Customer Appreciation Events

Print McNeil & Company 11:59 am

Often times the focus for insurance agents is on acquiring new business. So much so, that you may lose sight of how important your existing client base is. It’s crucial that you convey your gratitude for the loyalty your clients have shown over the years to help maintain your current book of business.

One way to show your existing client base that you cherish your relationship is to host a client appreciation event. But where do you get started? Here are a few tips to help you kick off your next outing.

Identify Scope & Scale

Depending on the size of your agency and the geographic location of your client base, the ideal event for you can vary greatly. Is most of your business local? Do you service multiple market segments or is your book primarily focused on one industry? These questions can help you determine the appropriate size of the event, who to invite, and the type of activities to make available.

Integrate Other Events

Coordinating an outing around your client’s fluid schedules can be difficult, especially if your agency has a regional or national book of business. Plan ahead and search for potential events that your insureds would already be congregating at, such as industry trade shows or association conferences. Hosting a dinner or cocktail hour during one of these events can help eliminate travel constraints and ensure that you get the most “bang for your buck” without breaking the bank.

Use Multiple Contact Methods

You’ve planned the size and scope of your event and now it’s time to invite your guests! Do you send an e-vite or a direct mailing piece? Do you just call your clients to invite them? How about all three? Reach out to your clients across multiple mediums and continue to update them on details of the event from the initial invite to the final agenda and travel confirmations. Keeping your invitees informed and engaged throughout can help ensure that your event is well attended and RSVPs are timely (allowing for additional invites if needed). It also helps convey your desire to have them at the event and that you truly do appreciate their business.

Promote Conversation

Whether you have 10 attendees or 100, creating a conversational atmosphere is key. Make sure that you have built-in activities that promote conversation among your clients and your staff. Whether it’s a cocktail hour, an intimate dinner, or another group activity, it’s important to set create comfortable environments for your attendees to mingle. This is an opportunity to reach your customers on a personal level, finding out more about their families, interests and aspirations rather than just talking business. It also opens the floor for some of your longest tenured clients to discuss their working relationship with your agency and provide a customer testimonial in a non-business atmosphere.

Commemorate With A Gift

Whether large or small, a gift thanking your guests for attending is a gesture that won’t go unnoticed. Even something as simple as a promotional pen and notepad can show your clients that you care. However, to take it a step further, providing gifts that feel personalized and commemorate the event can convey an appreciative statement to your attendees. For example, at a golf event consider giving away custom tees and golf balls. For a more intimate cocktail hour, consider giving away personalized glasses. If your clients are traveling to you, a gift basket with local goods could be effective. Think outside the box and find something original that still fits within your budget and shows thought and effort to your customers.

Follow Up

A customer appreciation event helps your agency show your clients that you care about their business and their well-being. Don’t let all that good will go to waste by disappearing in the following weeks or months. Sending a hand-written note to those who attended, while tedious, can help convey how thankful you are for their attendance and their continued loyalty to your agency. Keep in contact with the attendees and nurture the relationships you developed throughout the event.

These events are just part of making customer appreciation a consistent theme in your insurance agency’s work. Showing clients that you care about their business every single day through your actions will further promote loyalty and help your business grow while maintaining your existing client base.

By: Tim Woitach

Find more information on customer appreciation events in this article from Travis Robertson.

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