Create Clients for Life with a Robust Onboarding Strategy

Agency Operations, Marketing, Personal Lines, Small Commercial Lines, Technology

Congratulations! You’ve sold a policy and earned a new client. Now comes a crucial point in the relationship. This is the time to formally introduce your agency and begin building the trust that leads to lifetime loyalty and retention. A proven way to do that is with a robust onboarding strategy that includes a client welcome kit. 

Research shows that you’re most likely to lose a new client within the first 30 to 60 days of selling a policy. That means you’ll need to make a strong first impression. If a client doesn’t hear from you again until renewal, you may not get a second chance to build a lasting relationship. 

In this consumer climate, a one-and-done welcome message won’t do. Instead, our Agent for the Future Advisors team recommends a comprehensive plan that includes digital marketing tools to automate the process. Using digital automation tools can help you easily create recurring messages and provide a steady flow of information needed to engage and educate your clients.

Dig into digital

Digital tools are transforming the insurance industry in measurable ways. Agent for the Future research found that agencies that adopt digital solutions grow revenue 70% faster than those that don’t. 

If you’re not already taking advantage of marketing automation, your onboarding process is a great place to start. It can help you streamline your efforts and meet customer expectations while giving you more time to focus on cross-selling, up-selling and other business growth tactics.

You can use digital tools to set up and send personalized messages to your clients via text, recorded voicemail and email. While you’re at it, you can also automate other repetitive tasks such as sending renewal reviews, newsletters and other timely messages. All of which helps you strengthen relationships and boost retention.

How to create an effective onboarding kit

Onboarding kits are a great way to introduce new clients to your agency. Your onboarding kit helps you build trust with your client, show your value, and educate them on how to do business with you. Onboarding kits can also boost new business policies by telling clients about your agency’s referral program and encouraging them to refer others to the agency. 

You may be able to use content from your website or other marketing materials to complete your onboarding kit. You should tailor your kit to reflect your agency, but here are some key components to consider including: 

  • Welcome letter. This is the place to thank your new client for choosing your agency, let them know why an independent agent is best and introduce how you support your community. 
  • About us. This is the place to share your story. Tell clients how and why you started the agency and what your company culture is like. Paint a picture using text, photos and anecdotes to show them what to expect when working with you. And be sure to refer them to your social media to learn more. 
  • Team bios. Include introductions for all your team members. Aim to make them two parts personal and one part professional to give them a friendly tone, and include lively photos for visual appeal. Have fun with this section and show the personality of your agency. 
  • Community involvement. Talking about your philanthropic efforts isn’t bragging – it’s sharing the joy you get from supporting your community. Plus, clients want to know about it. It’s also a way to invite them to lend support to local nonprofits if they choose to do so. 
  • Your claims process. Tell your clients what to do in the event of a claim so they know who to call first to file a claim or ask questions. You can also direct them to your website for more details. 
  • Referral program details. Referrals are the number one source of new business for agencies, so be sure to outline how your program works. Along with defining what a referral is, explain who is eligible to participate, what rewards you offer and how rewards are distributed. It’s important to communicate your program as often as possible to get the most out of the program. 
  • Reviews and testimonials. Research shows that a whopping 98% of consumers read online reviews before making purchasing decisions. Share a handful of testimonials in your welcome kit to build your brand and highlight your agency’s reputation.
  • Client self-service tools. Clients expect to be able to complete many basic tasks themselves at their convenience, so include links to your client portal and mobile apps. Also offer instructions on how to pay bills, view policy documents, contact an agent and file and track claims digitally.

To get you started or to improve your existing welcome kit, check out our Safeco and Liberty Mutual templates. If you use Canva at your agency, they also have a great collection of welcome kit templates you can use. 

Putting it all together

If you send a physical welcome kit through the mail, let your client know to expect it within three to four weeks and then be sure they receive it within this timeframe. If you use marketing automation software, send your information in a series of emails over a period of 3-60 days. Set expectations at the time of sale by letting clients know to look out for important information coming soon via their preferred method of contact. 

The work you put in immediately following a sale is sure to pay off in long-term client loyalty and higher retention rates. Now go forth and impress your clients with a dazzling welcome!

Shannon Chatman

Agent for the Future Advisor and Growth Consultatnt

With more than 25 years of insurance marketing expertise, Shannon Chatman helps agencies attract new business and retain valuable existing customers. As part of the Agent for the Future Advisors team, she spends her days talking with successful independent agents about the best ways to build strong client relationships and nurture agency talent. Her consultations also cover the latest digital tools that can save agencies time and money while boosting performance. She’s been a featured guest on the ASNoA Dynamic Women of Insurance podcast and is part of RISE, an industry group that empowers women in insurance. Outside of the office, Shannon enjoys boxing and kickboxing and is a mom to a talented artist.

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