Client retention needn't be a mystery
The reality of business is that from time to time clients will switch brokers, but the reasons behind this needn't be a mystery. On this week's Insurance Business TV we speak to Stuart Prendergast of NCI, Brad Fox of AFA and Doug Mathlin of Frontrunner Consulting Group for their insights into client retention.
Video transcript below:
Stephanie Zillman, Insurance Business TV
Stephanie Zillman: The reality of business is that from time to time clients will switch brokers. However the reasons clients leave isn’t shrouded in mystery. Stuart Prendergast of NCI said while clients will at times leave for another service, there are key ways brokers can retain their client base.
Stuart Prendergast, National Credit Insurance (Brokers)
Stuart Prendergast: It all comes down to communication I feel. You’ve got to engage with the client, do a relationship with the key stakeholders and generally if you got that right, you are not going to have those instances where you are not getting the type of feedback that’s either positive or negative and of course in a negative sense where you can identify there being a problem and you cab provide a solution.
Stephanie Zillman: Brad Fox of the AFA adds that in client retention, honesty, transparency and core values go a long way in the retention equation.
Brad Fox, Association of Financial Advisors
Brad Fox: The things that stand out is you have to be authentic, you have to have a core set of values that you live by, you have to have a very clear set of beliefs and your client needs to understand what those things are. Because if you can invest in your client and share with them what you are trying to do with your business or you are trying to do as an individual with your own career, your own development, they will feel trust from that, you are giving some of your self to them.
Stephanie Zillman: When a client does leave their broker, Prendergast says there are often warning signs along the way, that if detected early can be amended.
Stuart Prendergast: Warning signs such as the complaint be it written or verbal are often viewed as, well not ideal are a good thing, because at least you can identify the problem, you know where you stand and then you can seek to provide a solution to that. But on the other hand, silence isn’t ideal, because it’s those types of warning signs that you don’t see coming and often in our experience is where you get blind sided, where the problem has actually occurred many months before and you are unable to identify it because you actually didn’t have the communication there and your ability then to provide a solution to their needs.
Stephanie Zillman: So what can be done when a broker detects a client looking to depart?
Stuart Prendergast: The first and most important factor is to[ jump on it] immediately. It’s got to be elevated to a more senior level I believe and from there it’s really important, obviously the client has an issue and feel aggrieved in some way and to make sure that I guess you guys are coming back to them and making sure that their problem has been acknowledged and then a solution is being worked on as best possible to provide an adequate response for them.
Stephanie Zillman: Doug Mathlin of FrontRunner Consulting Group said brokers who aren’t going the extra mile for their client, shouldn’t be blind sided by a client departure.
Doug Mathlin, FrontRunner Consulting Group
Doug Mathlin: Probably the notion of just doing enough, meeting customer needs, just being enough for your clients which is never going to get them excited and never going to get them to talk about your services to somebody else.
Stephanie Zillman: This is Stephanie Zillman reporting for Insurance Business TV.