Can well-established insurance industry staples learn something from startups? Absolutely! Here are three startup traits that have proven successful at AgentSync and tips for how you can adapt them for success at your organization as part of your client retention strategies.
At AgentSync, we’re a startup (and proud of it!) serving one of the world’s oldest industries. While “startups” can get a bad rap, don’t forget that some of today’s most successful companies were startups not that long ago. Google, for instance, was founded in the proverbial garage in 1998.
As a young and fast-growing organization, we know there are a few stereotypical “startup traits” that set us apart from legacy technology providers in the insurance industry and beyond. These aspects of our collective AgentSync DNA don’t go unnoticed by our customers. On the contrary, we believe they’re key to our continued success and unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction and retention. We know because our customers tell us this is true.
If you’re working at one of the industry’s more established companies, whether an insurance carrier, insurance agency, brokerage, MGA, or MGU, we know you also seek to be high-growth, high-revenue, and retain as many of your current clients as possible. No matter the age of an organization or its industry, having a high level of retention while attracting new customers each year is the not-so-secret recipe for organic growth.
With that in mind, we wanted to share a few of our best practices that can be just as effective at established insurance industry organizations as they are at AgentSync. In other words, you don’t have to be a startup to think like one, and to reap the benefits that come with doing so.
Make “customer love” a central part of your culture
From Amazon, to Zoom, to Intuit, the ideas of being “customer obsessed,” “delivering happiness,” and “designing for delight” are ones that you’ll see repeatedly in the world of tech startups, especially the ones who’ve grown into the world’s most successful companies. This isn’t a coincidence! One thing successful startups know for sure is that they’re nothing without their customers. At AgentSync, we call it “customer love” and it’s baked into who we are and everything we do.
Just because you’re not a startup doesn’t mean you can’t add this mentality into your organization. Regardless of the age of your company, whether you’re an insurance carrier, agency, or any other type of business, making a conscious effort to prioritize your clients and their experience above all else will put your lightyears ahead of others in the industry. After all, there’s no shortage of options for consumers shopping for insurance. All things being equal, people will choose to work with people and companies that make them feel like valued customers.
Improve client retention by listening to your clients and adapting based on their feedback
For better or for worse, a hallmark startup trait is that of agility. Sometimes this quickness to pivot leads to dizzying chaos. When done correctly, it means we’re constantly asking for input, taking unsolicited advice, and acting on what our customers actually want (not what some executives in an ivory tower think our customers want).
If you’re an insurance carrier, agency, MGA, or MGU, you might feel like this level of adaptability isn’t possible. Sure, you can’t just pull new insurance products out of a hat to meet a specific client request, but that doesn’t mean you can’t approach your clients’ wants and needs with an agile startup mindset.
For an agency, this could look like:
- Seeking out appointments with carriers who offer cutting-edge products.
- Being willing to explore out-of-the-box solutions for clients with unique insurance needs, instead of assuming something isn’t possible at first glance.
- Adopting the most modern and user-friendly client-facing technology, like mobile apps to give your insureds access to their policy information and self-service capabilities 24/7.
For a carrier, this could look like:
- Constantly striving to make life easier for your insureds and your downstream partners (the agencies and producers who sell your products), whether that’s through new products, better rates, or smoother processes.
- Focusing on deep human empathy during the claims process, instead of making goals all about processing speed and volume.
- Soliciting feedback from everyone downstream from your company to the end insureds and making it a goal for the entire company to take that feedback to heart, even if it means making some changes to “the way you’ve always done it.”
Retain insurance customers by Empowering your team to “act like an owner”
At many startups, the employees are literally owners thanks to frequent equity programs in the startup environment. Even if employees at your insurance carrier, agency, MGA, or MGU are not company shareholders, you can still create a culture that empowers each person from the CEO down to take responsibility and ownership. And your clients will notice the difference!
nstead of endless games of “pass the buck” from one person or department to another, an employee who commits themself to resolving an issue once and for all gains the trust of that client, and your company gains loyalty. All too often, employees are afraid to take ownership out of fear of stepping on another person or teams’ toes, swimming outside their lane, or other metaphors that boil down to doing something that isn’t strictly within their job description.
Certainly there’s a balance and you don’t want people acting in capacities they aren’t trained (and licensed) to act in. But if you’ve got the right solutions in place to provide your team with transparent views of data and a single source of truth, you enable each person to get to the bottom of an issue more independently, thus creating a much better client experience.
Think like a startup for insurance client retention
You don’t need to have dogs in the office (although it doesn’t hurt!), and you don’t have to install a beer keg in the company kitchen. But thinking like a startup by focusing on your customers’ needs, prioritizing adaptability, and instilling a sense of ownership across the organization can help your company do better at any stage of growth.
Another notorious startup trait is being ahead of the digital curve. If you’re curious to see how you can adopt modern solutions that solve your employee’s most frustrating licensing and compliance challenges, check out how AgentSync can help.