Reputation Management Guide for Insurance Agencies
No insurance agency intends to create a bad reputation, but when an agency neglects its online reputation the results can be just that. That’s because potential customers rely upon Google, Facebook, and other online platforms to make a buying decision based on what people say about your brand.
Those people are posting reviews of your products and services, rating your company on Yelp, and tweeting about experiences they’ve had with your brand—and not all those posts and reviews are going to be flattering.
But what about your side of the story? If you aren’t involved in the online conversations about your agency, your prospective customers are only getting one side of the story. If you want to create a trusted reputation, get online and get engaged.
Insurance Reputation Management Step by Step
We’re not going to talk about great customer service, professionalism, experience, and knowledge here. You already know these basics are essential components of an excellent business reputation. Instead, we’re going to show you how your agency can take control of the online narrative using proven reputation management tools.
Monitor Your Brand
What are people saying about your brand online? If you don’t know, you’re in trouble. If you’re not monitoring your online reputation, how can you manage that reputation? While you can’t check every forum, review site, and social media platform all the time, you can use technology to help cover as many bases as possible.
Google already has a part in shaping your agency’s reputation, so why not use their tracking software, Google Alerts, to do some shaping of your own. While the service is a good start for monitoring your reputation, you will eventually want to invest in a more robust service designed specifically for the insurance industry.
Engage with Intent
It’s not enough to merely respond to online reviews and customer communications. If you want to improve your reputation, you must engage with a strategy. Every review, comment, or social media post that relates to your agency should be addressed with intent. That means whether you or your staff respond, your agency must have at least some basic guidelines for the process. When you create those guidelines, consider these questions:
- Who determines which comments or mentions warrant a response?
- How immediate should those responses be?
- How will your agency handle negative and positive reviews?
- Which frequently asked questions can be answered using automation?
- When should communications be handled offline via private messaging or email?
The answers to these and other important questions should be well thought out and consistent to present your agency in the best light. Even if you’re a one-agent show, it’s important to be prepared — every engagement matters.
Know this — your agency will be criticized. That criticism may be constructive or offensive, but how you acknowledge and use that feedback is critical. When you read a negative review or an irrelevant tweet about your agency, don’t respond immediately. And whatever you do, don’t ignore it.
Take a breath and answer this question: What verbiage and tone should I use that will be in the best interest of my agency and my customers? Being professional, polite, and even friendly is a good place to start. Your goal is to send a message to the critic, and the rest of your online audience, that your agency can accept and acknowledge criticism positively.
You’ll love those brand ambassadors who talk up your agency and think you’re the greatest — but how do you handle detractors? Unlike critics and most of your customers, detractors are unhappy customers who actively disparage your brand. Whether or not their stance is viable, you must take control of the situation by embracing your detractors.
Responding to detractors without making it personal, especially when they are rude, is challenging. But when you treat them with respect and hear them out, you not only diminish the negative impact on your agency, you may even find opportunities where your agency could improve. Get in the habit of treating every engagement, whether positive or negative, as a learning experience to improve your reputation.
Encourage Positive Feedback
Because anyone online can say (just about!) anything they want to about your agency, managing your reputation can seem daunting. But besides using the tips above, there’s something else you can do that is as easy as it is effective: Ask your current customers for feedback and make it easy for them. Your satisfied customers are often happy to give your agency a positive review (or a referral), and their opinion matters to others who are considering your agency. Let your happy customers tell their stories and help you manage your reputation. Find out more about how automation and the latest communication tools can help build a better brand for your agency.