciprocity rule – one of the basic and strongest mechanisms of social influence identified in psychology by Robert Cialdini. It bases on the hypothesis that people don’t like to have any debt of gratitude towards other people, so they try to give back the favour.

Summary

Competition on the insurance market forces insurance agencies to look for other ways to attract new customers. Offline and online advertising often is too costly, especially for new insurance agency.

As practice shows and science proves, the most cost-effective methods are the best. When we focus on providing good quality service and build strong relationships with customers, word-of-mouth marketing can bring great benefits without generating financial costs.

Customer relationship management gets easy with Insly. Thanks to it, in many cases you can create a smile on faces of your customers and bring them satisfaction without putting too much effort into it.

Read also:

11 signs that it’s time for a new agency management software

Your Startup Wants to Sell Insurance as an Agency or a MGA?

How to Sell Insurance Online?