Insurance Marketing HQ

Are you an agent of trust?

Posted on Jan 25, 2010

Somewhere along the way, insurance agents became the enemy. Perhaps it’s the rampant fraud and the mainstream media’s coverage which paints the industry in a negative light without telling the whole story. Maybe it’s the incomprehensible bonuses received by executives at AIG and the general disdain overflowing from the financial sector.

Or, maybe it’s simpler. Maybe the perception exists because people don’t generally deal with insurance agents or companies unless they are in some sort of distress, have a complaint about coverage/payment or require a policy change. The answer is probably a combination of all three, but it begs the question, what are you doing to build  trust in your community?

Giving honest advice and writing policies with the client’s best interests in mind are the foundations of trust, but not enough to rally the community. There’s simply too much noise from bowling cavemen, geckos and other characters to be noticed for just doing an honest day’s work.

So what’s the best method for building trust in the community? You could hire a town crier to walk through the streets of downtown, ringing a bell and proclaiming your business as Ye Olde Purveyor of Trustworthy Insurance to plebeians bustling about. You could sponsor a youth soccer team and promise all the eight year-olds the best possible rate on term life insurance. You could even offer a discount to all client’s who are willing to tattoo, “I Trust [insert company name],” on their body.

If permanent scarring isn’t your thing, you’re better off establishing a personalized, trust-building presence on the Internet, where over 80% of people go to find information about insurance anyways. Often from people and places that have no connection to the community.

Social media and internet strategy are the backbone of a trust-building program, but it’s not just about signing up for a bunch of accounts and putting it on autopilot. Web strategy fits into the larger agency mindset and touches virtually every part of the business.

Did you help a bakery survive a fire and re-open within 6 months? Post a Facebook announcement showing the smiling owners in front of a wall of pastries.  Do you have important news about an insurance providers rates going up? Write a blog about how it will affect your customers. Even providing an online insurance office where customers can learn about your offerings and get coverage analysis before the conversation starts can be a means of building trust.

Every agent has different success stories that are forgotten in the routine of everyday business. Implementing an insurance web strategy that accounts for success stories, improves customer service and humanizes the company is the most effective way to build trust. In the end, you’re not selling insurance policies, you’re selling peace of mind, and nothing sells peace of mind like trust.

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