How to deepen client relationships between renewal windows
A broker who only speaks to their clients at renewal time is working at a surface level that will be felt by clients to be purely transactional. So how do you find ways to communicate at different times of the year to build both your client relationship and loyalty?
When you shift focus from being a service provider towards being someone who helps your clients to understand and manage their risks and opportunities, it’s easy to find reasons to communicate more regularly.
The Suncorp Learning Campus has a number of courses on building and maintaining customer loyalty. One of the most important aspects in this topic is how you develop trust through the anticipation of client needs.
In the insurance context, this could mean being proactive with information about changes to products, options, and any changes in the industry. This way, you set yourself up as a trusted source for information that could help a client make better decisions about their business risk management profile.
Think of the opposite scenario where a client hears news from elsewhere and starts questioning whether it is something they should be thinking more about. The longer the gap between them hearing this information and them hearing from you is a window of time where they don't feel you’re seeing them as an important business partner.
To build more organic opportunities to support your whole client network, it may be worth considering a monthly email newsletter. This could include news, advice and thoughts on upcoming matters all clients might need to consider. From holiday closure periods as a reason to ensure all security is working correctly, to impending seasonal weather incidents and preparations that can be made, to new legislation on the horizon.
“Some of the most successful brokers operate on regular routines — sometimes monthly, sometimes quarterly — creating proactive contact opportunities with their client base,” says Dallas Booth, CEO of NIBA. “It clearly gives them great traction with extending and expanding these relationships as a client’s needs change, brokers should move away from being seen as “transactional” and more to the position of trusted adviser.”
In a more personal sense, requesting meetings with clients to catch up on how their business is evolving can be a nice touchpoint to discover clients’ changing needs. If such a meeting is purely about taking notes and being a good ear, it helps to enhance a feeling of special treatment that strengthens their trust in your working relationship.
As one Suncorp Learning Campus course puts it, you want such moments to remain "a gift, not something owed", but they do open the door to opportunities to present new products or options to a client. This can take the form of follow-up meetings, which will demonstrate you’ve understood the client’s changing needs and that you’re thinking about their future requirements as well.
Developing these new ways to connect with clients outside the standard cycle is a marathon, not a sprint. Over time, putting in this small extra effort will benefit client relationships in a way that keeps them feeling well served and pleased to hear from you every time you call.
“Educating yourself on client relationship skills should be a regular part of any broker’s mindset,” says Booth. “Some people think this training is for people who aren’t good at these things, when it’s often the people who have great skills who understand the value of ongoing learning as a way to keep themselves sharp and ahead of the pack.”
If you’d like more insights into deepening client relationships, here are just some of the CPD accredited courses you’ll find at the Suncorp Learning Campus.
- 7 Steps To Build & Maintain Connections With Your Clients
This course will walk you through the ‘CONNECT’ model for developing and maintaining long lasting business relationships.
- Developing loyalty through customer relationships
An extensive course on making customer satisfaction the bedrock of customer loyalty, finding the key needs and motivations of your client, and using your advisory role to open the door to new sales opportunities.
- Key Qualities in Building Customer Loyalty
How to find defining moments in your customer relationship to deliver excellent service and strengthen loyalty in the process.