I’m no relationship expert.
Just ask my wife.
But I know you need to go out of your way to show appreciation for the other person in any relationship, otherwise it will deteriorate and eventually die.
But you don’t want relationship advice from me. (trust me)
Let’s talk about your agency instead.
- How healthy are your customer relationships?
- Do they know how much you appreciate them?
- Do you go out of your way to make sure they know how you really feel?
- What are you doing to make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside?
Client relationships are just like personal ones – they require work.
And if your business strategy doesn’t include processes to go out of your way to say “thank you” to your customers, they will eventually leave you.
With Thanksgiving coming up later this week, I thought it’d be a good time to explore ways to say “Thanks!” to your insurance customers. I already started by giving travel tips to those planning vacation. As for the rest – here they are:
1) Random Thank You Phone Call
A phone call from your insurance agent usually means one of two things:
- There’s a problem
- They’re trying to sell something
Surprise your clients in a remarkable way with a random phone call just to say, “thanks for your business.”
By the way, if you literally just call and say “thank you” they’re going to think you’re weird so combine your “thank you” with a question like, “We’re taking a survey, is there anything we could be doing to make you happier with our agency?”
2) Handwritten Note of Appreciation
Just like a phone call out of the blue, a handwritten note for no other reason than to say thanks will surprise most people nowadays.
Simple tip: Use small paper so it’s easy to fill in the whole page quickly.
3) Recommend Their Businesses
For your self-employed clients and others who work on commission, there’s no better way to say thanks for their business than by sending them some too.
I know agents who keep a rolodex of only client businesses just for this purpose and I think it’s a great idea. If you’re going to do this, make sure to show new clients that they’ve been added to your rolodex – it’ll make them more likely to renew so they don’t get yanked out!
And guess what, the more you refer other people the more referrals you’ll get to your agency.
4) Customer Appreciation Party
I know a customer appreciation party sounds a little cheesy, but not if you do it right.
The key is giving people something they actually want.
Customers won’t want to come party at your agency, but they’ll be happy to play a free round of golf, go watch a just-released movie, or eat at one of their favorite restaurants as long as you pay for it…
Aren’t they so kind?
5) Write Recommendations on LinkedIn
This might work a bit better for commercial than personal lines, but if you have a strong enough relationship with one of your clients, there’s no reason you can’t go to their LinkedIn profile page and write a nice recommendation about their professional aptitude.
As an added bonus, there’s a decent chance they’ll turn around and write one about you too!
At the very least, you could click one of those “endorsement” buttons. That only takes a second.
6) Send a Picture of You Saying Thanks!
Take a picture of all the employees at your agency holding a sign that says, “Thanks!”.
You can email this picture anytime someone does something you appreciate for your agency like referring a new client or just renewing a policy.
Here’s a creative spin:
Take the same picture of your office employees holding a blank sign. Then you could use photoshop or picmonkey to personalize it to make it say anything you want in just a few moments…
7) Social Media Post
Go out on your insurance agency Facebook page and make a post for the world to see thanking one of your clients.
The side benefit of this method is it encourages your other Facebook fans to repeat the same behavior when they see how much appreciation you have for it.
Bonus tip: Write a blog post on your agency website thanking your customer and share a link to that page on social media instead. It’ll drive traffic to your website where it’s easier for people to get a quote or learn more about your agency.
8) Gift Cards
Okay, it’s not super creative but everyone loves free money!
I know a lot of agents who give out gas cards. Personally I never liked that idea because you’re just making someone pay $51.23 at the pump instead of $56.23 and to me that’s just not a big deal.
That same $5 could get your clients a car wash, a footlong hoagie, or a couple ice cream cones!
In my opinion those are all cooler and more memorable than a slight price reduction at the gas pump but that’s just my opinion.
9) Give Free Agency Swag
You know the deal, people love to get free stuff – even when it’s crap.
You can get a lot of really cheap stuff, but what’s the lifetime value of a fake rubick’s cube that falls apart the first day you give it out?
I find if you spend a bit more on higher quality items people will use and hold on to you’ll get much more lifetime marketing value from it.
Here’s a few promotional items that tend to stick around:
- coffee mugs
- a pizza cutters
- refrigerator magnet with valuable information
- baby’s bib
- or even just nice pens.
Do you think I’ll ever forget the agent who gave my daughter this bib?
10) Send a Thank You eCard
Saying thanks doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
There’s tons of sites that make it really easy to send an electronic ecard to your customers.
Go for something funny, if you can inject a laugh into someone’s day that’s a very powerful thing.
11) Thank You Video
Make a movie using the different employees of your agency saying thank you.
You could be wild and go all out by singing or lip-synching a song like, “Thank You” by Dido, or just do something very simple like have everyone say, in unison, “thank you”.
If you want to make a powerful “thanks for becoming a new customer” video, film each person in your agency stating their name, a personal message, and either “thank you”, or “welcome to the agency”, or something like that. Put the miniclips together and you’ve got a great video.
It doesn’t have to be super professional.
Upload your video to YouTube as a hidden video and send the link via email to your new clients.
12) Say Thanks in Your Newsletter
If you send out a monthly electronic or paper newsletter to your clients, give a shout out to specific clients with a personalized message thanking them for their business, a referral, or something like that.
Make sure you point it out to them though because most people probably don’t read your newsletter… (sorry but it’s true!)
13) Give Discounts to Another Local Business
Work a deal with another local business (preferably a client) that gives your clients a discount at the other business.
This is awesome for everyone because
- The other business gets free advertising and customers,
- You provide added value to your own clients,
- And the clients get discounts!
And you know they can never get enough discounts.
14) Give Tickets to the Game
50 yard line seats at an NFL game might fall outside the range of acceptable (or affordable) customer gifts for most of the agents I know, but you can get your clients tickets to a minor league baseball game, or even the local high school sports games.
And it doesn’t need to be sports either.
What about tickets to the:
- you get the idea…
15) Say Thanks on THEIR Facebook Page
If you go out to your commercial client’s Facebook page you should be able to make a recommendation on their wall.
That’s a great place to say thanks for something they did for you or the community.
And if their settings don’t allow a recommendation like that you can also just send a Facebook message too.
Do not do this on someone’s personal Facebook page unless you know them really well!
16) Mail Them a Cookie
When’s the last time you got a cookie in the mail?
For me the answer is never and that just ain’t right.
If someone did mail me a cookie I’d be very likely to renew my insurance policy with them.
17) Donate to Charity
Another way to say thanks to your clients is to make a charitable donation in their name.
Of course you could do this year round, but I have seen this technique used a lot during the winter holidays.
Because it’s more popular to do during the holidays, I would probably do it anytime but then. So your gesture stands out more… just a thought.
18) Holiday Thank You Cards (it’s probably too late for Thanksgiving though)
Your customers are used to receiving Holiday Cards in the mall during the winter season, but if you’re going to spend all that money on stamps and envelopes, why not do it at a time when people aren’t getting many cards like Valentine’s Day, July 4th, or Halloween.
I often recommend agents send cards out to clients once a year but instead of doing them all in December, why not send a card to all your clients for whatever holiday occurs the month before their renewal?
Your December holiday card is long forgotten when August renewals are sent out…
19) Birthday Phone Call
Sure it’s more of a “happy birthday” than a “thank you”, but that doesn’t mean that calling your clients on their birthdays isn’t an opportunity to say “thanks again for your business”.
“By the way, life insurance isn’t getting any cheaper you old fart…”
20) Buy Clients a Coffee
Send someone a small value gift card to Starbucks, or another local coffee shop.
It works great for clients who either live too far away or are very busy.
Send it with a note that says, “I’d love to take you out to coffee sometime but that’s not so easy… why don’t you have a coffee on me instead.”
21) Make Them Laugh
I don’t want to get too cheesy here, but there’s not many better things you can give someone than a good hard laugh.
Just follow a few rules: no jokes about politics, religion, nationality, sex, or anything else that might offend someone.
Don’t worry, that still leaves you with lots of great of knock-knock jokes.
22) Give Your Client Flowers
Flowers are always a nice gesture because if your clients are anything like my wife, they probably never get them.
(I should follow my own advice more often)
You don’t have to spend a fortune on real flowers… follow my lead and snap a picture of one of your kids in the backyard with a flower they tore off my neighbor’s rosebush!
It worked, didn’t it?
Whether you’re a regular reader of InsuranceSplash or just happened upon this article…
I thank you so much.
I’ve been in absolute awe with how the community of InsuranceSplash readers has grown and supported this blog. I cannot thank you enough for that.
And one more thing…
If you appreciate articles like this and want to thank me for taking the time to write and publish these here’s the best way to do it:
- Click one of those Like buttons.
- And share a link to this article with an agent you know that really appreciates their clients.
Have a great Thanksgiving!