Thanks in large part to changes in consumer behaviour and the advancement in technologies, it is now far harder to convince people to stay loyal to any brand.
At the same time however, there are now more opportunities than ever for savvy companies to engage with clients and build brand loyalty.
Building customer loyalty may be a challenge in an age where there are all sorts of attractive offers vying to gain the attention of your customers, but there are certainly things you can do keep people returning to your business time and time again.
As the saying goes, it’s easier to keep an existing customer than it is to win a new one, and this is just as true in the insurance industry as it is anywhere else. But this seems to be something many companies are forgetting in an obsessive race to acquire new names on their books.
With this in mind, we look at five ways you can increase customer loyalty in your growing insurance company.
- Embrace digital platforms
The quicker you embrace the full potential of digital media, the sooner you can start reaping the benefits. More and more of our lives are moving online and companies who keep pace – or stay one step ahead – are putting themselves at a significant advantage over their competition.
Social media platforms offer an unrivalled way of keeping your customers in the loop about what your brand is doing better than any other, and it allows you to engage with customers on a personal level that it’s hard to achieve elsewhere.
Many companies see marketing as something they do in order to win a customer, instead of seeing it as having equal importance in retaining customers. Marketing should be used on a day-to-day basis, with your focus being just as much on your existing clients as new. Using social media is the ideal way to achieve this. From running competitions, to building a reputation for exceptional customer service through to responding quickly to online messages and queries, and reminding customers what they get from you that they can’t get anywhere else, social platforms can give you an opportunity to not just win new customers, but keep reminding the existing ones why they should be staying with you
- Reward the customer’s actions
Rewarding customers for their loyalty is an excellent way to keep clients on your books. There are many ways you reward loyalty from offering gifts or discounts, increasing in value for each year of continued custom, to chances to take advantage of vouchers or offers across a wide range of other products.
Many companies entice new clients with first year discounts but the clever ones know that they should also be offering an incentive for each subsequent year of loyalty. That could be in the form of loyalty points that can be spent across a range of other brands if you are able to join a joint loyalty scheme, or opportunities to take advantage of privileges and perks such as early booking on concert, theatre and sports tickets. You could even offer customers chances to be entered into competitions or sweepstakes.
Alternatively, you could give them membership of a club which offers them upgraded customer service experiences; a named personal adviser and free legal advice for example, or opportunities to take advantage of hospitality at events. Making your customers feel valued and presenting them with opportunities to benefit from exclusive offers is a great way to keep them coming back to you and engender loyalty.
- Build a personal relationship with your customers
Customers like being loyal. They actually want to be loyal. If they are offered something better or cheaper from competitors, it is still possible to keep them returning to your brand despite the money-saving opportunities elsewhere, if they feel they have a relationship with you, and they feel as though their continued custom matters to you.
If a customer is made to feel like nothing more than a reference number and a meal ticket – made to wait before speaking to someone, given wrong information and passed from pillar to post – they will not feel any obligation to remain loyal to you if a better offer comes along. And they will not be forgiving when renewal time comes and they are bombarded with competitive offers from other companies.
But build a personal relationship with your customer, by answering their concerns, prioritising excellent customer services, and listening to their feedback, and you will be rewarded with loyalty in return.
- Interact with customers through product expansion
Are there any other products you could be offering your customers that you aren’t currently? What market research have you done recently in this area?
Keeping atop of the trends in your sector is vital for ensuring that you stay useful to your clients. Similarly offering linked products such as maintenance options for industry and security products for those taking out home insurance, or start up finance for small businesses taking our business insurance, can help engage customers and embed yourself into their life as a long-term partner.
Keeping pace with your customers’ needs and expectations is vital if you want to stay relevant to them. And offering solutions to many of their problems all in one place, can make you invaluable to them and create loyalty to your brand.
- And finally…
Value your client. Don’t take them for granted. Once you have a customer on board, then don’t fall into the trap of ignoring them from that point in. Continue to work hard to earn their loyalty and keep their satisfaction levels high. If they reach out to make contact with you, give them a response that reassures them you are taking it seriously and give them a named person who ultimately has responsibility for ensuring their claim or query is dealt with in line with your high standards. Small things such as phoning back when you say you will, can make a big difference to clients and foster that sense of trust and reciprocal respect that can earn you a loyal customer base.