How to strengthen relationships with clients during COVID-19

In uncertain times, we lean on experts to provide us with guidance, help and reassurance. When it comes to insurance, that’s your strong suit. These are your best differentiators over direct providers. Yes, we also tend be more careful with our wallets when the economy is looking grim. We become more value-conscious as we try to squeeze the most out of each dollar. But this doesn’t mean people will automatically cancel their policies by switching to a direct provider that may have cheaper rates. It just means that insurance clients are more likely to give their agency a hard look—to consider whether their decision to work with you is worth the cost.

Commercial insurance

Many businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 big-time and are facing challenges and disruptions to their operations. Commercial line insurance agencies are hard at work answering questions as their clients reach out with coverage-related questions. To get ahead of these questions, consider hosting webinars with a Q&A session around current and relevant topics that impact their business. For example, offer a webinar related to business interruption or workers compensation claims.

For webinars that include time-sensitive information, like recent legislation impacting rules surrounding policies, plan the webinar no more than a week out. We’ve found that people are more likely to register and attend when there is little time between when the webinar is scheduled and when it’s hosted. By planning topics too far in advance, clients may feel like the information is no longer fresh or relevant to their business.

Individual policies

For personal lines, consider something very similar. But instead of a webinar, call it a live Zoom meeting. Limit your presentation to 15 minutes and leave time for a Q&A.

The topics here should be relevant and targeted to specific groups based on data points like policy type, demographics, etc. For example, host a live meeting about how to handle a renter’s policy if someone is forced out of their apartment due to unemployment. Another idea is to host a session targeted to future dog owners, answering questions regarding insurance and different dog breeds. Or answer questions about the different types of life insurance available, and recommendations of what type to pick. Forward the recording to your prospects and add value to the relationship before they’re your client.

Email is also a great way to send clients valuable information and news that is relevant to them. Rather than sending a newsletter to all your clients, which risks being ignored because it isn’t relevant to them, consider sending emails to clients individually with content that is meaningful to them based on their demographics, policies, etc. A client is more likely to read and find value in something that you’ve picked out just for them.

Invest in trust, relationships and the community

Many agents believe their clients stick with them primarily because of the excellent service they provide. This is usually not the case. Direct carriers can also provide great service with huge investments in technology and AI. But carriers don’t know their clients personally, like agents do. This is the real advantage—the relationship you can form with your clients. Although service plays a big role, research shows that it’s the personal relationship that matters most.

In the short-term, people need to feel reassure that their agent has their back. If an agent is lying low and only responding to requests, clients feel lost. An email or a handwritten card will go a long way—letting clients know how to contact you and telling them that you’re actively reviewing their policies and finding ways to help.

Over the long-term, consider making real investments in client relationships. At Rocket Referrals, we recommend sending handwritten birthday cards. It’s important to show the client that—as their agent—you care about them personally. That they are not just a renewal commission to you. It’s these interactions that are going to make the relationship last. This is especially true today, when people are seeking more personal and human connections in an increasingly digital and socially distant world.

The good news is that it’s easier now than ever before for insurance agents to connect with their clients in a meaningful way. The first step for an agent is to agree that it’s worth investing in strong client relationships. After that, with Rocket Referrals, it’s as simple as flipping switches.



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