Insurance Agency Processes: The Agent’s Guide to Productivity

Written by John F. Carroll on . Posted in Agency Management, Customer Service, Lead Generation, Sales, SEO, Social Media

insurance-agency-processesGood processes are the key to success in your insurance agency.

That’s why I put together a resource with the most important processes for successful insurance agencies.

I’ve included important considerations and helpful resources for each process below.

There’s a lot of information on this page so I also made a few links to help you get around:

Insurance Agency Processes featured on this page:

Sales Process

Of course every sale is different, but identifying some clear milestones and requirements for the development of the sale will help put your producers in the best position to make more sales.

Some questions to consider about your Sales Process:

  • How much should the process differ based on the channel the lead came from?
  • How does your process force salespeople to identify every prospect’s individual needs?
  • Does it make sense to have different members of your team handle different aspects of the process?
  • Are there worksheets, Powerpoint presentations, videos, or other materials you could create for salespeople to use to make the process more uniform?
  • How does your process make your agency stand out from the competition?
  • Should scripts be associated with various parts of the sales process?
  • How often should your sales process be re-evaluated?

Additional Resources for Developing a Sales Process:


New Customer Process

The purpose of a New Customer Process is to take new clients from being a buyer of insurance to feeling like a member of your family as quickly and effectively as possible. Taking control over the experience people have with your agency in the first year can mean the difference between losing a client and earning a lifetime of renewals.

Some questions to consider about your New Customer Process:

  • When are the opportune times to follow up with new customers?
  • What have other businesses done to make you feel more loyal to them?
  • How does your New Business Process overlap and relate to all the other processes on this list?
  • What are the biggest sources of dissatisfaction for your first-year customers?
  • Why do people leave your agency, and how can you prevent this?
  • How can you introduce new clients to everyone in your agency?

Additional Resources for Developing a New Customer Process:


Referral Process

Your agency’s Referral Process dictates how you ask current clients to refer new business and how you handle those leads when they come. Training  clients to refer the right people to you and taking extra special care of those leads is one of the best ways to boost sales in your agency.

Some questions to consider for your Referral Process:

  • Do you want to give a tangible reward to clients who refer you?
  • How are you going to explain the referral process to new clients?
  • And how are you going to encourage existing clients to refer?
  • Can social media be used to make this process more efficient?
  • How do to keep people informed of the results of their referral?
  • How can you show utmost appreciation for referrals to your agency?

Additional Resources for developing a Referral Process:


Policy Review Process

A Policy Review Process establishes your procedures for getting clients into your agency or on the phone for an annual review of their coverage. The purpose is to identify new sales opportunities and boost retention by strengthening the relationships you have with existing customers.

Some questions to consider about your Policy Review Process:

  • Why is it so important to review insurance policies once a year?
  • What’s the most successful way to get people to say yes to a policy review?
  • Is it a good or bad idea to sell additional services during the actual review?
  • Is there a time of the day or week to schedule all policy reviews?
  • Are some customers more valuable to get in for a customer review?
  • How detailed of a script should you create for the actual policy reviews?
  • Should you hire a telemarketer to schedule policy reviews?

Additional resources for developing a Policy Review Process:


Social Media Process

Your Social Media Process outlines the frequency, nature, and overall social media strategy your agency is pursuing. It’s probably best to keep this one loose since whatever works today can be old-school 12 months from now but having established goals for growing your agency’s social network and general approaches for doing that are extremely helpful.

Some things to consider about your Social Media Process:

  • How often does your audience want to hear from you on social media?
  • What does your social media outreach plan include?
  • Where do you find information to share online?
  • What social media channels are most important to your current and potential customers
  • What traditional marketing methods will you compliment with social media?
  • Who is going to handle the social media and are they free to post and interact at will?
  • What types of content/language/dialoge are off-limits?
  • How do you handle negative criticism (A.K.A. Haters)?

Additional Resources for developing your social media process:


Search Engine Optimization Process

The Search Engine Optimization Process for your insurance agency includes the activities and practices you regularly follow in order to help your agency take advantage of the biggest source of free leads: the search engines.

Some things to consider about your SEO Process:

Additional Resources for developing an SEO Process:


Re-quote Follow-up Process

Your Re-Quote Follow-Up Process helps your agency get more sales from leads you were unable to close the first time. The key is maintaining the relationship without annoying the prospect so when their next renewal comes around they’re open to hearing from you again.

Some questions to consider about your Re-quote Process:

  • What is the most effective methods (or combination) of follow-up? (email, phone, mail, etc)
  • Should the same salesperson handle the follow-up?
  • What’s the right number of contacts to stay top of mind without being annoying?
  • Is there anything that should prevent a lead from being included in your Re-quote Follow-up Process?
  • Should your re-quote leads be rated to identify the best opportunities?

Helpful resources for developing a Re-quote Process:


Cross-Selling Process

Your agency’s Cross-Selling Process should capture everything from identifying additional needs for brand new policies and gathering X-dates on existing ones to closing the sale and everything in between. The goal for your agency, and this process, is not just to get every client to purchase all their current lines of insurance with you but also to learn about new types of insurance they should already have.

Some questions to consider about your Cross-Selling Process:

  • How do you capture all x-dates?
  • What questions should be asked of every client to identify new insurance needs?
  • Besides price, what advantages do clients get with having multiple lines from your agency?
  • How soon before an x-date should the client be contacted?
  • Should the original salesperson handle the cross-line sale, or should it go to a specialist for that line of insurance?
  • How can you make clients willing and eager to get another quote from you?

Helpful resources for developing a Cross Selling Process:


Renewal Process

The Renewal Process for your agency has the ultimate goal of making sure as many of your clients renew their policies as possible. There are a lot of things you can do to increase customer loyalty throughout the year but right before renewal time is especially important.

Some ideas to consider about your Renewal Process:

  • Is it worth reaching out to every renewing customer?
  • Are certain customers deserving of a pre-renewal phone call and if so, who?
  • Are there any confusing aspects of your customers’ renewals that cause a lot of problems?
  • Can you get a list of customers showing how much their policy has increased or decreased?
  • Should the original salesperson handle the renewal process, or should you have a renewal specialist?
  • Is the renewal also a good time for selling additional lines.

Additional Resources for developing a Renewal Process:


Employee Hiring Process

The Employee Hiring Process handles everything from advertising the availability to interviewing and making an offer.  I’m no HR expert but I do know that finding, hiring, and keeping the best employees is one of, if not the most important ability for a successful insurance agent. And while having employees for many, many years is the best situation turnover is a fact of life in the insurance sales business.

Here’s some questions to ask about your Hiring Process:

  • What are the best places to advertise a job opening?
  • How much value do you place in experience and having a license?
  • Do you need to have applicants fill out a formal application?
  • Will you be checking references?
  • What are the most important qualities you want on your team?

Additional Resources for developing Hiring Processes:


Employee Training Process

Lack of a clear Employee Training Process can result in major problems for your agency. New employees will develop their interpretation of the seriousness and professionalism of your agency based on how organized your training process is. Even just a semblance of organization and structure will go a long way toward developing the right mindset for your employees.

Consider the following questions about  your Employee Training Process

  • How are you providing training for all employees? (not just the newbies)
  • Who is the best person to administer employee training?
  • What kind of documents and materials can be helpful with this process?
  • Are there free external resources that you can take advantage of? (How about this blog?)
  • How are you incorporating your employee’s goals and desires with their training and education?

Additional resources for developing an Employee Training Process:


Employment Termination Process

Uh oh… Finding and hiring top talent is a top priority but getting rid of personell that are not moving your agency in the right direction is just as important. Firing an employee is a big deal with a lot of consequences and, from a legal point of view, it might be the most important process on this list to establish in your agency.

Some things to consider about your Termination Process:

  • Should you have your attorney or a human resources expert review this procedure?
  • Does your procedure give employees the opportunity to correct mistakes before being fired?
  • Does your process hold your staff’s employment over their head in a way that can be counterproductive?
  • Does it makes sense to show all employees this process? Or keep it to yourself?

Additional resources for developing a Termination Process:


Telemarketing Process

If your agency participates in telemarketing, the Telemarketing Process details everything from who you call, when you call, what you say, what you’re trying to accomplish and what constitutes success.

Some things to consider about your Telemarketing Process:

  • Are you going after live quotes, leads, x-dates or something else?
  • Will you hire a telemarketing company or do the process in-house?
  • If you’re doing it all in-house, is there any software/technology to improve your process?
  • Are you targeting commercial, residential, or both?
  • Where are the phone numbers coming from?
  • Do you need scripts and talk paths?
  • How do you prepare and role-play with your telemarketers?
  • How are you going to measure your telemarketer’s performance?
  • How are you going to help your telemarketers get better?

Helpful resources for developing a Telemarketing Process:


Claim Handling Process

Of course your agency is not the primary entity in charge of claims buy you can play a very integral role in how satisfied your clients are with the experience, which leads to better retention and more referrals and sales. Sometimes we forget how important the claim process and experience is to our business – it’s the ultimate moment of truth – and you need to have a process in place to prevent problems for the customer and ensure a smooth experience.

Some things to consider about your Claims Process:

  • How are you notified of claims that are filed directly with the carrier?
  • How does your process clearly demonstrate the care and concern you have for your clients?
  • What are the most common claim experience problems and how can your process obviate them?
  • How often should you proactively follow-up with your customers about their claims?
  • If the client has a positive claims experience, how do you transfer that into a sales opportunity?
  • How does your process prevent your staff from giving bad advice about claims?

Additional Resources for developing your agency’s Claims Process:


Policy Endorsement Process

As much as we’d like policy endorsements to be a smooth process every time it’s not always the case, is it? A Policy Endorsement Process details how your agency takes the request and follows through to make sure it is taken care of properly. Policy endorsements can often be sales opportunities so addressing that within the process will prevent your staff from missing any opportunities.

Some questions to think about your Policy Endorsement Process:

  • Should one person in your agency handle all policy endorsements?
  • What endorsements are “red flags” for sales opportunities?
  • How long after the endorsement should the policy be double-checked?
  • What paperwork and documentation is required to make certain endorsements?
  • What are the technical steps for making changes to policies with each carrier you represent?
  • What are the biggest problems that currently present themselves during your policy endorsements?
  • Are there certain endorsements that should require your approval?

Helpful resources for developing an Endorsement Process in your agency:


Billing Inquiry Process

Your agency’s Billing Inquiry Process outlines how your agency handles customer questions about billing. The process you follow should address whether the client’s question just needs a simple answer or research and maybe even a correction.

Some things to consider for your Billing Inquiry Process:

  • Should one employee be the billing expert and if so, who is their backup?
  • What are the most common billing problems and can your process address them efficiently?
  • What types of billing inquiries should include a follow-up from the agency owner or manager?
  • What’s the best way to reach out to billing experts in your carriers?
  • Can you build a contact sheet for the billing experts at the carriers you sell for?

Additional Resources for developing a Billing Inquiry Process:


Customer Complaint Process

Every agency should have a standard Customer Complaint Process to outline the steps taken when people are unhappy with the service they get from your agency.

Some things to consider regarding your Customer Complaint Process:

  • What instances will require a phone call from the agent or office manager?
  • Is it worthwhile to keep track of complaints to identify opportunities for improvement?
  • Do employees need training on listening to and handling customer complaints?
  • What are the most common complaints you receive and can they be reduced?
  • Do you need an established hierarchy for escalating complaints?
  • How does your process make the customer feel understood, acknowledged, appreciated, and assured the problem will not happen again?

Additional Resources for developing a Complaint Process in your agency:


Content Creation Process

If you have a blog, newsletter, or other platform for creating regular content to engage your current and potential customer base a Content Creation Process can really help for maintaining the quality and regularity of your content. It also makes creating content easier!

Some things to consider while developing a Content Creation Process:

  • Is content creation something your entire office can get involved with?
  • What is the overall goal of the content you create?
  • Is a calendar the best way to organize the content creation schedule?
  • Should your agency’s content go through any type of approval process prior to publishing?
  • Are there portions of your content creation that can be outsourced?
  • How do you keep track of new ideas for content creation?

Additional resources for creating your Content Creation Process:


Share Your Process

Does your agency have an amazing detailed process that other agents could follow successfully?

Share the love!

If you have detailed agency procedures for any of the processes mentioned here (or not mentioned here) send it to me and I’ll publish it here at InsuranceSplash!

You’ll gain recognition as an industry expert, get a link to your agency website on a prominent insurance website, and help countless agents across the globe be successful for many years to come.

CLICK HERE to learn how to get your agency process published!

And by the way…

If you’ve read this far then surely you see the value in this resource I’ve created. Would you do me a favor if that’s true:

  • Click the “like” button or share it on social media so more agents can see it.
  • And if you know another agent or sales manager that likes processes email them a link

I hope this resource helps you,
John

 

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John F. Carroll

John F. Carroll is the founder and CEO of InsuranceSplash. For years, John has consulted insurance agencies with internet marketing and sales strategy and he is dedicated to making insurance marketing easy and effective for all insurance agents. If you're an agent, connect with John on LinkedIn, he wants to connect with you!

Comments (2)

  • Brooke Adams

    |

    I love this article. Thank you so much for asking challenging questions! I’m going to put all of this to good use. Thanks again!

    Reply

  • Porter Talbot

    |

    Thank you for this article. Insurance agencies need to improve our processes in order to improve our results. You provide a valuable service.

    Reply

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