19 May 2020
5 Ways to Build Client Loyalty During Difficult Times
Read time: 3 minutes, 29 seconds
During turbulent times, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, people and priorities change. Relationships become more important than ever—and that includes client relationships, too.
Chances are, your clients and prospects are seeing things differently now. That may include life and health insurance. In order to meet their needs and earn or maintain their loyalty, you may need to adjust the way you think and do things as well.
There is no question that this is a difficult, painful crisis. But it’s also an opportunity to shine—to rise to the occasion. And by meeting clients and prospects where they are—and by putting their interests before your own—you can create a positive impression that will last beyond the present.
Loyalty is based on trust, and trust must be earned. Here’s five simple ways to achieve that, even while navigating this challenging moment in time.
- Spend More Time Listening
Of course, there is a temptation to lay low right now, to leave people to their own devices and ride the crisis out. But doing so only makes you entirely forgettable. Now is the time to not only actively connect with clients and prospects, but to do more listening instead of talking.
Find out what’s driving them, what’s keeping them up at night. Listen, and you’ll learn their priorities. For example, perhaps that universal life prospect is in fact still a prospect, but now the client is more motivated to protect their family than to plan for retirement.
You can still help. But now, you’re presenting a slightly different solution. And even if he elects not to buy a policy at the present, your attentiveness and understanding may pay off down the road.
- Go Above and Beyond
One of the best ways to earn a client’s loyalty is to advocate personally on their behalf, so be ready to roll up your sleeves on service issues. For example, if a client has a billing or claims issue, get as involved as you can, even if this is something you usually pass along to others. When such calls come in, respond to them immediately.
Furthermore, be sure to check back a few days later to make sure the issue was resolved to the client’s satisfaction. Right now, we all need someone on our team. Be that someone to your clients, and they won’t forget it.
- Be a Problem Solver
During times of crisis, it’s important to be retention minded. For example, because of the downturn, a client may approach you about canceling her life insurance policy, either to access its cash value or because she can’t pay her premiums.
Now’s your chance to offer her options. Perhaps the answer is to take out a policy loan, which is very easy to accomplish. Or to arrange to have premiums paid from her policy’s cash value. Or even to reduce her death benefit, which will lower or eliminate premiums while keeping her coverage intact.
In short, be creative, be understanding, and be ready to offer your clients options. Don’t assume that they know what’s available—educate them, with compassion. Helping a client solve a pressing financial problem like this is one of the best ways to create a strong, long-term relationship.
- Keep Reaching Out
Periodically touching base with clients, just to see how they’re weathering the storm, is a good way to remind them you’re ready to serve them. Not every telephone call needs to be a sales call, or a request for a referral.
In fact, sometimes the most effective communications are when you simply ask how someone’s doing and if you can help them in any way. Or tell a few jokes. Or share a little local news. Many people are feeling isolated and have time on their hands. Let them know they are on your mind.
- Give Back to Your Community
If your community is hurting as a result of COVID-19, give some thought to how you can help. Whether it’s contributing to a food drive, supporting local healthcare workers, or simply donating blood—which is desperately needed right now—giving back is always good for business.
Remember, consumers are paying close attention right now to how businesses are behaving and responding to the crisis. Those who are actively working to make things better now, despite their own business challenges, will reap some benefits later.
When you think about it, client loyalty is a two-way street. Ideally, selling a policy to a client will just mark the beginning of a long-term, mutually-beneficial relationship. So be there for them, especially during difficult times, and they’ll continue to be your client.
Because, at the end of the day, the best way to inspire your clients’ loyalty is to give them yours.