With the changing business landscape, it’s no surprise that retention is a top business priority for agents. High retention rates take pressure off new business acquisition, at a much lower cost. The most effective agents improve retention rates by focusing on these four simple strategies:
1. Business Mix — Focus on What Matters Most
Does your agency manage a broad customer base? Do you know which ones are easier to retain and why? Professional services, offices and retail stores generally have a “stickier” relationship while others may shop around. Even though every small business is unique and may not be so easily categorized, developing a retention game plan as you build your portfolio of commercial customers is always a smart move.
2. Flexible Billing Solutions — Offer Simple Options
Another retention booster is to offer easy, convenient billing solutions that meet the needs of a broad range of small business customers. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) allows customers to pay bills online, eliminating the hassle of having to mail a check. Or, some may prefer a pay-as-you-go method. A solution like TravPaySM, through Travelers Insurance, combines an employer’s payroll processing with its workers' compensation insurance payments.
It offers customers a way to help manage cash flow while also eliminating the guesswork from a traditional workers compensation premium plan. Offering your customers convenient billing choices deepens the relationship, and strengthens retention by making them less likely to switch.
3. Customer Engagement — Keep the Conversation Going
Keeping in touch with customers on an ongoing basis helps ensure they know they are valued. Travelers can help. Our National Sales Center helps agents with the quoting and binding process for new customers while our customer service center helps agents support existing customers with a range of needs, including:
- Answering billing questions
- Processing endorsements
- Providing certificates of insurance
- Fulfilling all their service needs
Our service centers consistently achieve customer satisfaction ratings above 95 percent, and retention rates that are typically three points above noncustomer service center accounts.
4. Account Rounding — Leveraging Current Business
Customers with multiple policies tend to have higher lifetime value, stay longer, buy more products and make more referrals to friends and colleagues, according to a report from Bain & Company. Strengthen your existing book of business by offering additional solutions that match unmet needs. For example, if a customer currently carries general liability, offer them workers compensation, cyber or umbrella coverage and they’ll likely stay with your agency versus shopping around. Boosting retention takes time, commitment and effort but can also pay off. These suggestions can help your agency chart a path to happier customers, faster growth and greater income.
To learn more, contact your Travelers representative.
Agent Education: Adapting to Changing Needs in a Changing World
Being in the insurance industry, we've grown accustomed to navigating circumstances completely out of our control (such as weather and other natural disasters) — but the pandemic has really tested our resilience. For more on how agents can adapt to changing needs in a changing world while still providing exceptional service and products, check out the 2020 Issue 4 of Smart Choice Magazine.