With Valentine's Day right around the corner, we wanted to highlight 3 tips on what exactly it is that makes consumers LOVE your agency. Sure, your bundle deals are great value, and you may write whole families who stay with your carrier for generations, have more individual discounts than most other buyers, and contribute to charitable causes. But these reasons are only skin deep,
Here are three personal and important reasons on why consumers love their agent, even if they may not express it.
1. The personal Touch
I grew up in a smaller neighborhood, so I like to think I know a thing or two about trust. In my family, when we needed meat for dinner we went to the local butcher or deli. When one of us was sick, we saw the local doctor. And when we needed to make an insurance claim we went to our local insurance agent. We trusted these people to be experts in their field because we knew them. This was in the *cough* 80's *cough* when retrospectively, seemed to be a much simpler time. Unfortunately, we’ve swapped that community feeling for cheap online deals in 2020.
We need to talk about this myth of the "better online price". Sure, there are great deals online if you know where to look and you can sift through all of the nonsense, but most people don’t know where to look because they’re not experts. Most people take a much worse deal than we could get because no one is representing us. Many people end up paying more money AND local jobs have been lost to online mega giants.
You hire an accountant because you feel they can make you more money than you pay them and because they understand money better than you. You hire an insurance agent because they can get you a better, more personalized deal than you could get yourself. Because they’re experts.
Most insurers have moved their business online to avoid costly overheads. Some carriers still rely on the agent/customer relationship for its business model. I know my insurance agent’s name, and he knows mine. If I buy a condo and want it insured, he’ll know the best deals and discounts for me. We have a good, working relationship and it’s all included in my policy. How many people that bought their insurance online can say that?
I stay with my carrier because they personally take care of me. If I ever have a question, I call their office and they handle it, instead of giving me an 800-number to call and get things resolved myself.
2. Be a safe Haven
One of the big advantages agencies have over online only carriers, is that they are an actual place that someone like you or I could walk into, talk to someone face to face, and discuss our insurance needs.
Can we say the same about the other hipster, online-only insurance companies popping up? They have nice looking websites but read the reviews and things get murkier. They’re a nightmare when you want to make a claim and don’t provide you any assistance. It’s you against them. How many could survive another 2008 recession? Would your money be safe?
When it comes to coffee and furniture I support my community and buy local. When it comes to my money, ill take the safest, most reliable service I can. Many consumers are starting to feel this way as online shopping becomes more and more prevalent in all aspects of our lives; I’m supporting local jobs and going with a stable brand. Win-win.
Being that 'place' of safety for someone in their time of need reinforces the concept of safety, trust, and protection. When those claims calls come in, take the extra steps to be the safe haven that person is looking for and the next time an on-line only carrier tries to steal your business, they'll have nothing on you.
3. Show You care
I live downtown and accidents happen. Barely a week goes by without seeing an auto collision or accident on the side of the road, or hear an ambulance in the background rushing to someones' need. It’s no secret that we have a problem.
I sometimes think of how these tragedies could be prevented. It’s no use telling people not to speed – they will. We can add more officers to the roads but there will never be enough. The answer is complicated, and every little helps.
Insurance companies make more money when people are healthier, happier and safer. Those are the kinds of incentives I like seeing in an industry.
Do you think McDonalds makes more money when people are healthier? Do mechanics make more money from safer cars? The answer is no, of course, but Insurance carriers make more money from us being safer. It’s a mode of thinking I want to continue supporting. I’d like to know how else they can encourage people to be safer. Many carriers offer a safe driver program, which is a good start!
By being the type of agency who cares, you build brand loyalty. Sure, it may not seem that remembering someones' vacation plans is that important, but when you remember little details about your clients, and their well-being, you show that you care. That is where the magic lies.
Tell us what you think! We want to hear from you! What makes you love your carrier?