Brick & Mortar or Online Insurance Agency? Where To Focus?
Many insurance companies have a multitude of standards in place for agent offices. When I say a multitude of standards, this refers to their brick and mortar location, not their online insurance agency (or as I like to call it an online office). Enforcing standards is a great way to control the brand and the experience of customers entering an office, or even driving by an office. However, insurance companies are overlooking a key fact: Exponentially more customers and prospects will get their first, and only impression, of an insurance company online and not from an office.
In consulting with many insurance companies, I’ve found that office standards for agents can include things such as office location, hours of operation, minimum square footage, interior wall color schemes, furniture requirements, dress codes for staff, logo placement, logo impression counts and many other requirements. While it’s a good idea to tightly guard your brand and logo, I’d suggest focusing efforts on exterior signage and digital presence (since that’s what the vast majority of consumers will see).
When it comes to digital presence, I’ve found insurance companies have far fewer requirements. My agency business Google page consistently gets over 10,000 views a month. This doesn’t include the views to my website, Facebook page, blog, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp and many other online forums. In a given month, I might have 30 customers, prospects, UPS delivery people, vendors and others walk inside my office. From a company and agency perspective, focusing on the 10,000+ online visitors is much more effective than focusing on the 30 or so in-person visitors.
What can companies focus on when it comes to digital offices?
- Company provided website. Every agent should have a professional picture on their company provided website. Agents should have the ability to customize these sites with local content and images.
- Companies should incentive and encourage agents to get Google reviews. The minimum standard for an insurance agency should be about 10 reviews. The insurance industry loves promotions and incentives. Why not run a promotion to see which agencies can get the most 5 star Google reviews in a 60 day period? This type of focus would create massive quoting volume for months and even years into the future.
- Many companies have their own ‘review’ programs linked to their websites, why not expand that and include the Google Reviews there?
- Agents should have a presence on LinkedIn. They should have a profile that is filled out and accessible to potential and current clients.
These are just a few ideas. If you’re looking for a more customized strategy to increase the visibility of your agents online. Please contact us.