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Encompass® Agency Insights

How to Be Proactive With Customer Communication

A person using their smart phone to communciate with a customer.

Acquiring a new customer is, on average, five times more expensive than maintaining an existing customer. Of course, maintaining an existing customer is just a start. What if you could increase the lifetime value of your existing customers? This is where proactive customer communication can make a difference by building trust, strengthening loyalty and improving service quality.

Here are some tips to help your customer communication be more proactive:

Email. An email campaign can create new sales opportunities by educating customers about new products and services. For example, an independent insurance agent could send informative emails about different coverage options or give customers a reminder to schedule an "insurance checkup" since coverage needs may change over time. By keeping the emails focused on delivering valuable information rather than trying to push a sale, your customers will see you as a true partner who genuinely cares about their needs.

Direct mail. Direct mail, like email, is an opportunity for raising awareness with a light call to action. An "advocacy' direct mailer, for example, is designed to turn loyal customers into brand advocates, both within their companies and to industry peers. These mailers can focus on conveying key information about service and products. They may include a small incentive, such as sharing a trial offer with a friend, which encourages your loyal customers to advocate on your behalf and strengthens their own connection to your company.

Client surveys. It's easy to focus on the clients who are the loudest and demand the most attention but try not to overlook your quieter clients. A silent customer is not necessarily a satisfied customer! Short client surveys are an effective communication option for monitoring your performance and identifying unmet needs.

Social Media. It might seem like using platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn may take you away from driving business or making a sale. These are the places where your customers and prospects are every day so try to capitalize on this digital avenue to make those connections.

Videos. When onboarding a new customer, consider which products or services have historically caused the most confusion. To streamline the onboarding process, consider creating short, informational videos or tutorials on things like basic products and services, or even quick tips and tricks on certain lifestyle topics.

Cards and Notes. Don't wait until the December holidays to thank your loyal customers and clients. Sending a personalized note or small gift to recognize a milestone, like a client anniversary, is a thoughtful touch. If a client reaches a significant business achievement, such as opening a new branch office, reach out and let them know you're proud to help support their growth.

Bottom Line: Cultivating a Proactive Mindset

Shifting your communication strategy requires changing your mindset. With reactive communication, you're responding to customer needs after they happen. Proactive communication anticipates and delivers what your customers need before they ask for it. When you get in the habit of anticipating needs, you deliver exceptional value to your customers, sending that email or making that phone call at the perfect moment.

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