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When an agency changes hands and the clients are notified, the agency faces a greater risk losing clients and having a higher–than-normal attrition rate. This increased rate of attrition can partially be attributed to loyalty felt by existing clients towards the previous agency ownership. This may also give clients an opportunity to shop or, even more so, consolidate with another agency they may have policies with. To prevent this from happening, the buying agency should have a plan in place to both personalize themselves as well as make the necessary connections with these new agency clients.
The absolute best way to make a connection is meeting with each client in person. In reality, this will probably not happen because it’s hard to get to all of the newly acquired clients in the first year. The next option is to connect with these clients via phone; however, while this should be done, it’s not as personal, it may be difficult to reach people, some phone numbers may no longer be valid and you will still have clients who will not warm up right away because they will resent that the agency has been sold, and they will be uneasy about what will happen to their level of customer service. To fill the gap of personal combinations and to present yourself as being qualified to handle their account, having an agency newsletter is key to connecting with these clients.
How can an Agency Newsletter make a big difference on whether your keep or lose some of these clients? Here some potential benefits that can go a long way for the buying agency:
· You are branding your agency and your logo to your professionalism, further branding yourself as insurance experts and an organization that knows how to communicate.
· Agency information in your newsletter is important; this will help get the clients familiar with your agency.
· Articles about coverage, risk management, underwriting and claims can trigger clients of the agency to both review their policies and perhaps talk about policies they may have with another agency.
· As per the previous point, this will help consolidate the accounts, not only preventing losing at-risk clients, but also building a strong anchor between your agency and your clients.
· You can address coverage gaps that may have not been addressed by the selling agency, such as pointing out that there may be a need for an Umbrella Policy or notifying a commercial account that doesn’t have professional liability coverage.
· The acquired clients may have been referred clients to the selling agency, but will they refer clients to your agency? How can they if they don’t know you? A newsletter bridges this gap and gets the new clients familiar with your agency.
You have a huge investment in the newly acquired agency. The last thing you want is for clients to leave because they just don’t know who you are. The best part about a newsletter is it can reach so many people at once with such great impact, something personal contact cannot do within a short timeframe. Also, with newsletters you can reach the client once a month — the frequency and professionalism they can provide is unmatched. The bottom line is, an agency needs to have a plan when they acquire a new agency and such a plan must be executed. Not taking any action to connect with these new clients can be very risky, and it is a risk you don’t want to take.
You can create your agency newsletter by going to InsuranceNewsletters.com, where you will find a number of options including creating an email or print newsletter that can be customized and personalized for your agency.