Being a successful independent insurance agent involves a vast, detailed knowledge of the industry, paired with people skills that allow you to boast exceptional customer service. Luckily, many online resources are available to provide a crash course in areas you may not already be familiar with, such as marketing. This list includes skills you should have, or work on, to give your agency the best chance for success:
- Friendly demeanor: Along with providing valid information, customers expect agents to be friendly and courteous. They’re satisfaction with the services you provide rests on the level of respect they receive. If your customer service is not up to par, customers can easily pick up and go to another agency. Always smile, sympathize with owners of tragic claims and provide thorough, fast help whenever needed.
- Website: Whether you build your website or hire external help, it’s a good idea to know a few basics so you can make edits and changes when your external help may be unavailable. Being able to fix a typo on your home page or post a new blog is a good skill to have, given that your website represents the professionalism of your agency.
- Email marketing: Email newsletters can help your agency generate revenue, along with providing information and local news to offer more value to customers. Always include calls to action and links to your social media pages to get your customers to engage with your agency.
- Social media: Social media is another great way to offer value to followers and to promote your agency. It provides an arena for conversations to occur, so regularly check your accounts and respond to customer comments in a timely manner.
- Industry knowledge: Your customers will expect you to answer questions and address concerns with a detailed knowledge that only an industry professional has. As an agent, you should be able to provide this information, or at least have the resources to retrieve the information, in a timely manner to please customers. For this reason, it’s important to keep up with any necessary recertification requirements and to stay abreast of hot issues, such as the current healthcare changes.