Having an established new client onboarding process is an essential foundational element that impacts retention and client loyalty (see article: Key Performance Indicator – Understanding the Impact of Retention and Renewable Income on Agency Growth). Determining what makes a successful client onboarding program varies from agency to agency. A few questions to consider with respect to newly acquired clients:

  • What were some things clients mentioned that their prior agency might have lacked?
  • What are some of the most common questions you have received from new clients in the past?
  • In the case of past clients who did not renew with your agency after the first 12 months, what were the reasons those clients left?

Knowing the answers to these questions might help an agency focus on what should be communicated to new clients. For example, if a new client left their prior agency because they felt service was not acceptable, how can your agency promote your service offerings to match the client expectations.

Let us consider a few touchpoint ideas that might be a worthwhile part of a new client onboarding program:

  • Thank You Cards – This is still a people business and relationships are key. Ideally, a signed thank you card will stand-out.
  • Agency Welcome Kit – Whether this is a printed packet or an email communication, a welcome kit that includes a few things that might be valuable for your client to know could include:
    • Brief Agency Overview
    • Staff Photos with a brief bio and most importantly a one-or-two sentence statement on how they help clients. (i.e., “my name is Russ and I handle service requests for personal lines clients”)
    • General Service Availability to include hours of operation and after-hours phone number (if available) or self-service links (if available)
    • General Claims Contact Information which may include carrier claims numbers and or websites
    • Information about the agency’s online presence (website and/or social media)
    • Value of the Independent Insurance Agent – it is important to make sure your client understands how they benefit working with an independent insurance agent
    • Any brief info with respect to agency community involvement that may be noteworthy
    • Any information with respect to an agency’s client referral program
  • Who-to-Call Information Page Specific to the Client – The agency welcome kit may be a general promotional piece, so having a separate point-of-contact specific to the client and their policy could provide additional value. For example, perhaps it’s a letter from the assigned client service representative providing carrier clams numbers, promoting carrier self-service, or other useful information that may be more carrier specific.
  • Follow-Up Call – A quick follow-up call to make sure the policy, agency welcome kit, and/or information page was received and to see if the client has questions will typically be appreciated. During this call, a client service rep (CSR) may also direct the client to the agency website or social media page. In addition, the CSR may walk the client through the process of how to register for self-service on a carrier site or downloading any available carrier or agency mobile apps. This follow-up call may also be a great opportunity to let the client know about any agency client referral programs and inquire if the client may have referrals that come to mind.
  • Satisfaction Survey – This could be a quick survey to determine initial client satisfaction. For those that respond favorably, take an opportunity to request an online review.
  • Agency Product / Services Information – Once the new client has had an opportunity to get familiar with the people in the agency and received proactive onboarding assistance, a one-page information sheet detailing all the products and services the agency offers will create awareness for other products/services the client may need in the future. Do not assume that clients will remember information like this at point-of-sale.
  • Account Review Touchpoint – Prior to the first renewal, an email, letter, or phone call to check-in and verify that the client has been satisfied with agency relationship is important. Assuming the client is happy, remind them that you look forward to continuing providing that same high level of service. If not, it is important to address any issues before they receive any renewals. This is also an opportunity to see if anything has changed in the client’s life which may impact their insurance needs. It is better to have this conversation before they receive any renewal information so that they have the confidence to reach out to you first if any concerns do arise.

An onboarding program with multiple value-added client touchpoints will not guarantee second-year renewals, but it will increase client-engagement to provide your agency every opportunity to improve chances of working with new clients for many years.