Just because AEP and OEP are over does not mean the work is. Making a sale is only the start of your relationship with your client, and a shaky start at that. Since health insurance – whether senior, individual, or ancillary – is complicated and ever-changing, your client may have lingering questions about their policy and may also be worried about the future of their policy – with good reason. Even before his inauguration, Trump and his administration began pushing for the repeal of Obamacare, leaving the future of healthcare unknown. Therefore, it’s important as an agent to eliminate any confusion your client may have and to relieve as much as possible the stress stemming from the possible repeal of Obamacare. To do so, it’s imperative for agents to develop a follow-up call routine with their client base, especially for new clients, as a form of customer service.
Even research stresses the importance of following-up with customers in order to develop them into long-term clients. In the State of the Connected Customer Report, researchers surveyed over 7,000 consumers to understand what gains their loyalty and what drives them away.
- 66% of consumers say they are likely to switch brands if they are treated like a number instead of an individual.
- 57% of consumers agree they’re willing to share data with companies that send personalized offers and discounts.
- 71% of consumers say that customer service provided on any day, at any time influences their loyalty.
- 73% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company provides inconsistent levels of service across departments.
- 71% of business buyers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to receive product and customer support and service via their mobile devices.
According to the statistics from the State of the Connected Customer Report, customers are willing to share their information so long as the customer experience caters to their needs. This means upgrading technology. Agents must be able to offer a personalized customer experience across all channels, especially via mobile devices, because inconsistency will eventually drive customers away. Over the past few years, the number of mobile-only users has surpassed the number of desktop users. Therefore, agents need the tools and resources to be able to meet clients where they’re at, i.e. mobile apps like social media, which are the number one use of the web. Be able to maintain a constant stream of interaction; this generates leads and retains clients.
In this digital age, people are more connected and inundated with information and options. If they don’t like one experience, they can trade it for another. They’re constantly searching for the most personalized customer experience. Even beyond personalization, consumers want a human connection. A business’ difficulty lies in balancing the personalization that comes with technology and bypassing the technology to develop a real relationship with their customers. Because again, consumers don’t want to feel like a data point. So for the agents that are prepared to invest in humanizing and personalizing their customer interactions, more opportunities will arise and customer loyalty will increase.
The value of a customer has many forms. Most obviously, customers provide direct revenue. But beyond making the initial sale, agents can also benefit from referrals and testimonials – that is if they’re providing great customer service. A case study from a happy customer carries great value because it can result in more sales. Therefore, don’t direct all of your focus on buying more leads to grow your book of business into a possibly unsustainable size. Instead, take the time to genuinely ask how the clients you already have are doing. Knowing that you care about them may motivate them to share their experience with others. And don’t simply wait for them to take the initiative to refer your business; ask them to give you a review online. Acknowledge them and they’ll acknowledge you. In the end, this strategy will save you a lot of time, money, and effort in client acquisition.
Simply deliver on your client’s expectations and fulfill the promises you made to them during the sale. If you tell a client you’re going to do something, do it and do it when you say you’re going to do it. If you say you’re going to call them in two weeks to see if they received their insurance card, call them in two weeks. By staying true to your word, you’re earning your client’s trust and leaving a lasting impact.
Have you ever heard the saying that it’s cheaper to keep an existing client than to get a new one? Well, there’s certainly truth to this saying. According to the data collected from SalesForce, a 5% increase in client retention can bolster profits by 25-95%. The question is how to make these clients loyal and valuable. Bottom line: clients want personalization and humanization. These two aspects of the client experience are key. So, it’s up to the agent to modernize and digitize to be able to fulfill the clients’ needs in a timely manner. Because in sales, time is of the essence.
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