Growing Your Reputation Through Online "Word of Mouth"
Online reviews are the backbone of any business with an internet presence, but doubly so for those that rely on consumer trust.
An insurance agency faces a unique challenge: not only do their claim services need to be worth praising, but the personal experience they offer does as well.
The clients that come to you for their needs are in a vulnerable place, trying their best to mitigate pessimistic worst-case-scenario worrying with ample planning in an effort to achieve peace of mind. An agent that can help them do that and leave them with a good impression? Well, that's one worth writing home about.
So how do you manage to earn that particular mantle of trust for your agency? It begins with facilitating reviews from your clients.
Once a policy has been signed, your client is in a good mood. They've taken care of "the thing" on their to-do list, and they're probably feeling pretty proud about that. This is a good time, assuming all has gone as well as it could, to ask them if they'd mind leaving you a review online.
Make it easy to do so by providing clients with a business card with your contact information; ideally, this will include a URL to a page that links to your review page. Your Google Business page, for example, is a great place to point clients to leave an online review. Additional sites, such as Yelp or even a kind word on a local Facebook community group, will also help immensely.
Unfortunately, even the best intentions can be tripped up by forgetfulness. Even though some clients fully intend to give you a positive rating online, something may distract them after they head home, or they may misplace your card.
The two-week post-policy-signing date is a great time to use their email to reach out to them and see how things are going. Ostensibly, the email can be about making sure they're happy with their policy or have any questions, but some clever additions can direct them to your review pages, your blog, and other aspects of your business to support later cross-sale attempts.
For existing clients, it couldn't hurt to ask for a review if the subject comes up organically, but it can be a little awkward asking out of the blue. Instead, post a social media post asking for the public's help in supporting a small business (your agency). This not only gives you traction for interest on social media by itself, but it can also rouse long term clients to report on their experience with you. Frame it as a need to gain a foothold in the community, a hat-in-hand request to let the world know about their positive experiences with your agency.
Inevitably, there will be a rotten apple in the bunch. No matter how hard an agency works to keep everyone happy, eventually, there comes a client that simply won't take no for an answer. They're not only happy to bombard you with complaints and questions in person, but they also take to the internet, as well.
Avoid making a bad thing worse by arguing, belittling, or refuting their complaints; instead, request that they contact you directly at a customer service email address to settle the issue. This keeps the drama and negativity off of your public-facing pages and offers you a chance to deescalate behind the scenes. Additionally, always read and respond to any negative (and positive!) reviews. This shows your clients that you actually read their feedback and care about what they have to say.
Finally, one of the easiest ways to garner reviews, clout, and word of mouth advertising online is by connecting with a membership group. Not only does Voldico work with both new and established insurance agencies, but it also gives agencies a cohesive look and feels and straightforward quote generation tools to make every customer a happy one.