The insurance business is a relationship business and the first 45 days of a new client relationship are some of the most important.

Not only do you run the risk of a client being lured back to their previous agent once that agent receives notification that their client’s policies are being transferred, but you have a tremendous opportunity to set the foundation for a long and profitable client relationship.

Customer service and client relationships are paramount to everything we do at GiiG. We take a holistic approach to insurance and personal finance needs and look for opportunities to provide true value-added service to our clients that create deep relationships and genuine loyalty. One way that GiiG demonstrates its commitment to customer service is in our 45-day client onboarding program, which is designed to surprise and delight clients.

Our client journey begins day one of the new client relationship with automatic messages welcoming them to the GiiG Family. GiiG is a family run business, and we emphasize that clients are now a part of our family because it demonstrates our lifelong commitment to them. First, we sent a text that prompts the new client to check their email, where they’ll find a message thanking them for choosing us and inviting them to take a simple one-question survey. The survey asks them to rate how likely they are to recommend GiiG to their friends and family on a scale from 1 to 10. If they don’t complete the survey within 48 hours, they receive an automated reminder email. After they complete the survey, an additional pop up invites them to write an online review of GiiG on Facebook and Google. If the client writes a review, the agent sends a thank you email right away.

On day two, we send a handwritten thank you card from the producer, welcoming the client once again to the GiiG family. We try and introduce new clients to different members of the team, and so, within the first week, our office admin also calls to thank them and tell them that we look forward to serving them in the future.

During the second week, GiiG sends a mailed welcome kit packed with fun GiiG SWAG like a fidget spinner, agency t-shirt and a balsa wood glider. As soon as the kit is in the mail, we tag it as sent in our system. This triggers an automated text telling the client to keep an eye out for the kit in their mailbox.

Also in the welcome kit, clients will find a card in the shape of an iPhone asking them to take a photo in the GiiG t-shirt along with an item they are insuring and share it to our social media channel. We believe social media is a great way to get to know your clients and deepen your relationships in a fun way.

Along with the fun SWAG, the welcome kit also includes a roadmap for protecting the client’s family, offering opportunities for cross-selling. Four days after the kit goes out, we sent an automated email asking the client if they received the kit and if they have a few minutes to chat about the roadmap. As trusted advisors, we always look at ways to deepen our relationship, so this email comes from someone in our agency who may have an additional service our new client would be interested in—this could be another PL product, a wealth management product, or assistance with Medicare insurance.

Equally important, we make sure that our clients receive carrier paperwork within the third week. And in week four, around the 30-day mark, we send a welcome email from our president, in which he shares our overall business philosophy providing an overview of who we are and why we do what we do.

Then, in week six, we send an email introducing the client to our service team, including pictures and contact information for each team member. By this point in the onboarding program, the client has met at least eight different people on our team.

This series of highly personal touch points is designed to reinforce GiiG as a true partner working toward the financial success of our clients. At the end of the 45-day onboarding program, we send a referral request asking our clients to recommend us to their friends and family – referral programs are a key lead generation activity for independent agencies.

This onboarding program has proven to drive growth for our agency. In fact, we have seen a 31% increase in new business written premium, 8% policies in force growth, and 38% loss ratio compared to the industry average of 68%. In addition, in less than a year, our onboarding program has generated 71 five-star reviews on Google and 44 five-star reviews on Facebook.

One reason that I am happy to share this information with other independent agents is that I truly believe in collaboration and that independent agents are better together. As a founding member of the Insurance Agency Owners Alliance, the fastest-growing association of Independent Agency Owners, I have seen firsthand how collaboration, innovation and selflessness can move your agency forward. In addition, my commitment to customer service has earned me the distinction of being an Endorsed Local Provider for property and casualty insurance from Dave Ramsey, and I am proud of the work I do for our clients.