Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tague Alliance - Focus on Retention

This was a great post from MetLife Auto and Home and Tague Alliance felt that it was worth sharing:

Focus on Retention
As you enter the New Year, take some time to reflect on ways to improve your business model in the coming year. This may include expecting more than others think possible. One area of critical importance is customer satisfaction. Ask yourself, “Is your client the most important person on the premises?” A few simple steps can start you down the road to improved customer service.

5 Simple steps that can make a difference in your retention (by Larry Moffett)

Review your agency's 3-year retention numbers
This simple act will give insight on how your customers view your agency. Is your retention level in the 90 percent range or in the 70’s? The lower the retention percentage, the more probable customer satisfaction is an issue. Often, when we think about customer satisfaction, we think in terms of “over the top” service. That’s great, and a worthy goal to strive for. But, “over the top” service probably won’t happen in most agencies on a consistent basis. What is possible and attainable is for the agency to render service that will resonate with their clients. Generally, this can be achieved with little or no investment. Customer satisfaction is achieved not through programs, but by changing behaviors and attitudes. Customer satisfaction increases when agencies intentionally focus on areas that truly resonate with clients. Educating front-line staff—training and coaching them to adopt skill sets that resonate with customers—pays big dividends.

Determine how your agency measures up

Reliability - if the level of service dependable? Are the clients' concerns addressed and questions answered in a reasonable timeframe?
Assurance - does the service build confidence?
Empathy - do the people giving the service communicate they care?
Responsiveness - are customers needs uncovered and addressed?
Tangibles - pay attention to the things your customers see and feel. Do staff and surroundings appear professional and inviting?

Take control of factors that can influence customer satisfaction
Multi-policy: Customers who have more than one policy with the same agency/company, such as auto and homeowners insurance, are more likely than clients with mono-line policies to be satisfied with their policy offerings. “Bundled clients” renew policies at an 11 percent higher rate than “single policy” clients.
Get it right the first time: Customers are more satisfied when they only have to contact their agent once to resolve an issue. Satisfaction declines significantly with each additional client-initiated contact.
Return calls: When call backs to clients are required, agents who call back as promised get consistent high satisfaction ratings.
Time is critical: Clients who file physical damage claims expect prompt service. Same-day response to the first notice of an accident, followed by a settlement within a week and repairs completed within two weeks, characterize best practice. Some data suggests satisfaction with claims handling drives 44 percent of the overall impression of the insurer.

Policy reviews
Clients who have their policy needs reviewed each year report satisfaction levels that are significantly higher than those who do not. Customer surveys reveal that nearly half of those surveyed report that they have not been offered an annual policy review by their agent. Unless a customer files a claim, offering the client a “risk review” is one of only a few opportunities an agent has to build trust with the customer. Otherwise, the sum of their interaction is limited to paying their bills and reviewing periodic policy changes.

Stay focused and enjoy the benefits
High levels of customer service mitigate price; good service helps shift the focus away from price. Our friends in retail learned long ago that the better the service, the higher the prices they can charge for their products. The bottom line is that happy customers directly equate with agency financial performance. Every customer lost has an impact on the bottom line

Tague Alliance is focused intently on R.P.G. - Retention, Profit, Growth! Growing is made much more difficult when your agency retention is lagging. For every client and policy that you keep, it is one less that has to be found, quoted, and sold.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Snowmobile Safety

Do you have any clients that take winter trips to the snow? If you clients have snowmobiles, here is a good article to share with them. It's a great lead in to get the opportunity to quote the business!

Bounding over trails through woods, over fields and across frozen ponds or lakes with cold blasts of air whipping around are all part of the fun that thousands and thousands of people enjoy during winter in their snowmobiles. Snowmobiling’s fun should not mask the fact that it still involves the use of fast, heavy vehicles that, in collisions, can cause severe injuries and damage to property. Some models of snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles operate at speeds that rival automobiles. Unlike autos, they are open vehicles, lacking the structural protection of even the smallest auto; therefore the danger to snowmobile users is far higher.

The danger of being injured while operating snowmobiles is compounded by some important factors. Snowmobiles are operated over rough terrain with obstacles that are often hidden by snow. They are operated in areas where the drivers are not familiar with paths or trails. Novices and older operators with poorer reflexes are attracted to recreational snowmobiling and these vehicles are often used very late at night, in remote areas. Another consideration regarding use of snowmobiles is that operators also combine driving with drinking and alcohol intensifies the other dangers.
Naturally there are practices that can help lower the chances of being in a serious accident. Snowmobile operators should:

Avoid solo snowmobiling - having another person around in case of an accident is probably the greatest safety practice.

Properly maintain the snowmobile to insure safer operation

Dress in appropriate safety gear and clothing, including water-repellant apparel

Operate snowmobile at speeds that are appropriate for conditions and terrain

Do not drink alcohol while operating a snowmobile

Use marked trails and don’t stray off of them

Carry a first aid kit, as well as other emergency equipment, especially tools, flashlights, compass, matches, etc.

Avoid crossing bodies of water as breaking through ice is a major peril (drowning is a chief source of snowmobile accident fatalities).

If you've got your own snowmobile, make sure it's insured! We can provide you with the best snowmobile policy available. And our companies don't require that you have a homeowners or renters policy.

Contact Tague Alliance with any questions about placing stand alone snowmobile business!

COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2010