How much of your book of business is made up of commercial accounts? And how much time do you spend building relationships with your personal lines customers vs. your business clients?
It's easy to resort to communicating with commercial clients in an overly formal, business-only sort of way or to assume they’re busy and don’t need to hear from you much.
But the opposite is true.
To grow meaningful relationships with your commercial clients, it’s important to show you care about protecting their business in the same way you care about protecting the families of your personal customers.
If you want to make sure your commercial clients stay with you, buy more and send other businesses your way, follow these tips.
1. Learn how they feel about you
Businesses are run by people who have thoughts about your agency, just like your personal lines clients do. The first step to increasing retention is finding out how your commercial customers feel about your services.
You can do that by surveying them with the Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey—a survey used by some of the best brands across all industries. The NPS survey will help you uncover clients who are at risk of leaving and identify your happiest clients, too. Your happy clients are your promoters. They will talk about you, leave you reviews and send you new business. And your unhappy clients need your attention.
2. Address concerns and resolve issues
Commercial accounts are generally high revenue accounts you don’t want to lose. Once you discover who is unhappy, take action to save the relationship. One simple phone call to these customers increases their likelihood of sticking with your agency for another year by 55%. Here’s more on what to say when you make that call.
3. Reach out outside of renewal times
It’s important to show you care about your commercial clients throughout the year and not just at renewal times. You can do that by sending regular, timely communications to them just like you would to your personal lines customers. For business clients, focus on sending content they will find useful—articles on cybersecurity, workers’ compensation, professional liability, commercial property, etc.
At renewal time, remember to ask questions to better understand what may have changed with your clients’ businesses—it will help you learn more about their insurance needs and identify any gaps in coverage. Use this commercial lines checklist to help you with those conversations.
4. Don’t forget about good ol’ mail
Your business clients want to feel special in the same way your personal lines clients do. And nothing is more personal than a handwritten card.
When your commercial customers are going through their stack of bills in the mailbox, imagine how surprised and touched they’ll be to find a card welcoming them to the agency, thanking them for a referral or wishing them a happy holiday. A personal touch like a handwritten card will help commercial clients stick around longer and refer new business to you.
5. Cross-sell thoughtfully
Business customers will appreciate you are watching out for them if they know you’re thinking about coverage they may need for their unique situation. Educate them throughout the year on the different types of commercial coverage available with the occasional article, video or podcast. When it makes sense, send them an email about various policies you offer to protect their business. Here’s more on how to see the best results when cross-selling insurance.
6. Connect with business clients in a way they prefer
What works for one business owner may not work for the other. Businesspeople have preferences on how they like to keep in touch. For commercial clients who often have full inboxes or who don’t check their email regularly, consider texting.
And make sure you have live web chat available on your website. Web chat is not just for prospects, clients love it too. International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) reports 2.4 times greater annual increase in cross-sell and up-sell revenue for businesses with web chat on their website.
It’s a lot, but we can help
Building client relationships takes a lot of time. That’s why we create tools that do it for you.
With ClientCircle, all your client and prospect communications live in one place. We’ll help you automate thoughtful emails, handwritten cards, useful content, texts and even chat with your clients live from one app. And along with our software, our team of experienced account managers will help you build long-lasting relationships with your commercial clients and bring in new business.