When my father was running his business in the 70s, 80s, and 90s he paid for yellow page advertising and relied on referral business to get leads.
If my father was still in business and used this strategy today, he’d have few leads.
Nowadays consumers use Google Search, Social Media, and Online Reviews to connect with service providers, find products, and get references from other consumers.
🚩 If a potential policyholder cannot find any information about you or your agency online then this will likely be a red flag for them.
That being said, simply throwing up a Yelp profile or Facebook Page isn’t going to help your online reputation.
In fact, not properly tending to it may hurt your online reputation.
- Insurance services rank as the 12th highest industry for which reviews are read by consumers
- 57% of consumers won’t use a business that has fewer than 4 stars
- 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses
- 95% of millennials read reviews for local businesses
- 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
These stats from Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC) are pretty convincing!
Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about how we can help you get positive online reviews and share some tips on reputation management for insurance agents.
Online Visibility for Insurance Agents is Critical
Do customers have a difficult time finding information on your agency such as your phone number or address?
Hopefully, it’s not difficult for them because it is costing you money if it is.
Even so, can they easily find other important details like hours of operation or products and services that you offer?
Consumers now expect to be able to find those types of details when they start searching for businesses to provide them with products and services.
This definitely applies to Insurance as it is ranked as the 12th highest industry for which reviews are read by consumers.
If you don’t have a presence online these days then you’re communicating to those potential customers that you either don’t care or are less professional than those who do have a presence online.
According to one study done on shoppers over three-quarters of consumers look for information online before they make any type of major purchase.
If someone actively seeking insurance searches, on Google or Facebook for example, and is unable to find any information about your insurance agency, then they will simply contact other agencies that they CAN find online.
Many won’t even think to look anywhere other than online except for some who ask their network for referrals.
The internet is an incredible tool that can be used by both business owners and customers alike.
It helps customers to find the right business for their needs and it helps businesses to get their brand out there and advertise for far less than was possible in the past.
As an insurance agent or insurance agency owner, you can invest in technology and hire marketing people to help you build and manage your presence online.
Depending on what your time is worth to you, it is likely a good move to make some investment in your online presence both in time and money.
You will have to invest time and resources into owning, understanding, and executing marketing technology as well as managing the vendors who help you.
Still, this opportunity is incredible considering that until the internet it simply wasn’t possible to connect with so many people so easily.
Developing Your Presence While Managing Your Online Reputation
At first, the idea of managing an online presence may make you feel a bit overwhelmed but there’s no reason to worry.
It’s possible to start with only one or two of the different platforms and then decide if you want to manage more.
It’s recommended that you start with your website on your own branded domain.
Design and develop it to have the required functions for your prospects and customers.
After your insurance website is launched start creating branded social media profiles and list your company in online business directories such as:
- Google My Business
The site can do much more than just give customers basic information about your agency.
It can be a great way to provide special information and news as well as being a terrific marketing tool to reach a wider and targeted audience.
You can make use of local SEO as well as paid advertising to get more visitors coming to your site which will help your sales and leads to grow.
It’s possible that you could find a template to use for your site or you could employ a web developer to create it for you so that it will present the perfect image for your insurance company.
The website will prove to be a valuable tool for controlling the influx of potential clients and be the perfect introduction to you and your agency.
You’ll want to include as much information as you can about your agency when setting up your first social media account and you’ll want to post professional looking photos and other content to represent your agency.
Make a decision from the beginning how often you’re going to post new content and then stick with that schedule.
If it’s not possible for you to do all the posting by yourself then you’ll need to have someone that can do it on your behalf or you can outsource it.
You will want the post to represent a range of information about various facts within your industry as well as products and services that you offer to your customers and other helpful pieces of content that your followers will be interested in.
The post should always remain professional and you’ll want to avoid offensive or controversial topics.
Another great idea for managing your online presence is to create or claim a profile on the local business directories.
These sites are there to provide relevant and useful information to visitors. They will list your agency’s details and it’s profile along with reviews whether you provide any involvement or not.
So, it is best to get involved and gain control of your online reputation.
When you claim your own profile it’ll automatically gain visibility online by becoming “verified” and also allow you to better enhance your agency’s reputation.
What Can You Do To Encourage Good Reviews?
Every agency will want to get good reviews but there are quite a few customers who don’t automatically think of leaving a positive review even when they have a great experience.
You can improve the odds that they will leave a good review more often on your social media accounts or online business listings.
Tips for Getting Good Reviews
Here are some tips to get more customers to start leaving good reviews:
Ask every customer that was satisfied to leave a review and ask regularly because 70% of consumers will leave a review when asked.
If you have hundreds of customers then set up an automated email campaign to contact a few each day.
One approach is to ask every customer if there’s anything you can do to improve their experience.
If they respond that their experience was good then ask them if they would be okay leaving a positive review on your social media account or one of your online business listings.
Always make an effort to respond to positive reviews and thank them for leaving the review. Others will be more likely to leave a positive review when they see that you appreciate it.
After all, those who take time out of their day to leave a good review like to be acknowledged for doing so.
When you have a new customer that saves money by changing their policy from the company they had been using to yours it makes sense to ask them if they would consider telling their friends or leaving a review on social media.
In a similar way, if a claim has been favorably settled then follow up with the customer to see if there’s something more they need and if they’re happy then ask them for a positive review.
Consider sending a handwritten card to any customer who leaves a positive review. This can lead to their sending you more referrals.
Make sure to include a section for testimonies and reviews on your website and highlight those customers that are especially happy.
That last tip is extremely important.
Showcasing your reviews on your website is called providing “social proof” and it is an essential principle to converting leads online.
People trust people, so they love seeing that other people like and trust your business.
Having testimonials and reviews on your website is so important that we built online reputation management for insurance agents into Leadsurance.
With a number of styling options, these reviews are always displayed and updated on your website, with a form for encouraging more reviews.
With Leadsurance, your website stays up to date with your newest and highest reviews. You can control how many and the minimum rating or you can hand pick your favorite ones to display.
Our solution makes online reputation management for insurance agents simple.
Additionally, our solution helps drive more online reviews for insurance agents and agencies.
It is a win-win for consumers and insurance companies.
What To Do When You Get A Negative Review
It would be great if every customer left rave reviews but this simply doesn’t happen.
At one point or another, you will have someone that will post a bad review or just sort of mediocre neutral review.
When it happens you shouldn’t panic since it really isn’t even possible to please every customer in every situation. The most important thing is how you respond to the bad review.
You will want to act as quickly as possible. See if there are any other customer interactions at the same time and check your online profile for any messages.
If you fail to respond in a timely way it could draw more attention then the review does on its own and this could damage your reputation and cost sales.
Do your best to stay cool. Regardless of whether the review is true or not you don’t want to get into an argument on the internet.
Even when you are trying to defend yourself it can end up just making you look worse. Try to reach out to the customer and get into a discussion with them privately.
If you can solve the problem satisfactorily for them then you should do so. If possible you’ll want to do this publicly so the others can see the effort you made to resolve the issue.
If you have a situation where the review is saying that an employee of the company treated them badly but in reality, it was the customer then you may not be able to reply to them publicly.
You could, however, bring up how helpful your staff generally is with customers. There are times when the customer will agree with your comment.
🚩 There are some reviews sites where you could flag the review for the fact that it’s complaining about something outside of your control.
💬 If you can reach out to the one who left their review and remain professional with them then this is always best to see if you can resolve the issue for them.
🤝 Find a professional way to respond and empathize with the customer without damaging the carrier’s reputation.
If the negative review is left by a former employee there may not be much you can do in response.
You will want to keep a lookout for other negative reviews that are similarly related to make sure that an old employee isn’t making multiple posts.
Sometimes an angry ex-employee can set up several accounts and then post multiple negative reviews in an effort to hurt the company. Often you can appeal these to the review site to have them deleted.
It is important to never let bad reviews go unchecked. There are times where a customer will come to agree that their original complaint was about a matter that didn’t directly reflect poorly on the agency.
Still, it will want to be addressed because if potential customers see too many negative reviews it could cost you business.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to avoid any bad reviews but when you keep them at a minimum and you manage it effectively then you’ll be able to maintain your reputation overall.
Before you start building your online presence and working toward earning more reviews, let’s summarize the most important things to keep in mind.
- Get your insurance website design perfect first
- Start with 1-3 of the most important platforms for your business niche (Ie: Facebook, LinkedIn, AgentReview)
- Follow these steps to social media for insurance companies
- Keep an eye on all of your reviews and respond to both good and bad
- Ask your customers how you can improve your service and if they would give you an online review
- Use a platform like Leadsurance to help manage your insurance agency’s online reputation
Well, in a nutshell, follow the above steps and you should be looking pretty good online.
With a strong web presence and a good online reputation, your insurance agency is sure to generate more exclusive inbound leads.